|The Hilltops defence pressures Edmonton QB Bradley Launhardt.|
The venerable Saskatoon Hilltops couldn’t have asked for a better way to cruise into their bye week.
On Sunday at Saskatoon Minor Football Field, quarterback Jared Andreychuk threw four touchdown passes to pace the Toppers to a 49-17 victory over the visiting Edmonton Huskies. With the win, the Hilltops improve to 6-0, and they have won their last 14 straight contests including regular season and playoff action dating back to last season.
Saskatoon only needs to win or tie one of its last two regular season games to lock up first place in the Prairie Football Conference. The defending Canadian Football League champs would also lock up top spot in the conference if the Calgary Colts (3-2) suffer a loss or a tie in one of their final three games.
In Sunday’s win over the Huskies (1-4), the Hilltops were paced by the steady play of Andreychuk, who completed 13-of-20 passes for 162 yards, four touchdown passes and no interceptions. Andreychuk hit Evan Turkington, Davis Mitchell and Tyson Sawatzky for scoring strikes in the first quarter. The fourth-year signal caller found running back Colin Stumborg on a 13-yard scoring toss in the second quarter before giving way to his backups early in the second half.
Des Vessey ran in a major from 14 yards out, the Huskies conceded a safety and Brett Thorarinsson hit a 16-yard field goal to give Saskatoon a 40-0 lead. Edmonton kicker Cole Sabourin nailed a 45-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to cut the Hilltops lead to 40-3.
|Jared Andreychuk fires a pass into the end zone for the Hilltops.|
The Hilltops increased their edge to 49-3 just 2:04 into the third quarter. The Huskies conceded another safety being pinned deep in their own end, and Hilltops rookie running back Adam Machart returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards down the right sideline in front of the Edmonton bench for another major score.
Edmonton had a couple of highlight moments in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Branden Modin intercepted Hilltops third string quarterback Brad Schnitzler and ran the ball back 40 yards for a touchdown to cut the Saskatoon lead to 49-10.
Huskies quarterback Bradley Launhardt hooked up with receiver Darion Grymaloski on a 20-yard touchdown pass to close out the contest’s scoring. Launhardt had a solid day completing 19-of-32 passes for 203 yards, one touchdown toss and one interception.
With the final result pretty much decided, the Hilltops played their reserves for most of the second half. Overall in the contest, the Hilltops had 10 different receivers catch a pass, nine different players carry the ball and four quarterbacks throw a pass. They only had 327 total yards of offence, with 264 of those being piled up in the first half.
Turkington led the Toppers with 50 receiving yards on four catches. Vessey was Saskatoon’s top ground gainer with 36 yards on four carries.
Grymaloski topped the Huskies with 54 receiving yards on three catches, while running back Jimmie Airey led all rushers with 81 yards on 18 carries.
|Adam Machart returns a kickoff for a TD for the Hilltops.|
The Hilltops defence limited the Huskies to 307 yards of total offence. Joshua Melnyk, James Vause, Adam Benkic, Cameron Schnitzler and Blake Hermann tied for the Hilltops team lead in tackles in the contest at three. Hilltops rookie defensive back Ryan Melnyk had an interception in the fourth quarter.
Saskatoon also went deep into the playbook, which included Brad Schnitzler completing a pass for a first down on a fake field goal in the first quarter.
The Hilltops return to action on Oct. 4, when they travel to Edmonton to take on the Wildcats (1-4). Saskatoon closes the regular season hosting the Colts on Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. at Saskatoon Minor Football Field.