Regina Riot makes statement in historic win over undefeated Saskatoon Valkyries

With 535 spectators at Mosaic Stadium on May 12, the Regina Riot made a tremendous statement. In competing against a Saskatoon Valkyries franchise that never lost a game in WWCFL history, the Riot had successfully snapped their winning streak.

Quickly emerging as the signature rivalry in the WWCFL, the Battle of Saskatchewan is one that features over a dozen players that were named to the Canadian National Team. Riot quarterback Aimee Kowalski (one of the National Team selections) provided great confidence as the Valkyries appeared vulnerable.

When the Riot first played Saskatoon in May 2011, they were trounced by a 56-6 score. Of note, that victory marked the beginning of Saskatoon’s unbeaten streak (which also led to two championships). The tide has now turned as the Riot reached a significant breakthrough in their club history with a 15-7 win, testament to their improved defense.

As the Riot franchise will be hosting the WWCFL championship game in 2013, the win reflects a tremendous sign of encouragement. Defensive co-ordinator Marcus Chunky Adams (a former CFL competitor) was acting head coach as Darren Fisher unable to attend Sunday’s game, the Riot showed how disciplined and competitive they were.

Saskatoon was overwhelmed by Regina’s powerful running game. With over 175 combined yards rushing, Regina managed to gain ball control, while keeping Saskatoon’s offense off the field. Carmen Agar was the leading rusher in the victory as she pounded out 126 yards, complemented by a 28-yard score (her third of the season). Amanda Hungle would provide 49 yards and a touchdown, respectively.

Defensively, Regina was able to force Saskatoon into a safety during the third period for a two points. Once again, Adrienne Zuck made the difference. In the prior week, she returned a punt for a touchdown. With the victory against Saskatoon, she led all players on the Riot defense with 7.5 tackles.

For the Valkyries, the play of quarterback Candace Bloomquist is a point of concern. Having struggled in her first two games of the season, her performance will serve as an indicator as to whether the squad can compete for a championship. Julie David turned in an 84 yard performance against Regina and will be relied upon heavily should Bloomquist continue to struggle.

With the other squads in the Prairie Conference struggling, all roads point to a collision between Saskatoon and Regina in a postseason confrontation to determine the conference title. These two titans of the gridiron will resume their regular season rivalry on May 26 in Saskatoon.

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