University of Regina Rams quarterback Noah Picton was named Team West’s Most Valuable Player after throwing for 228 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for one more major in a 37-13 win over Team East on Saturday afternoon in the Valero East-West Bowl.
Picton completed 15 of his 20 pass attempts as he also finished with a 75% completion rate in the win. Picton, who moved the ball around with at least one pass to 10 different receivers, had a 42-yard toss to Étienne Moisan in the fourth quarter which went down as the longest play of the game for Team West.
The Rams were also represented by linebacker Danny Nesbitt, running back Atlee Simon, and defensive lineman Eric Wicijowski at the East-West Bowl and all three also made impacts for Team West. Besides a key fourth-quarter interception deep in Team West territory, Nesbitt also had a second-quarter sack and finished the game with one solo tackle and three assisted tackles. Simon formed an effective one-two punch with Saskatchewan running back Tyler Chow and finished with 11 carries for 64 yards, while Wicijowski got through for a half sack late in the second quarter.
After a slow offensive start to the game which saw a conceded safety by Team East stand as the only points of the first quarter, Team West got the offensive moving in the second. Team West was quick to cash in after Jayden McKoy’s interception gave them the ball on Team East’s four-yard line, with Will Watson’s 15-yard catch going down as the first major of the game. Picton engineered a seven-play, 71-yard drive that he finished off himself with a three-yard run with second left in the half to give Team West a 20-7 advantage at the break.
It was a two-score game for the majority of the second half until two late touchdowns put it away for Team West. Picton found Watson in the end zone from three yards out to finish off a nine-play, 75-yard drive with six and a half minutes left to put Team West up 30-13, and any hopes of a Team East comeback were dashed after Picton connected with Rich Nketiah for a 23-yard touchdown with 75 seconds to go.
(Braden Konschuh / U of R)