Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rams Place 7 on Canada West All-Star Team

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Canada West announced its football all-stars on Thursday morning, with the conference recognizing a total of seven members of the first-place University of Regina Rams.

Three of the Rams all-stars were on the defensive side of the ball, including cornerback Kahlen Branning, linebacker Danny Nesbitt, and halfback Jeff Propp. The team’s four offensive all-stars include quarterback Noah Picton, slotbacks Mitchell Picton and Ryan Schienbein, and lineman Jeremy Zver. It’s only the third time the Rams have had at least seven players named conference all-stars – the Rams had seven during the 2010 season and a school-record total of 10 following the 2012 campaign.

In his final season with the Rams, Branning started seven games – three at halfback and four at cornerback – and had a team-high six pass breakups to go along with 11 solo tackles, 11 assisted tackles, and a big forced fumble early in the team’s Week 7 win over UBC.

Nesbitt finished as the team’s leader in tackles (34 solo, 36 assisted) and also had two interceptions, three pass breakups, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery for the Rams.

Propp started all eight games for the Rams, tying for the team lead with two interceptions and also recording three pass breakups, two tackles for loss including a sack, and 29 total tackles (24 solo, 10 assisted).

Noah Picton was an easy choice as Canada West’s all-star quarterback after being named the U Sports Offensive Player of the Week following three of the team’s eight games and setting a national single-season record with 3186 passing yards. He completed 224 of his 323 pass attempts to lead the country with a 69.3% completion rate, and also led U Sports with 25 touchdown passes.

Mitchell Picton led Canada West in both receptions (58) and receiving yards (834) and was also the nation’s leader with 11 touchdown catches, a mark which ties the school record set by Jason Clermont back during the 2001 season.

Only in his second season of eligibility, Schienbein enjoyed a breakout season with 54 catches and 790 receiving yards, finishing second in Canada West in both categories behind Picton. He was also third in the conference with eight touchdown receptions.

One of only two linemen to start every game for the Rams, Zver was a mainstay at left tackle for the Rams. He’ll finish his career with 25 regular season games played and 25 games started, all at left tackle – eight during the 2013 season, eight in 2014, one last year in a season that was abbreviated by injury, and eight more this season.

The Rams host a Hardy Cup semifinal game this Saturday afternoon (3:30) against the UBC Thunderbirds at Mosaic Stadium. Should they win that game, they’ll host the Hardy Cup the following Saturday, Nov. 12 against the winner of the Calgary/Saskatchewan semifinal.

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