Huskies open season with win over Rams (VIDEO)

Fifth-year receiver Mitch Stevens scored three touchdowns to lead the No. 9 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies to a 40-33 season opening win over the University of Regina Rams Friday night in Saskatoon.


Stevens tallied at 13:29 in the first quarter on a 11-yard play, again at 14:16 in the second on a 29-yard grab and finally at 8:16 in the fourth to seal the Huskies’ win. The veteran Saskatchewan offence combined for 507 yards in the high scoring affair.

It is the 11th straight year the Huskies have won their Canada West conference debut.

Saskatchewan seemed to have the game in control leading 22-7 after the first frame and shutting the Rams in the second quarter 10-0 to lead 32-7 at half. But Regina found a bounce in their step in the second half.

A missed Huskies’ field goal seemed to be the turning point for Regina. Rams’ quarterback Cayman Shutter hooked up with receiver Jared Janotta for a 24-yard pass over the middle leading to a 34-yard Zach Schmidt field goal at 11:13 of the third quarter.

An interception by Connor Ketchen on the Huskies’ ensuing drive led to a Landon Buch touchdown. Shutter then found Kolten Solomon for a 98-yard catch and run. The Rams completed the two-point convert to close the gap to eight.

Making up for a botched snap in the first quarter giving the Huskies’ a safety, Justin Edralin recovered a Saskatchewan fumble in the end zone on a punt. After a two-point conversion, the game was tied at 33.

After Stevens’ third score put the Huskies ahead, the final minutes would be wild for both sides. The Huskies failed to put together first downs to kill the clock, while the Rams would throw two interceptions, one by punter Zach Schmidt after a bobbled snap, in the final minutes.

Burko finished the night 23-of-35 for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Shutter went 20-for-40 for 319 yards and one touchdown in his first CIS game.

After Stevens’ 83 yards on five catches was Garrett Burgess. The fifth-year receiver had 7 catches for 54 yards. Running back Dexter Janke would finish the night with 116 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in his first game since suffering a knee injury in 2012. The Huskies rushed for a combined 267 yards.

Addison Richards was the top receiver for Regina with 105 yards on nine catches. Michael Kiapway had seven carries for 19 yards and a touchdown.

Saskatchewan held the Rams offense to just 299 yards, had five sacks and forced four turnovers. Leading the way was defensive back Keegan Arnyek with 5.5 tackles and one interception.

Regina was led on defense by defensive back Brady Aulie’s seven tackles. Linebacker Michael Stefanovic had six tackles and a forced fumble.

The Rams will host Calgary in Week 2 of the Canada West season, while Saskatchewan will travel to Manitoba.

Photo credit:  Josh Schaefer

Source:  Saskatchewan Huskies Sports Information

Regina Rams Week 1 Loss

SASKATOON  – The University of Regina Rams staged a valiant second-half comeback, but were topped 40-33 by the No. 9-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday night at Griffiths Stadium in what was both teams’ first Canada West game of the 2013 season.

The Rams trailed 33-7 at one point in the third quarter, but reeled off 26 consecutive points to tie up the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth. Saskatchewan would have a response, though, as the Huskies drove downfield and finished off an eight-play, 72-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Stevens that would stand as the final scoring play of the game.

Saskatchewan (1-0) had two players over 100 yards rushing, as Shane Buchanan had 17 carries for 112 yards and Dexter Janke ended up with 110 yards and a touchdown. Drew Burko was 23-for-35 and had 267 passing yards, while Stevens was Saskatchewan’s leading receiver with five catches for 83 yards and caught all three of Burko’s touchdown passes.

Making his first CIS start for Regina (0-1) at quarterback, Cayman Shutter completed 20 of his 40 pass attempts for 284 yards including a 98-yard touchdown strike to Kolten Solomon late in the third. Solomon and Addison Richards tied for the game high with 105 receiving yards.

Brady Aulie led the Rams with seven solo tackles to go along with two assisted tackles, while Michael Stefanovic had three tackles for loss. Connor Ketchen added an interception for the Rams which he ran back all the way to Saskatchewan’s four-yard line. The Huskies got through the U of R’s offensive line for five sacks, with Geoffrey Hughes collecting 2.5 of those. Keegan Arnyek, Dylan Kemp, Braxton Lawrence, and Timi Agbaje all had interceptions for Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan got off to a quick start in the first quarter, scoring the game’s first 15 points on a pair of field goals, a conceded safety following a bad long snap, and a 32-yard Dexter Janke touchdown run. The Rams got the offence rolling midway through the opening quarter after Shutter threw completions to Richards on four consecutive plays, which led to a five-yard touchdown run by Michael Kiapway.

The Huskies restored the 15-point lead before the first quarter ended, getting an 11-yard touchdown catch by Mitch Stevens to take a 22-7 lead into the second.  A third field goal by Denton Kolodzinki and another touchdown catch by Stevens before halftime gave Saskatchewan a 32-7 advantage at the break.

After a Saskatchewan single midway through the third quarter, the Rams put together a massive comeback. First was a 34-yard field goal by Zach Schmidt, and then the U of R scored three touchdowns in a span of five minutes. The first major followed Ketchen’s interception late in the third, with Landon Buch finishing it off with a one-yard plunge on a third-down gamble. After a two-and-out for Saskatchewan following the Rams’ successful two-point conversion, Shutter found Solomon for a 98-yard touchdown pass and another two-point conversion brought the Rams to within seven heading into the fourth.

The Rams’ next drive fizzled out, but Schmidt’s punt into the end zone was muffed by Saskatchewan’s Travoy Martinez and Justin Edralin pounced on it to tie up the game at 33-33.

After Stevens’ third touchdown reception of the game gave Saskatchewan a 40-33 lead, the Rams had a few last-minute chances to put together a game-tying drive but weren’t able to solve the Huskies’ defence in the waning moments of the contest. An Arnyek interception with 42 seconds left essentially sealed the win for Saskatchewan.

The Rams will host their Canada West home opener next Friday night (7:00) against Calgary at Mosaic Stadium.

NOTES: Tevaughn Campbell had a 71-yard kickoff return for the Rams in the first quarter, the fifth longest in U of R history and the longest since Neal Hughes had 89-yard and 80-yard returns against Saint Mary’s in the 2000 Atlantic Bowl … Ketchen’s 59-yard interception return is tied for the fifth longest in school history … Shutter’s 98-yard completion to Solomon is the fifth longest in University of Regina history … Campbell also had a 52-yard punt return and led all players with 192 all-purpose yards.

Source: Regina Rams Sports Information

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