A last-minute 26-yard field goal by Alberta’s Brent Arthur gave the Golden Bears a 19-18 win over the No. 4-ranked Regina Rams on Saturday afternoon at Foote Field.
The Rams had one final chance at the win, but a 52-yard field goal attempt by Thomas Huber fell short to seal Alberta’s first Canada West victory of the season.
The loss drops Regina (4-2) into second place in the Canada West standings.
Ed Ilnicki rushed 29 times for 100 yards for Alberta, while Ben Kopczynski was 11-for-19 and finished with 207 passing yards including a nine-yard touchdown to Tylor Henry in the third quarter. Henry and Adam Zajdel were the main targets for Kopczynski, with Henry catching six for 90 yards and Zajdel hauling in a 46-yard catch and a 39-yard reception.
Lucky Daniels had a pair of sacks for the Alberta defence, while Daniels, Brandon Foster, and Josh Taitinger all recovered fumbles.
Atlee Simon had 29 rushes for a season-high 162 yards and scored the team’s only touchdown of the game on a two-yard rush early in the second quarter. Noah Picton completed 22 of 32 passes for 314 yards, with Mitchell Picton (eight receptions for 111 yards) and Ryan Schienbein (five for 92) as his two top receivers.
Danny Nesbitt led the Rams in tackles (eight solo, two assisted). Bryce McKinnon had his first career sack, while Jeff Propp had a pair of pass breakups.
In the end, three devastating second-half fumbles by the Rams gave the game to Alberta. The first was on a high snap to Picton which directly led to Alberta’s lone touchdown of the game as the Golden Bears took over on the Regina 19. The second fumble was on the final play of the third quarter with the Rams in the red zone threatening to score. Picton and Simon had problems on the exchange, and Alberta’s Foster pounced on the ball to put an end to the drive.
And the third fumble came on the first play after the Rams took over the ball with a two-point lead and 1:54 left in the ball game. Another problem on the exchange led to Taitinger’s fumble recovery, and Alberta got the ball on Regina’s 34-yard line. The Golden Bears got a first down on a third-and-one gamble, setting up Arthur’s game-winning chip shot.
(Braden Konschuh/U of R)