Saturday, 5 September 2015

Hilltops' Fischer goes beast mode on Thunder

The Hilltops' Logan Fischer was too much for the Thunder to handle.
    The Saskatoon Hilltops unleashed “The Beast” in Logan Fischer on the Regina Thunder.
    The third-year tailback had a career night rushing for 293 yards on 32 carries to help the Toppers down their provincial rivals 35-17 at Saskatoon Minor Football Field on Saturday night. Fischer ran around, past and through the Thunder defenders, and he also caught a pair of passes for 26 yards in the Canadian Junior Football League battle. His efforts grew in importance as the night progressed.
    The two clubs began Saturday’s clash playing in cool but fairly pleasant conditions. A mist began to fall during the second quarter, and it turned into a monsoon for the entire second half.
    The heavier rainy weather worked out in favour of the Hilltops, who were locked in a 14-14 tie with the Thunder at halftime, but rolled to victory as the conditions worsened.
    The Thunder, who have a strong passing game and like to favour it, saw their aerial show get grounded.
    The Hilltops pounded their way to victory thanks to Fischer’s numerous gritty runs. He also benefited from the fact the Toppers offensive line blocked well, and the receivers did their part to seal off Regina’s defensive backs.
Logan Fischer piled up 293 yards rushing for the Hilltops.
    When the two teams began their fight for top spot in the Prairie Football Conference, it appeared the game would be a tight affair.
    Regina controlled the contest for much of the first quarter and took a 7-0 edge, when quarterback Jaeden Marwick slipped a nine-yard outlet pass to an uncovered Colton Klassen. The scoring drive was aided by the fact Marwick connected with receiver Kasim Ocaya on a 49-yard bomb.
    Momentum changed early in the second quarter, when Marwick was intercepted near midfield by Hilltops cornerback Arnold Osam. Osam ran the ball back to the Regina 22, and on the ensuing play, Hilltops quarterback Jared Andreychuk hit wide receiver Chad Braun in the end zone to tie the contest up 7-7.
    A short time later, the Thunder appeared to wrestle momentum back in their favour blocking a Saskatoon punt and recovering the ball on the Hilltops five. Two plays later, Marwick hit Thomas Bresciani on a short four-yard TD toss to put the visitors up 14-7.
    Saskatoon tied things up shortly before the first half came to an end. After a short Regina punt, the Hilltops started a drive on the Thunder’s side of midfield and tied the contest up 14-14 on a three yard run by Fischer with 49.7 seconds to play.
    When the downpour of rain came at the start of the second half, the Hilltops jumped ahead 28-14. First, Andreychuk hit Evan Kopchynski on an 18-yard strike, and the signal caller later ran in for a major from nine yards out.
    Kristopher Calcutt kicked a short 12-yard field goal for the Thunder before the third quarter ended to cut the Saskatoon lead to 28-17.
Jared Andreychuk (#5) celebrates a TD run with his teammates in a monsoon.
    The Hilltops iced the game just past the midway point of the fourth quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by starting right guard Drayke Unger, who went as a fullback for the short yardage situation.
    While Fischer was the game’s star, Andreychuk completed 9-of-18 passes for 158 yards including his two touchdown tosses. He managed to avoid throwing an interception in the adverse conditions.
Marwick completed 15-of-25 passes for 184 yards, two touchdown strikes and two picks. Klassen was the top ground gainer for the Thunder running for 83 yards on 17 carries.
    With the win, the Hilltops improve to 4-0, while the Thunder fall to 3-1. The two rivals meet again this coming Saturday at 7 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

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