The Saskatoon Hilltops head into Saturday’s showdown against the Regina Thunder with momentum on their side.
The four-time defending Canadian Bowl champions are coming off a 79-7 shellacking of the Colts in Calgary last weekend to raise their 2018 Prairie Football Conference record to 4-0.
The Toppers rolled up 593 yard in total offense including 366 on the ground on a night when the second-stringers rolled in an out of the lineup during the second half including Tyler Herman who handled the quarterbacking duties for the last two quarters.
Starting pivot Jordan Walls is the season’s top ranked quarterback with a 66.7% completion ratio while firing seven touchdown tosses. The fifth-year man has yet to play a full game. Walls had his biggest night of the season on opening night Aug. 18 in Regina. He completed 20-of-29 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown over three-quarters of work during the 41-7 victory.
The game also proved to be Ben Abrook’s coming out party as the third-year running back rambled for 171 yards on 27 carries, mostly in the first half while scoring three touchdowns in the absence of Josh Ewanchyna who missed the first game of the campaign with an injury.
Although the Thunder offense was shut down after a first quarter touchdown, receiver Lee Brown had an outstanding game catching eight passes for 113 yards. Brown leads the PFC in receiving with 25 catches for 377 yards and two touchdowns.
Saskatoon’s Jason Price is second in the conference with 15 receptions for 330 yards and caught his first touchdown pass of the season last Saturday in Calgary. He has proven to be a deep threat averaging 22 yards a catch. He hauled in three passes for 74 yards in the season opener at Mosaic Stadium.
The Toppers offensive line was collectively named PFC offensive player of the week following the win in Calgary. Co-Captain Kirk Simonsen said they feel good heading into Saturday’s contest as he expects a battle in the trenches.
“I feel the O-line didn’t play very well in Winnipeg and had to step it up,” said Simonsen who looks forward to facing that big Thunder defensive line.
“It’s probably one of our more physical games of the year and there’s nothing better than playing Regina under the lights Saturday at SMF field.”
Simonsen added the veterans remember last year when the Thunder came into Saskatoon and left with the victory following a big second half comeback.
Head coach Tom Sergeant felt the offensive line redeemed itself against the Colts and said excellent early execution led to a 39-0 lead after the first quarter.
Sergeant called it a solid performance heading into a tough test this Saturday.
“Lots to build on, lots to keep working on get ready for a big tilt against Regina, you know what, I can’t wait for that, Saturday night under the lights at the (Gordie Howe) bowl, let’s do it,” said Sergeant.
The annual end zone dinner with special guest, former Rider quarterback Darian Durant will start at 5:15 p.m. The opening kick-off is scheduled for 7 o’clock with the broadcast on 92.9 THE BULL on the air at 6:30.