Saturday, October 22, 2016

Depth Charts For Alouettes-Riders Game



620 CKRM's game day coverage of the 2nd to last Riders home game at Mosaic Stadium starts at 11 with the play by play at 2. 

Regina Rams Are Playoff Bound

The No. 8-ranked University of Regina Rams clinched a postseason berth and the right to host a Canada West semifinal game after outlasting the UBC Thunderbirds for a 35-33 win on Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.

After increasing their lead to nine points with a late 70-yard touchdown pass from Noah Picton to Mitchell Picton with 1:36 left, the Rams (5-2) surrendered a major to UBC just 56 seconds later after the Thunderbirds went on an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive. But the Rams were able to recover the ensuing onside kick, with Riley Wilson coming down with the ball to seal the win for Regina.

“We’ve got a lot to learn on special teams and that helped make it a lot closer tonight than I wanted it to be,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. “But I was happy with how resilient we are and what we did in the fourth quarter to stay in the game. There were plenty of times we could have let down, but we didn’t.”

Noah Picton was 29-for-40 in the win, giving him 197 completions for the year. That breaks the Canada West single-season completions record, which was originally set at 182 by former Rams quarterback Marc Mueller in 2010 and matched last year by Saskatchewan’s Drew Burko.

Picton finished with 329 passing yards and threw four touchdowns in the win, two of which went to his cousin Mitchell Picton. Khalid Kornegay and Atlee Simon caught the other scores, with Picton finishing as the team’s top receiver with six catches for 134 yards. Kornegay had a team-leading seven receptions for 51 yards, while Simon rushed 19 times for a total of 111 yards as he hits triple digits in rushing for the third consecutive game.

Zack McEachern finished as the team’s leading tackler (9 solo, 5 assisted) and added a pass breakup, but starting safety Cord Delinte made two huge second-half plays. Delinte forced an incompletion with a devastating hit on UBC receiver Trevor Casey late in the third quarter, then picked off UBC quarterback Michael O’Connor with just over four minutes to go in the game. Danny Nesbitt and Kahlen Branning both forced fumbles for the Rams defence, while Jeff Propp had a big third-quarter sack for a loss of nine yards.

O’Connor was 28-for-47 for UBC, finishing with 364 passing yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Will Watson. Watson had a total of 88 yards off a game-high total of eight catches, none more impressive than a one-handed catch in the end zone for the first of his two scores. Ben Cummings rushed 19 times for 129 yards.

Riley Jones led UBC’s defence with four tackles for loss, while Tanner Friesen had a 56-yard pick six late in the fourth. Evan Horton had two key fumble recoveries on special teams for UBC, first on a fumbled kickoff return in the third and again in the fourth on a fumbled punt return.

The Rams were fortunate to only be down 4-0 after a first quarter which was dominated by UBC. The Thunderbirds outgained the Rams by a 171-17 margin, with Cummings rushing for 79 of his 129 yards in the opening 15 minutes alone. The lone spark of the quarter for the Rams was a 48-yard kickoff return on a slick reverse to Kornegay, but UBC was only able to score on a 33-yard field goal midway through the quarter by Greg Hutchins and a single by Hutchins after a missed 36-yarder.

But the Rams got their first first down of the game on the opening play of the second quarter, part of a nine-play, 77-yard drive that was finished off by a 13-yard touchdown reception by Picton. UBC replied with a field goal to knot the game at 7-7, but the Rams engineered another nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by a 28-yard catch-and-run by Simon. Regina took a 14-8 lead into the halftime break.

In the third quarter, special teams helped swing the momentum in UBC’s favour. The Thunderbirds took advantage of a short field and scored on Watson’s brilliant catch to go up 15-14, and on the kickoff Moortgat had trouble handling a squib kick and Horton came up with his first fumble recovery of the night. The Rams caught a break as UBC started out from the Regina 15, but only got a single point out of it after a missed field goal. UBC added another two points on a conceded safety after a Hutchins punt pinned the Rams inside their own one-yard line, and a Hutchins punt through the end zone late in the quarter gave UBC a 19-14 lead heading into the fourth.

But the tide turned early in the fourth, starting with Nesbitt’s forced fumble that was recovered by Grey McKen. That gave the Rams the ball on UBC’s 14, and two plays later Kornegay was in the end zone to put the Rams back into the lead for good. Picton engineered a six-play, 73-yard drive that Simon finished off from two yards out on the U of R’s next possession, giving the Rams a 28-19 advantage. The Rams forced a two-and-out on the next possession, but Blake Anaka fumbled on the ensuing punt and Horton pounced on it for his second recovery of the half. But Anaka’s fumble was essentially cancelled out by Delinte, who intercepted O’Connor and ran it out to the Regina 24-yard line. The Rams looked to be in good shape up by two possessions with under three minutes to go, but Friesen’s interception return gave new life to UBC. But after throwing the late pick, Noah Picton shrugged it off and found Mitchell Picton on a 2nd-and-12 situation for the 70-yard touchdown that would turn out to be the game-winning score.

After closing out the conference schedule next week against Manitoba, the Rams will then host an opponent to be determined on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Mosaic Stadium in the first round of the Canada West playoffs. The Rams’ final home game of the conference postseason - whenever that might be - will be the final game played at Mosaic.

“Personally, having the opportunity to close out the old stadium might even mean more to me than opening up the new one earlier this year,” Bryce said. “This was my home field for nine years growing up, and I know that there’s a ton of people involved with the program that feel the same way.”

The Rams and the Bisons will meet next Saturday night (8:00 CDT) at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, while UBC (3-4) will host Canada West-leading Calgary (5-1) in a game they may need to win in order to qualify for the conference playoffs. That UBC/Calgary game is set for Saturday night with a 5:00 PDT kickoff.

NOTES: The Rams went a perfect 4-0 at Mosaic Stadium during the conference schedule this year, marking the third time in program history they’ve been perfect at home (2001, 2012) … Mitchell Picton broke a major University of Regina record in the win and tied another, as his 56 receptions this season breaks the old school record of 55 set by Addison Richards two seasons ago … with one game left in the Canada West schedule, Picton also has 11 touchdown catches this season which ties Jason Clermont’s U of R record set back in 2001.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Huge Game For Regina Rams Tonight

KICKOFF: Friday, Oct. 21 (7:00 PM)
SITE: Mosaic Stadium (Regina, Sask.)
CAPACITY: 33,427
TELEVISION: Canada West Football on Shaw - Access7 in Regina (Jim Mullin/PxP, Wray Morrison/CC)
REGINA RADIO: 620 CKRM (Michael Ball/PxP, Luc Mullinder/CC)

• With only two weeks to go in the Canada West schedule, there’s plenty at stake for Friday’s game. A win for the Rams would not only clinch a playoff spot, but would also nail down a home game in the Canada West semifinals.

• A loss by the Rams to UBC opens up a mind-numbing amount of tiebreaking possibilities where points for and against would play a major role in determining Canada West’s final standings. In the event of a UBC win on Friday, the Rams could also clinch a playoff spot with an Alberta win over Manitoba on Saturday.

• Friday’s game will be a rematch of Week 3, which saw the Rams travel to the West Coast and grind out a 20-10 win over UBC.

RAMS NO. 8 IN THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN: After being upset last week at Alberta, the Rams predictably fell a significant amount in this week’s CIS Top Ten. They’re down four spots this week to No. 8, as Calgary takes over the Rams’ old No. 4 ranking and McMaster, Carleton, and Wilfrid Laurier all jump ahead of them. Calgary and Regina are the only two Canada West teams ranked in this week’s poll.

PICTON POISED TO SHATTER COMPLETIONS RECORD: QB Noah Picton is now only 14 completions short of the Canada West single-season record, set at 182 by former Rams pivot Marc Mueller in 2010 and matched by Saskatchewan’s Drew Burko last year. He’s also on pace to break Derek Wendel’s CIS record of 216 completions that was set just last season, but so is Wendel – the Ottawa quarterback has 203 with one game still remaining on the OUA schedule.

ON PACE FOR CIS RECORD: Besides his completions mark, Picton remains on pace to break Andrew Buckley’s Canada West and CIS record of 3162 passing yards that he set last season in his final year with the Dinos. Picton has 2398 passing yards through the first six Canada West games of the year, which would give him just under 3200 for the season if he continues at his current pace of 399.7 yards per game.

MITCHELL PICTON NEARS RECEPTIONS MARK: Addison Richards’ school single-season record of 55 receptions is in grave danger, as SB Mitchell Picton has compiled 50 through the team’s first six games of the schedule. Picton is also on pace to break the Caanda West single-season mark of 66, which was set last year by Saskatchewan’s Mitch Hillis.

CHASING CLERMONT: Mitchell Picton is also nearing the U of R’s single-season touchdown reception record, set by Jason Clermont back in 2001 with 11. Picton currently has nine, needing just one more to join Clermont and Chris Bauman (10, 2006) as the only players in University of Regina history to break into double digits for a season.

DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME): Second-year SB Ryan Schienbein has enjoyed a spectacular breakout season for the Rams, ranking second in Canada West (behind Picton) in all three major receiving categories. He has 43 receptions this year and also ranks among hte nation’s top five in both receiving yards (620) and TD catches (7).

DHEILLY TIED FOR CONFERENCE SACKS LEAD: DL Nicholas Dheilly was held without a sack last week at Alberta for the first time since taking over as a starter, but still remains tied for the Canada West lead in sacks. He has four for the season, three of which came in the Calgary win. Dheilly is tied with Manitoba’s Evan Foster for the conference lead, with Calgary’s Jack McEwen just behind with 3½.

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.

This and That

Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

--Oh CFL, you try not to, but you just can't help embarrass yourselves.  The decision to slash ticket prices for the Grey Cup with just over a month to go until the big game is yet another black eye to the league.

The Argos and the league will try and tell you the reason for the fact that half of BMO Field is unsold for the CFL's biggest game of the year is because the Blue Jays, the Raptors, the NBA All-Star game, the World Cup of Hockey and the NHL outdoors game.  Did the Argos and the league not know about these things in advance? They aren't that stupid are they? They don't think we're that stupid do they?

Who thought these ticket prices would work anyhow? It is rather mind-boggling.

--A question for Rider fans. Are the Riders showing signs of getting out of it, or are they taking advantage of weaker teams and winning the games they should? Take nothing away from what they have done over the last few weeks, but they have beaten three teams from what we have seen is a very weak Eastern Conference. Would they have been able to beat Calgary with the performances they have put in? I would sure love to see them have another shot at the Stampeders before the season is over, but that won't be happening. As assistant GM Jeremy O'Day proclaimed last week, the worst is over.  I think you can put a little bit of weight on what the opposition has been for the Riders, but you still have to give credit to the football team for winning the games and somewhat salvaging what has been a less than stellar season..  What we are seeing now is a lot more palatable than what we were seeing a month ago.  The future looks bright, and that is what Rider fans have been waiting for since early in the 2015 season.

--Saturday's game against the Alouettes will be my last Rider game at Mosaic Stadium.  When the Riders are taking on the BC Lions on the 29th, I will be in Winnipeg with the Rams as they close out the regular season against Manitoba.  At some point, I have to figure out who does the scheduling. It makes no sense to me that you would have the Rams playing at the same time as the Riders. It happened in Edmonton last weekend as well. Why wouldn't you have a Rams game on the Friday night followed by the Rider game Saturday in a Farewell Mosaic weekend.  Hopefully the Rams will give us one, if not more home games at Mosaic before we say goodbye to the old girl forever. A win over UBC tonight will make that a certainty. It would be a great to see a solid turnout of Rams fans at this one.

--From Chris Zelkovich's weekly Yahoo/Canadian Sports TV ratings column

      With no Blue Jays and no CFL games on Sunday, CTV's 4 p.m. NFL offerings averaged 1.26 million viewers -- a 30 per cent increase over the same weekend last year. The early games came close to the million mark.

That column also shows more Canadians watched Game 1 of the NLCS than the Alouettes-Stampeders game which was on at the same time.  You can't tell me the CFL isn't taking notice of this.  If they're not, they have their heads firmly in the sand.  To be fair, that Dodgers/Cubs game also outdrew the first Sunday night NHL game of the year between Buffalo and Edmonton.
--When is a shutout not a shutout? Ask Ryan Miller of the Canucks.  He went to the bench Saturday night for the extra attacker and then watched as Loui Eriksson accidentally put the puck in his own net for a Calgary goal.  Miller stopped all shots sent his way as the Canucks beat the Flames in a shootout.  He stopped all 25 shots he faced, but he didn't get credit for the shutout. At least not yet. Should he? I say he should.

--Auston Matthews, Patrick Laine and Connor McDavid are going to lead the NHL into the next decade. I'm OK with that. Yes, you can add Johnny Gaudreau to that list too. What Laine did Wednesday night against the Leafs was as spectacular as what Matthews did against Ottawa on opening night. Lots of goals are being scored in the NHL this season. The goalie equipment hasn't changed. The skill level has. Let's stop trying to "fix" the game and let these kids play,

--Speaking of Laine and McDavid, how much fun will the Heritage Classic be in Winnipeg this weekend. I don't know if I'm more excited in the actual game which will see two young, fast teams battling one another or the alumni game where the guys I grew up watching hit the ice one more time. I am guessing Winnipeg will jump out into a lead only to see Edmonton come back and win because that is what happened in so many playoff series. Is Mark Lamb coming back for this one?  I'm not big on the outdoor games anymore. As I have said previously, the first outdoor game years ago between the Oilers and Habs at a frigid Commonwealth Stadium can't be duplicated.  Winnipeg will do a great job, but the game could go at MTS Centre and I would be excited for it seeing Laine, Schiefele, Ehlers, McDavid, Eberle and Pulijarvi do their thing.

--Regina lost a good man last week when Terry Hincks succumbed to cancer.  There was no doubting the love he had for the Rams and the Regina sports community.  His passion for this city and its sports teams shouldn't be forgotten. He should be remembered in some fashion, Is it too much to ask and request that the "practice field" at the University of Regina be known as Terry Hincks Field. I think that would be a tremendous tribute to the former Ram. If not the practice field, is there some place in this city that can have Terry's name attached to it?  Maybe Mount Pleasant Park can be known as Terry Hincks Park.

--I will be bluntly honest. I am not disappointed to see the Blue Jays lose the American League Championship Series. I don't hate the Jays as some suggest, but I certainly don't like what they were this year, and yes, maybe it goes back to the Bautista bat flip from last year. That team was just too whiny for my liking. They didn't like it when inside pitches were thrown, they constantly complained to the umps about balls and strikes leading to numerous ejections for John Gibbons, the actions of Bautista right from prolonging the feud with Texas to the end when he threw out there the Jays lost the first two games in Cleveland because of "circumstances" to not talking to the media after Game 3 to suggesting Cleveland pitcher Ryan Merritt would be shaking in his boots which fired up the Indians.

--That being said. the Blue Jays once again had people talking about baseball in this country and I have no problem with that.  They also aren't going away. The window didn't close with Wednesday's loss. It might if Edwin Encarnacion isn't there, but with guys like Martin, Tulowitzki, Estrada, Stroman, Osuna and yes, the actual face of the franchise Josh Donaldson, this team will be back. If Toronto had more players like Donaldson, they would likely carry the World Series trophy north of the border for a 3rd time.

--Week 7 NFL Lock of the Week  --- Falcons over Chargers
--Week 7 NFL Upset of the Week --- Jaguars over Raiders

--NFL coaches are wondering about being able to challenge pass interference. We have seen what that has done to the CFL game. Think carefully before proceeding NFL, think very carefully. 

--It is good to see some south of the border are finally saying what I've been saying for a couple of years. We should be able to get 5 minutes with a referee/umpire after a game to get comments on why this was called or not called.  I think a lot of people would like to know why there was no pass interference on Richard Sherman last Sunday in the waning moments of the Seahawks/Falcons game, and baseball fans would like to know why Adrian Gonzalez was called out in Game 4 of the NLCS when replays appeared to show he was safe.  Hearing first hand from the official as to why the call was or wasn't made would be very beneficial. The human element should never be ignored.

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend. GO RIDERS, GO SEAHAWKS, GO CUBS

Thursday, October 20, 2016

This Week In Cougar Athletics

Home Schedule – Saturday
Men’s Hockey – vs. Manitoba, 3:00 p.m. (The Co-operators Centre)


Away Schedule – Thursday
Women’s Hockey – at Manitoba, 7:00 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, Man.)


Away Schedule – Friday
Men’s Basketball – vs. Guelph, 2:00 p.m. EDT (St. Catharines, Ont.)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Lakehead, 2:00 p.m. (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women’s Hockey – at Manitoba, 7:00 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, Man.)


Away Schedule – Saturday
Men’s Basketball – vs. UQAM, 1:00 p.m. EDT (St. Catharines, Ont.)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Toronto, 1:00 p.m. (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women’s Soccer – at Thompson Rivers, 1:00 p.m. PDT (Kamloops, B.C.)
Cross Country – at Saskatchewan Age Class Championships, 2:30 p.m. (Yorkton, Sask.)


Away Schedule – Sunday
Women’s Basketball – at Alberta, 12:00 p.m. (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Basketball – vs. Ryerson, 3:00 p.m. EDT (St. Catharines, Ont.)
Women’s Soccer – at UBC Okanagan, 1:00 p.m. PDT (Kelowna, B.C.)


Rams Football (CIS Ranking: No. 9) – The Rams fell to No. 9 in the CIS after being stunned 19-18 by Alberta on Saturday afternoon in Edmonton, dropping the U of R to second place in the Canada West standings. The Rams will look to rebound this Friday night with a huge matchup against UBC at Mosaic Stadium. A win for the Rams would not only clinch a postseason berth, but would also lock up a home date in the first round of the Canada West playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday (620 CKRM, Access7,


Men’s Hockey – The Cougars (1-1-0) started out the Canada West schedule last weekend with a split against Lethbridge, winning 2-1 on Friday but suffering a 4-2 loss to the Pronghorns on Saturday. Andy Desautels made 28 saves and J.J. Coleshaw and Cody Fowlie both scored in Friday’s win, while Dillan McCombie and Logan Harland had goals on Saturday. The Cougars host their home openers this weekend against Manitoba (0-2-0) at The Co-operators Centre. Game times are set for 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.


Women’s Hockey – The Cougars (2-1-1-0) suffered their first loss of the 2016-17 season on Friday, dropping a 3-2 decision to Lethbridge on Friday in what was their home opener. But the Cougars recovered on Saturday, as Kylee Kupper sent the game into overtime with a goal at 19:59 of the third period and Bailey Braden won it in the extra session. In third place in the Canada West standings with eight points through the first two weekends of conference play, the Cougars are back on the road this weekend with games against league-leading Manitoba (4-0-0-0) on Thursday and Friday.


Women’s Soccer – Currently embroiled in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Prairie Division after a win over Manitoba and a loss to Winnipeg over the weekend, the Cougars (3-6-3) are one of five teams in a battle for the final three postseason berths in the division. The U of R closes out the Canada West schedule on the road against Thompson Rivers (1-10-0) and UBC Okanagan (4-7-1) on Saturday and Sunday.


Women’s Basketball – The Cougars continued their march through the non-conference schedule with home wins over Lethbridge on Friday (84-48) and Saturday (65-53), giving them a perfect  7-0 record against CIS competition this season. The team continues preseason play this weekend with a tournament at which they’ll play Lakehead, Toronto, and host Alberta, but the Cougars will be without Sara Hubenig, Michaela Kleisinger, Charlotte Kot, and Katie Polischuk – those four are overseas representing the U of R and the CIS at the 3x3 FISU World University League final in Xiamen, China.


Men’s Basketball – The Cougars went on the road to notch their first win of the non-conference schedule on Friday, taking out Brandon by a 92-78 score. Alex Igual had a team-high 14 points, while Brian Ofori score 13 and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. The Cougars continue their non-conference schedule this weekend with games against Guelph, UQAM, and Ryerson at the 2016 RBC Classic hosted by Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont.


Cross Country (Men’s CIS Ranking: No. 10) – After a weekend off, the Cougars return to action at the Saskatchewan Provincial Age Class Championships this Saturday in Yorkton. Kaytlyn Criddle, Darbi Edwards, Robyn Ham, Hillary Mehlhorn, and Justine Zarowny will represent the women’s side, while T.J. McBride will be the lone runner from the men’s team at the meet.


Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars finished off the non-conference schedule with a pair of home contests to Brandon, pushing the Bobcats to the five-set distance in the first match but eventually losing on both Friday and Saturday. The team will now have this weekend off before starting Canada West play at home against Trinity Western on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.


Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars travelled to Saskatoon for a pair of non-conference tilts against the University of Saskatchewan, ending up with a three-set loss to the Huskies on Friday and a four-set setback on Saturday. Under the guidance of interim head coach Shane Smith, the Cougars will now prepare for their conference openers against Trinity Western at the CKHS (Oct. 28 and Oct. 29).
( U of R Athletics)


Week 7 NFL Capsules

Image result for aaron rodgers 

Week 7 of the NFL season begins with a classic rivalry as the Chicago Bears head to Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. For a complete preview of that game, and the others in the NFL this weekend, just click here

New Pricing Structure For Grey Cup Unveiled

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club today unveiled new ticket prices for certain sections of the stadium for 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw so fans can cap an incredible year in Toronto sports with one of Canada’s ultimate sports experiences. Under the new pricing, tickets start at $89 and thousands more for less than $150.
“Sports fans have told us they want to experience the iconic Grey Cup – Canada’s biggest annual sporting event – in the incredible new setting that is BMO Field,” said Michael Copeland, President and CEO of the Argos, who are hosting this year’s Canadian football classic on Sunday, November 27th.
“But they have also told us that they need pricing that reflects the fact that Toronto has been perhaps the busiest sports market in North America this year, with an NBA All-Star game, a deep Raptors playoff run, the World Cup of Hockey, an upcoming playoff run for Toronto FC, Blue Jays playoffs, and the NHL’s outdoor Centennial Classic and the World Junior Championships to follow. We are listening to the fans.”
Just over 1,000 existing ticket holder accounts will be affected by this re-pricing, and each of them will be contacted directly to discuss their various options.
Price reductions have been made only to sections where sales have been soft. For the other sections where tickets have been in high demand, prices will not be changed.
“Our highest priced seats and premium areas have been selling very well, with many of those sections sold-out or nearing a sellout,” Copeland said.
“It is in the mid-range that we need to adjust pricing to ensure that every sports fan can still afford to experience the Grey Cup live. Our fans told us that the original mid-range prices were too high, and we are following their direction to make it right.”
To purchase tickets for the 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw or to learn more about the new pricing, fans can visit or
(Toronto Argonauts Football Club)