By: University of Regina Sports Information
REGINA, Sask. – Mitchell Picton caught two first-half touchdown passes as the No. 6-ranked University of Regina Rams took a 28-18 victory over the Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.
The score stayed 21-12 in favour of the Rams for the entire second half until the final two minutes of the game, when the teams traded touchdowns. Sam Varao jumped on a fumbled ball in the Alberta end zone to put the Rams up by 16 but just four plays later, Golden Bears quarterback/punter Brad Baker found Colby Miller in the end zone with 1:15 still remaining on the clock.
Alberta had a chance to make it a one-score game, but a pass on the ensuing two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete and the Rams took possession after an attempted onside kick to seal the win.
It was the seventh time in Picton's career that he's ended up with multiple touchdown catches, and the fifth-year slotback is now tied with Jason Clermont for second on the school's all-time list with 19. Picton finished with seven catches for 69 yards, while Kyle Moortgat was the game's leading receiver with career-high totals of 11 catches and 107 receiving yards. Rams quarterback Noah Picton completed 30 of his 42 pass attempts for a total of 334 yards as he moves from eighth all the way up to fifth on Canada West's all-time passing yardage list. Atlee Simon finished with 15 rushes for 85 yards, the longest of which was on a 23-yard jaunt late in the game that eventually resulted in Varao jumping on the ball in the end zone for his second career touchdown.
Nicholas Dheilly had a sack for the Rams (2-1) and also applied heavy pressure to Baker on a play early in the first quarter which resulted in an intentional grounding call and a safety. Danny Nesbitt and Cole Benkic each had five solo and three assisted tackles, while Nesbitt and Zack McEachern also shared a sack early in the fourth.
Baker finished 18-for-36 for Alberta, but connected for seven passes of at least 20 yards and piled up 311 passing yards. Nathan Rowe led the Golden Bears (0-3) with five catches for 105 yards, while Ed Ilnicki had 60 yards rushing. Aaron Chabaylo and Trevyon Walsh each led Alberta's defence with seven solo and four assisted tackles, while Chabaylo, Blake Adams, and Jacob Narbonne all had sacks for the Golden Bears.
The Rams will now prepare for their second consecutive home game with Manitoba (0-3) coming to town next Saturday. Alberta will also be at home next weekend with a game against a UBC team that's 1-1 heading into Saturday night's game against Saskatchewan.
NOTES: Saturday's game was the first as defensive coordinator for Alberta's Paul Dawson, who had the same role for the Rams from 2001 to 2015 ... Dheilly now has at least a share of a sack in all three of Regina's games this season.