Special teams and defence set up the Manitoba flurry in the second quarter. Two turnovers off Regina punt attempts led directly to short Bisons touchdowns on the following play, and in between those Jonathan Jones scored on a 52-yard pick six as Manitoba led 27-2 at halftime. A Jordan Yantz touchdown pass to Nic Demski a minute and a half into the third ended any hopes of a Rams comeback.
Both Regina and Manitoba move to 1-1 with the result.
Yantz completed only 11 of his 24 pass attempts on the night, but ended up with 206 yards in the win and a pair of touchdown passes. Kienan LaFrance rushed for a game-high 78 yards and also opened the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown reception in the first, while Alex Vitt led all players with six catches for 105 yards.
For the Rams, the bright spot was the play of the second-team offence in the second half long after the outcome had been settled. Rookie quarterback Noah Picton came on in the third quarter and connected with second-year slotback Mitchell Picton for the team's only two majors of the contest. The cousins combined for a 47-yard catch-and-run late in the third, and then again midway through the fourth from 27 yards out.
Noah Picton ended up 6-for-10 for 130 yards, while rookie running back Atlee Simon rushed 10 times for 67 yards. Mitchell Picton's two touchdown catches were his only receptions of the night, ending up with 74 yards.
Rams starting quarterback Cayman Shutter finished 16-for-30 with 157 passing yards, while Addison Richards caught four passes for 89 yards - all of which came in the first half. Jared Janotta also had four receptions for a total of 35 yards.
Dean Viena had a fine game on the defensive line for the Rams, ending up with 7.5 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup. Joey Dwyer also had a forced fumble on a second-quarter sack, while Tevaughn Campbell added a pair of pass breakups.
Besides the long pick six by Jones, Manitoba also had an interception from Jayden McCoy.
The Rams (1-1) will return to action next Saturday at Alberta (0-1).
NOTES: Janotta now needs just two more receiving yards to move past former teammate Brenden Owens for fifth place on the U of R's all-time list … Richards needs 31 more receiving yards for 1000 in his career.
(U of R Athletics)