The Saskatoon Hilltops punched yet another ticket to the Prairie Football Conference (PFC) final with a 58-5 win over the Winnipeg Rifles.
Big plays, big touchdowns and big celebrations.
It’s a script we’ve heard before.
“Feels great,” Hilltops head coach Tom Sargeant said. “Ultimately at the end of the day with playoffs, you just want to keep moving to the next week and we’ve done that.”
“I’m just looking forward to getting back to work and making this team even better.”
Sargeant might have a tough task ahead of him asking players to improve on their performances.
Quarterback Jordan Walls looked comfortable on a windy day at SMF Field, dropping balls into receivers waiting arms for big gains all game long as he completed 18 of 29 passes for 473 yards and 4 touchdowns.
“It’s the evolution of a fifth-year quarterback,” Sargeant said.
“Now he’s got it right. He’s seen everything, he’s trusting his players and he’s leading us. Couldn’t be more proud of a fifth-year guy leading the Hilltops the right way.”
Josh Ewanchyna ran early and often in the first half. He racked up 157 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while adding 68 yards and another touchdown through the air.
A halftime score of 26-5 quickly got away from the Rifles as Saskatoon wore its opponent down in the final half.
Rifles quarterback Riley Naujoks was inches away from completing his first touchdown, but was intercepted by Toppers defender Logan Kelsey-Stern who took it back the other way for a 115-yard pick-six touchdown.
“It was pretty exhausting — that’s a long way to run,” he said after the game. “I saw (teammate) Evan Kretzer come up beside and me and thought ‘holy! this is real!'”
Saskatoon’s defence has allowed a combined 75 points this season en route to a 12th straight PFC finals trip for the junior football club.
Tanner Rhode paced all receivers on Sunday, catching eight passes for 193 yards and a touchdown, while Jason Price scored two touchdowns on five catches for 191 yards.
“I believe with this offence we have, with this whole team we have, that we can come out and really show up next week and come out with another win hopefully,” Price said.
Saskatoon will now face the Edmonton Huskies Sunday at SMF Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
A Hilltops win next week will put the Canadian Junior Football League Championship at SMF Field on Nov. 17 as the championship hosting duties fall on a PFC team this season.