Friday, 21 September 2018

Huskies hold off Rams rally on end zone pick by Lewis

Machart grinds out 121 yards on the ground for U of S

Bowan Lewis, left, holds up the game-saving interception ball.
    Bowan Lewis came up golden when the University of Saskatchewan Huskies desperately needed a play.
    On Friday night at Griffiths Stadium, the Huskies jumped out to a comfortable 30-3 lead in the third quarter of a U Sports regular season clash over their provincial rivals the University of Regina Rams only to see that edge shrink to 30-20 with 11:16 to play in the fourth quarter.
    The Huskies fumbled the ball away on their ensuing offensive series after their lead dwindled to 10 points.
    The Rams proceeded to drive down to the Huskies seven yard line for a first and goal opportunity and appeared poised for another score.
    Rams star quarterback Noah Picton fired a pass into the end zone only to see the ball deflect off the intended receiver into the hands of Lewis with 7:06 to play in the fourth quarter.
Adam Machart piled up 121 yards rushing for the Huskies.
    With that opportune interception, the third-year defensive back swung the momentum back on the Huskies side where it stayed.
    The ensuing Huskies drive ran 4:31 off the clock and resulted in a 26-yard field goal by star kicker Sean Stenger to cap a 33-20 victory before 2,715 spectators.
    The win allows the Huskies, who were rated ninth in the U Sports top 10 rankings, to sit alone in second place in the Canada West Conference with a 3-1 record. The Rams, who were rated eighth in the U Sports top 10 rankings, fall to 2-2 to sit in a tie with the University of Manitoba Bisons for the third and fourth positions in Canada West.
    The Huskies have to be given full marks for not losing their cool, when it seemed everything was going the Rams way.
    When Rams standout running back Kyle Borsa dashed home on a 27-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to cut the U of S lead to 10 points, the Huskies appeared to tighten up a little bit.
Kyle Borsa (#22) scored two touchdowns for the Rams.
    After Rams linebacker Danny Nesbitt recovered a Huskies fumble at the U of R’s 37 yard line, it appeared everything was unraveling for the host side.
    Lewis’s interception ensured the Rams surge came to an end.
    A composed Huskies offence guided by star quarterback Kyle Siemens went to work on a clock eating drive that covered 72 yards in eight plays resulting in Stenger’s short field goal.
    U of S’s defence rose to the occasion on the Rams next offensive series. The Rams gambled on a third-and-one at their own 48 yard line and Picton’s quarterback sneak was stuffed by the Huskies.
    Overall, the Huskies received key contributions from a number of different players. Running back Adam Machart, who helped the Saskatoon Hilltops win CJFL titles the past three seasons, had his best game with the Huskies carrying the ball 16 times for 121 yards and catching four passes for 19 yards.
Kyle Siemens threw three touchdown passes for the Huskies.
    Siemens had a solid night completing 23-of-33 passes for 283 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Running back Colton Klassen hauled in six of Siemens passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
    Rookie receiver Jesse Kuntz, who previously played for the CJFL’s Calgary Colts, hauled in seven passes for 96 yards and scored one touchdown.
    The Huskies received a pair of sacks from defensive end Tristian Koronkiewicz and single sacks from Riley Pickett, Evan Machibroda and Nathan Cherry.
    Defensive back Josh Hagerty had an end zone interception for the Huskies on the Rams first offensive series of the contest.
    Third-year defensive back Jacob Solie intercepted a tipped pass for the Huskies and ran it back 64 yards for a touchdown with 42.7 seconds to play in the second quarter. Solie’s major gave the Huskies a 21-3 lead at halftime.
    Stud linebacker Ben Whiting topped the Huskies with nine solo tackles.
Rams QB Noah Picton is chased by Huskies DE Riley Pickett.
    With how the game played out, one almost forgets the Rams actually held a 3-0 lead, when rookie kicker Aldo Galvan hit an 11-yard field with 3:08 to play in the first quarter.
    The first quarter ended with Siemens hitting Klassen with a 14-yard touchdown pass to start a run where the Huskies scored 30 straight point. The surge included the Huskies causing the Rams to concede a safety early in the third quarter.
    Picton completed 21-of-34 passes for 271 yards, but his three interceptions proved costly.
Borsa ran the ball 16 times for 96 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Rams. U of R made some suspect play calls in the red zone and likely could have given more touches to Borsa in that area of the field.
    Rams slotback Kyle Moortgat hauled in nine passes for 136 yards on the night.
    Galvan had a 17-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter to go with his boot in the first quarter.
    The win will likely give the Huskies, who play three of their final four regular season games on the road, a big shot in the arm. U of S likely needs to win just one more contest to qualify for the playoffs.
Huskies DB Jacob Solie (#6) gets set to intercept a tipped pass.
    The Huskies return to action on Sept. 29, when they travel to Calgary, Alta., to face the University of Calgary Dinos.
    The Rams will try to get back on track in their next game on Sept. 29, when they travel to Winnipeg, Man., to face the Bisons in what will be a key contest for both sides.

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