The University of Regina Rams were unable to make the big play when it was needed, falling to the University of Manitoba Bisons Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.
A dropped pass that looked like it could go for a touchdown and a fumble at the Bisons’ goal-line led to the 18-15 loss. This was the Bisons first win of the year.
Both defensive units were able to keep the opposing team’s offences from finding the end zone until the fourth quarter, when Frankie Gray rushed for a touchdown after coming in at quarterback.
The Bisons defense, which was ranked fourth in total defense coming into the game, forced three interceptions from Picton, last year’s Hec Crighton trophy winner, and scored a touchdown when Jayden McKoy returned one in the second quarter. That would be the Bisons only touchdown of the game.
Before the game Saturday, the Bisons defence had only forced two fumbles this season and had no interceptions.
After the game, head coach Steve Bryce said the Bisons gameplan had some stuff they hadn’t seen before in their game film.
“They were shifting their coverage around a little bit, they were rolling their coverage and taking away some of the passing lanes, things we haven’t seen them do yet and hats off to them too, they had a great game plan and they came in and executed it well too.”
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Picton was able to get a big gain through the air, tossing it up to his cousin, Mitchell Picton. That catch, and a roughing the passer penalty, set up the Rams first and only touchdown of the game.
The Rams defense was able to keep the team in it, getting stops when they needed too and a key interception by linebacker Danny Nesbitt.
“They were solid, I think we let them down on offence actually,” Bryce said.
The Rams did have a chance to tie the game late but Thomas Huber’s field goal attempt went wide, ending the Rams chances at a comeback.
Bryce said the inability to make the key plays was what put the game out of reach.
“We shot ourselves in the foot numerous times with turnovers, all over the place with offsides and, with some cases, just not tackling very well,” Bryce said. “I just thought we got outplayed in the first half, and they came here to play a game and I think our guys thought they just might have to show up, but I hope that’s not the case but we didn’t execute well.”
The Rams now have a 2-2 record for the year so far.
Their next game is in Saskatoon when they meet the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Sept. 29.