Thursday, September 22, 2016

Battle of Top Ten Teams At Mosaic Friday Night

KICKOFF: Friday, Sept. 23 (7:00 PM)
SITE: Mosaic Stadium (Regina, Sask.)
RANKINGS: Calgary #2, Regina #9
TELEVISION: Canada West Football on Shaw - Access7 in Regina (Jim Mullin/PxP, Wray Morrison/CC)
REGINA RADIO: RM2 - (Michael Ball/PxP, Marco Ricci/CC)
• The Rams broke into the CIS Top Ten for the first time since 2012 this week, entering the poll at No. 9 on the strength of back-to-back wins over ranked teams.
• A win for the Rams would move them into first place in the Canada West standings.
• Friday’s game is the first of two consecutive home games for the Rams and the second of back-to-back trips to the province of Saskatchewan for Calgary.
• The two teams met earlier this season in an exhibition game in Medicine Hat, with Calgary pulling away in the second half for a 37-13 victory.
RAMS RANKED NINTH IN CIS: It’s been almost four years since the Rams were ranked in the CIS Top Ten, but back-to-back wins over ranked teams have pushed the U of R into the No. 9 slot in this week’s poll. Two other Canada West teams are also ranked, including Calgary at No. 2 and Saskatchewan at No. 8.
HOLDOVERS: Two currently active Rams – Joey Dwyer and Mason Rossler – were in the lineup the last time the Rams played a game while ranked, which was the 2012 Hardy Cup at Calgary. Frankie Gray also played in that game as QB Marc Mueller’s backup, but he’s out for the year due to injury.
TWO PICKS FOR WILL: Braedy Will led the PFC in interceptions last year while with the Winnipeg Rifles, and he’s made an impact with picks in both of the Rams’ wins in the past two weeks. He’s one of only two Canada West players with multiple interceptions this year, and is the first Rams player to record picks in back-to-back games since Ryan Filyk in 2013.
HOT START FOR PICTON: It’s been an outstanding start to the season for QB Noah Picton, who leads Canada West in every passing category through the first three weeks of the conference schedule. He also leads the nation in average passing yards per game (420.7), is second in the CIS in both passing yards (1262) and touchdown passes (11), and fourth in the country in completion rate (69.6%). As well, his 85-yard touchdown pass to Khalid Kornegay still stands as the third-longest play in the CIS this year.
DEEP THREAT: He’s only fourth on the Rams with 13 catches, but Northeast Mississippi CC transfer Khalid Kornegay is the team leader and second in the conference with 318 receiving yards. His average of 24.5 yards per catch is second in the entire nation, while his average of 106 receiving yards per game is fifth in the CIS.
DEFENCE STRONG IN UBC WIN: The 10 points allowed by the Rams in last week’s road win over UBC were the fewest the U of R has conceded since a 31-9 win over Saskatchewan in the 2012 Canada West semifinals. Sheldon Gray’s defence didn’t allow a touchdown in the UBC win, as the Thunderbirds’ lone major of the game came off a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone.
IN THE FAMILY: Three players on the offensive side of the ball for the Rams are first cousins – RB Blake Anaka, SB Mitchell Picton, and QB Noah Picton - while K/WR Daniel Scraper and WR Michael Scraper are brothers. LB Danny Nesbitt is the son of defensive line coach Greg Nesbitt.
NURKOWSKI SIGNS LETTER OF INTENT: SB Lucas Nurkowski signed a CIS Letter of Intent on Monday to join the Rams, making him the eighth member of the Class of 2017 to commit to the program. Nurkowski, who won a silver medal with Team Saskatchewan and was named a tournament all-star this past summer at the Football Canada Cup, plays both slotback and dimeback for Michael A. Riffel HS in Regina.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Simply put, it’s been all Calgary in the head-to-head matchup since the 2008 season. The Dinos have won 17 of the last 18 meetings between the two teams, with the lone Rams win in that time coming in a 12-9 home win on Oct. 19, 2012.  Calgary holds a 17-6 advantage in the 23 Canada West games played between the two teams and a 5-2 edge in seven postseason matchups.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well at least one Saskatchewan team likes to keep their recruits local, northeast Mississippi, good job Regina.