CJFL: PFC Rivalry Week

#CJFLRivalry on Saturday night in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg

Week 4 of the PFC is “Rivalry Week” as the two remaining undefeated teams square off in Saskatoon when the Hilltops (3-0) host the Regina Thunder (3-0), in Edmonton the Wildcats (1-2) and Huskies (0-3) match up, and the Winnipeg Rifles (0-3) welcome the Calgary Colts (2-1).

In the battle of Edmonton, the Cats and Huskies meet for the second time this season following a terrific opener in Week 1.  The Wildcats came back to beat the Huskies 35-33, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter for their only victory thus far.

Last year each team record a blowout win.  The Wildcats smoked the Huskies 51-18, while the Huskies got revenge 50-36.

Kick off in Edmonton is set for Clarke Park on Saturday at 7:00pm.

The Calgary Colts travel to Winnipeg for a showdown with the Rifles on Saturday.  Certainly the geography of these two teams don’t lend to an easy rivalry.   However the Rifles starting quarterback Jamie Ybarra Jr. was the starting pivot for the VI Raiders in the 2013 Canadian Bowl, under head coach Matt Blokker, now a Colt.  Rifles running back Michael Ritchott was also a Raider during that season.

This will be the only time this season these two clubs face each other, making it more important to win in case of a tie down the road.

The Colts faced the Rifles twice last year and lost both times including a 42-21 loss in Winnipeg, following by a Rifles 28-22 victory the very next week.

Kick off at Investors Group Field is set for 7:00pm.

The Game of the Week in the PFC Rivalry Week is without a doubt the battle for first place as the Hilltops host the Thunder on Saturday night at 7:00pm.

This is one of the best rivalries in the Canadian Junior Football with so much history surrounding the two clubs.  Since 2003 these teams have met each other 24 times during the regular season with the Hilltops winning 19 times.  That said, in the last three regular season match-ups in Saskatoon, the Thunder have left with victories, including last year’s Hilltop home opener.  If you were to count the PFC final in 2013 the Thunder are on a four game winning streak in Saskatoon.

As a matter fact the last loss the Hilltops suffered was to the Thunder on September 6 of last year.  They have won 11 straight including playoffs and the 2014 Canadian Bowl.

This season these two clubs are the highest scoring teams and have given up the fewest amount of points.  Both starting quarterbacks have been terrific with the top two passer efficiency ratings and have combined for 1,134 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Jaeden Marwick has completed 37 passes or 68.5% while Jared Andreychuck has completed 40 passes or 59.7%.  Marwick leads the PFC with 10 touchdown passes including five last week.  Andreychuck has a Conference high 591 yards.

As good as the quarterbacks have been, the run game has been bone crushing.  The Thunder’s Colton Klassen leads the PFC in carries (48) and yards (493).   The Hilltops’ Logan Fischer is showing his shiftiness with 37 carries, 325 yards and three touchdowns.

Defensively the two clubs have been great.  The Hilltops have allowed a Conference low 27 points, or nine points a game, while the Thunder are allowing 18 points per game.

The Thunder are a Conference high +11 in takeaways/giveaways, compared to the Hilltops’ +8.

Last week both teams allowed nine points in their third wins of the season.  The Thunder scored 78 points, while the Hilltops put up 65.

This Saturday night has all the making of another classic at Saskatoon Minor Football Field.

Going to a game this weekend in the PFC?  Use the hashtag #cjflrivalry

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