NEW WESTMINSTER – Noah Picton’s incredible start to the 2016 Canada West season continues.
The Regina Rams quarterback is the conference offensive player of the week for the second time in as many weeks, as the pivot led the Rams to their first win of the season with a record-setting performance.
Picton tossed for 499 yards and set school records for both completions (40) and attempts (60) in Regina’s 41-38 win over the Manitoba Bisons. The victory was Regina’s first since Nov. 1, 2014.
Through just two weeks, Picton now sits with 980 yards passing and eight passing touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Saskatchewan’s Spencer Krieger is the player of the week after recording a sack and a fumble recovery in the Huskies’ 29-17 win over the Alberta Golden Bears.
The defensive back helped Saskatchewan by limiting Alberta to 350 yards of total offence, as the Huskies improved to 2-0 on the season.
Winning special team honours this week is Calgary Dino Denzel Radford. The return man electrified more than 7,500 fans at McMahon Stadium in a rematch of last year’s Hardy Cup against UBC.
Radford’s 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter helped the Dinos to a convincing 35-8 win over the defending national champion Thunderbirds.
Week 3 of the Canada West football season opens this Friday, when the Manitoba Bisons welcome the Alberta Golden Bears to Investors Group Field (7 p.m. CT / Canadawest.tv) and the Huskies host the Dinos in Saskatoon at Griffiths Stadium (7 p.m. SK / Shaw, Access and Canadawest.tv).
Picton and the Rams wrap up the week with a west coast trip to take on UBC on Saturday, Sept. 17 (5 p.m. PT / Canadawest.tv).
OFFENCE: Noah Picton
Game log: Thursday, Sept. 8 – 40-for-60, 499 yards passing, 4 TD, 0 INT, 21 rushing yards and a rushing TD in 41-38 W vs. Manitoba.
After an incredible performance in a Week 1 loss at Saskatchewan, third-year quarterback Noah Picton managed to outdo himself in Week 2. He put up even more impressive numbers against No. 8-ranked Manitoba, and much more importantly led the Rams to a late come-from-behind win over the Bisons. Picton completed 40 of his 60 pass attempts to set school single-game records in both categories, finishing with a career-high 499 passing yards and matching his career high of four touchdown passes that he set last week.
Picton was brilliant in crunch time, going 11-for-13 for 143 yards in the game’s final five minutes while leading the Rams on two lengthy scoring drives – one he finished off himself with a one-yard plunge, and the other a nine-play, 104-yard drive capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Schienbein that stood as the game-winning score.
Through two weeks, Picton is Canada West’s runaway leader in every passing statistic including completions (69), attempts (101), completion rate (68.3%), passing yards (980), and touchdown passes (8).
DEFENCE: Spencer Krieger
Game log: Friday, Sept. 9 – six solo tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery in a 29-17 W @ Alberta.
University of Saskatchewan defensive back Spencer Krieger led the Huskies to a 29-17 win over the University of Alberta Golden Bears on the weekend with six solo tackles, one fumble recovery and one sack.
The fifth-year Business student set a personal best in tackles in a game with six. He also recorded the games only solo sack and recovered an Alberta fumble in the fourth quarter that led to a Saskatchewan field goal.
Saskatchewan (2-0) returns home to host the No. 3-ranked Calgary Dinos (2-0) in an early battle for first place in the Canada West Friday night.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Denzel Radford
Game log: Friday, Sept. 9 – 97-yard KO return TD in 35-8 W vs. UBC.
Denzel Radford only had one touch of the ball Friday night against UBC, but did he ever make it count.
After UBC scored its lone touchdown of the game early in the third quarter, the third-year receiver/returner stepped back to receive the ensuing kickoff. After eluding seven would-be tacklers, Radford took the ball all the way down to UBC’s 6-yard line – a 97-yard kickoff return, setting up a Quentin Chown touchdown on the very next play as the Dinos snuffed out any momentum the Thunderbirds had gained from the touchdown.
Radford and the Dinos (2-0) engage in a first-place battle with Saskatchewan (2-0) Friday night in Saskatoon, live on Shaw TV and CanadaWest.tv.