John Gaudes - Bisons Sports Information
A batted down two-point conversion attempt on the game's final play play secured a 32-31 overtime win for the Regina Rams over the Manitoba Bisons on what was an historic day for Rams pivot Noah Picton.
Career U SPORTS records don't come around too often, and Regina quarterback Noah Picton achieved his in style on Saturday afternoon. His 35-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Borsa in the first overtime gave him the record for most career passing yards, while also giving the Rams a game-winning touchdown over the Manitoba Bisons.
With 296 yards passing in the win, in front of 1,291 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, fifth-year Picton passed former Sherbrooke QB Jérémi Roch and now has 11,497 career passing yards — a new hallmark for U SPORTS football.
The win also improves Regina to 3-2, while Manitoba loses their Homecoming Game and falls to 2-3.
Picton's throw to Borsa was a momentum-stealer for Regina, as the Bisons made it three straight weeks with a flurry of scoring in the fourth quarter. After a relatively tame first half — ending in the Rams leading 11-6, then opening that lead to 25-8 with 7:13 left in the fourth — the Bisons finally found pay dirt.
With just under five minutes left, Bisons quarterback Des Catellier found Shai Ross with a looping pass, getting the Herd within ten. After some a pair of strong defensive stands from Manitoba, the Bisons got the ball back with two minutes left.
"I was really proud of the defence," said Bisons linebacker Brody Williams. "We game plan against [Picton] all the time… You have to game plan against that guy, he played really well today too."
Then, with just 48 seconds left, Catellier found Macho Bockru for a 37-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 25. Catellier would finish 22-for-35, with 341 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.
Though the Bisons had a late opportunity to finish things off with a near-runback by Marcel Arruda-Welch, the game went to overtime.
Regina opened with possession, quickly scoring on the Picton pass to Borsa. Picton would finish 20-for-30, with 296 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. In addition to his game-winning receiving TD, Borsa led all players in rushing yards, running 16 times for 128 yards and one touchdown.
Responding, Manitoba worked the ball down to the 16-yard line, when Catellier found Shai Ross for his second touchdown reception of the game. Along with his scores, Ross would finish with 62 yards on five catches.
"I had a short route and the guy was playing the sticks so I converted it to a fade. Des threw a great ball," said Ross.
A big play followed, as Manitoba opted to try to win the game with a two-point convert. Set up at the five, Catellier's pass was knocked down at the line, giving the game its final score.
The narrow loss is another heart-breaker for Manitoba, who have the best point differential of the teams in the bottom half of the Canada West conference (+13). It's also their second loss under two points at home this season.
Regina, meanwhile, gets a very important win for the standings. They improve to 3-2 (the Bisons fall to 2-3) and are tied with Saskatchewan (3-2) for second place in Canada West.
Bison football will have a bye week before traveling to Calgary to play the Dinos. That game will be played Friday, October 12 at 8 p.m. and is available to watch on CanadaWest.tv.