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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


I saw this picture online and thought it was pretty sweet.


Well seen as I didn’t get a chance to talk with Head Coach Erwin Klempner after Sundays game, I sat down with him last night at practice and asked him what his thoughts were on the game.


All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update by PhilTheThrill18

Coach was doing a team building thing with the boys afterwards so I wasn’t able to talk with any of the guys but that will come later on in the week.  On twitter yesterday defensive lineman Drew Barss tweeted about his flow being ready for the team picture yesterday. I tweeted back that he probably had the best hair on the team but after thinking a while there are some guys that give him a run for his money. Linebacker Yianni Cabylis and Tanner Hope have some pretty good flow going on. The Thunder will continue practicing this week and next before they head to Saskatoon on September 10. You have to think this is a must win game and I would be surprised if the guys don’t come out firing, wanting to put last weekend behind them.
The PFC Players of the Week have been announced. No surprise that Rifles quarterback Ryan Marsch got the offensive honors.  He threw for 425 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Thunder. He has racked up 1094 passing yards through three weeks.
Defensive player of the week went to the Hilltop’s Richard Zacharias for the second time this year. Richard had 8 tackles and an interception in the Hilltops third win of the season. He sits sixth in defensive points in the PFC with 34.
Another Hilltop was honored this week, Zach Schmidt has been named special teams player of the week after a 3 for 3 field goal night. He hit from 22, 24 and 35 yards. He also punted the ball 12 times for an average of almost 43 yards including a 71 yard punt single on the final play of the game.
Congrats to all the players honored this week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update



Its a bye week in terms of games for the Thunder but practises will continue starting tonight. After a lackluster showing in Winnipeg on the weekend I'm sure the coaches are anxious to put that game behind them and focus on the task ahead, the Saskatoon Hilltops. After the defense was unbeatable through two weeks they gave up a whopping 52 points to the Rifles. Ryan Marsch threw for 6 touchdowns in the game and over 400 yards. Wyatt Catley also had himself a game throwing for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kolten Solomon led the way in receiving with 138 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game. I was impressed again with the play of Derek Pilon and Joeseph Todd in the secondary, Brett Selinger has done an exceptional job filling in for Philmon Bairu at middle linebacker. However with all the offensive numbers there was way to many numbers to counter act them. 17 penalties worth 175 yards, 3 interceptions, and a turnover on downs. Not to mention Zach Evans ejected in the first half and the Thunder found themselves losing and losing big time. The Rifles are a good team, don't get me wrong but the Thunder made them look like all stars. 1 and 2 now the Thunder are going to need a win in Saskatoon if they expect to host a home playoff game. With Calgary and Saskatoon at 3-0 so far there is some ground to make up but I believe this team has what it takes. I said last week that this was a special group and that they had a real team feel about them, however that got lost in the woodwork on Sunday. These coaches have what it takes to pick this team up and put them straight, it starts tonight.

I will have audio from practise tonight on the blog tomorrow, stay tuned.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Winnipeg Rifles 52 Regina Thunder 31

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating Thunder Update



The Regina Thunder played in their first road game of the year today and didn't get the effort they wanted taking on the Winnipeg Rifles at Canada Inns Stadium. The team came out of the gates flat and though they did have their moments, undisciplined penalties and miscues really cost them in this one losing 52-31 and falling to 1 and 2 on the season.

The defense gave up over double the points it did in the first two weeks of the season. Ryan Marsch had his way with the Thunder secondary. Zach Evans was ejected from the game after throwing a punch in the first half. The pass rush took a hit without him and Marsch had a lot of time to get rid of the ball. The defense did do a good job stopping the run however. Martin Hovi was held in check for the whole game.

Wyatt Catley and the offense had an up and down night. After an opening drive touchdown they cooled off but had their moments as well. Catley while making a number of good throws, tossed three interceptions but very easily could have been 6 if not for the drops by the Rifles secondary. Holding calls and off sides riddled the offense and killed drives. Whether it was down at the goal line or deep in their own end it seemed an unnecessary penalty was taken at critical times in the game.

Even after all that the Thunder still have a chance to win. Wyatt Catley completed a 13 yard touchdown to Kolten Solomon in the third quarter and then a Rifle fumble on the ensuing kickoff set gave the offense great field position and a chance to pull within 7 points. The penalties and a huge sack by the Rifles killed that drive and Ryan Marsch responded with 2 touchdowns to restore the 21 point lead.

Needless to say the coaches were less than impressed with the club and with the bye week upon them, they will have a lot of time to think about what happened today. Hopfully it will be forgotten quickly. The Hilltops are the next opponent in Saskatoon in early September so things don't get any easier for the club.

Wyatt Catley,  was 33 of 59 in passing on  against the  Rifles. His 59 attempts are the 2nd most in PFC and CJFL history, and his 33 completions tie him for 3rd in the PFC and CJFL all-time.

Wyatt and Ryan Marsch, both had 400+ yards in passing, only the 2nd time in CJFL history that that has been done; the first time was on Aug. 21, 2011 when Ryan and Chase Bradshaw, QB, Saskatoon Hilltops set the same mark.


I talked with defensive coordinator Shawn McCall and Linebacker Yianni Cabylis after the game. heres what they had to say.


Winnipeg Rifles 52 Regina Thunder 31 by PhilTheThrill18

Saturday, August 27, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Thunder Update

The Thunder hit the road today for Winnipeg. Its the first time the Thunder will play a regular season game on the road this year. The defense has shown some pretty special things through two weeks and will look to shutdown a very good passing game led by Ryan Marsch. The offense also broke out last week scoring 44 points, Wyatt Catley, Kolten Solomon and Thomas Ringlein led the way offensively. Philmon Bairu will be out of the lineup for the second straight game, Brett Selinger will get the start at middle linebacker. I got the chance to talk with Head Coach Erwin Klempner after practise last night, here's what he had to say.


Erwin Klempner by PhilTheThrill18

Friday, August 26, 2011

All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Thunder Update


A big congratulations to Thunder place kicker Ben Koot on being named the PFC special teams player of the week. Koot kicked a perfect 3 for 3 in the Thunders 44-10 victory on Sunday, he is 4 for 4 so far on the season. His longest is 38 yards. The offensive award went to the Saskatoon Hilltops quarterback Chase Bradshaw who completed 19 of 30 passes for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns in a win over the Winnipeg Rifles. He also rushed for 15 yards in the game. Defensive honors went to the Calgary Colts Prince Baffoh who forced and recovered a fumble and proceeded to return it 46 yards for a touchdown. He also added 2 sacks in a win for the Colts who are 2-0 on the season and have given up only 15 points through 2 games.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update



Practise resumed for the week last night for the Thunder coming off a big win on Sunday. The offense put up 44 points while the D only gave up 10 points the entire game, that makes 25 on the season. Only the Calgary Colts have allowed less. The mood at practise yesterday was a positive one yet there was still that sense of urgency from the coaches to continue to work and get better. One thing I have noticed in the few weeks to start the season is that this team is a "team". I thought it showed in Sundays game in all phases of the game. These guys are playing for each other and not for themselves. That's what champions are made of. Both coordinators were happy with the play of their teams when I talked to them last night and they only expect the guys to get better. Looking forward the Thunder hit the road Saturday and play Sunday at Canada Inns Stadium in Winnipeg against the Rifles. Winnipeg sits at 1-1 with their loss coming at the hands of the Hilltops, but they have the leading passer in the league in Ryan Marsh who has racked up 669 yards and 7 touchdowns in two games so far this year. they are certainly a different offense from the one the Wildcats brought here over the weekend who were more run happy. However Defensive Coordinator Shawn McCall said last night that the game plan wont change much. Practise will continue tonight and tomorrow before they leave Saturday morning with a much lighter 40 man roster.

Here's the audio from last night:



Thunder Wednesday Practise by PhilTheThrill18

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chris Getzlaf named CFL Canadian Player of the Week



Saskatchewan Roughrider receiver Chris Getzlaf has been named the CFL’s Gibson’s Finest Canadian Player of the Week.

Getzlaf had four catches for a season high 123 receiving yards and a touchdown in last Thursday’s game versus Toronto. The University of Regina product cut into the Argo’s lead early in the fourth quarter with a 70-yard touchdown reception.

So far this season, Getzlaf has recorded 22 receptions for 398 yards and three touchdowns.

All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Thunder Tuesday


The Regina Thunder will enjoy the day off before practise starts in preparations for their first road game of the year on Sunday in Winnipeg against the Rifles. Winnipeg is coming off a loss to the Hilltops this weekend 45-33 in Saskatoon. They are also 1 and 1 on the season. The Thunder broke out offensively on Sunday scoring a season high 44 points on 5 touchdowns and 3 field goals. Quarterback Wyatt Catley played very well throwing for 229 yards on 15 completions and 3 touchdowns. Another key stat, only one interception. Kolten Solomon led them in receiving with 77 yards and a touchdown, he also rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown as well. Jonathan Probe and Mike Scheinbein also caught Catley passes for touchdowns. Running back Thomas Ringlein had a huge night rushing for 124 yards and a touchdown as well as racking up 69 yards through the air. He sits third in the league in rushing after 2 weeks. And now I could talk all day about the play of the defense. What a team effort by the guys who dominated on the line of scrimmage as well as in the secondary. Wildcat quarterback Andrew Johnson was under constant pressure and the only points they were able to score were on short fields after the interception and a short punt. two weeks in a row the D allowed zero points in the second half, pretty impressive stuff. I thought Zach Evans and Boyd Richardson played outstanding along with Blake Irwin and Mike Ingram. Overall a much cleaner game in terms of penalties and turnovers and when you play like that the wins will take care of themselves.

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The Riders are in their bye week but there is no shortage of interest in theteam even though they aren't out on the practise field. Darian Durant spoke to the media yesterday as did Doug Berry. Darian said it is unfortunate that Marshall and Berry had to be let go but that its the nature of the business. Like Rod said on the sportscage yesterday the biggest standout in the 10 minute interview was "the guys are happy, they never wanted Ken Miller to leave in thefirst place." Understandably so after two straight Grey Cup appearances. Darian also says he feels that he will have a bigger say in the offense with Miller at the helm. One thing that I am so sick of hearing is about the personnel that aren't here on the roster. We can talk forever about how Fantuz, Bagg and Koch aren't here but that doesn't change a thing. Sure Fantuz is probably going to end up back with the green and white but he isn't going to magically fix this team. In my opinion, the sooner this team forgets about who's not here the sooner things will start to turn around.

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Fantuz caught a single pass for 6 yards last night in the Bears loss to the Giants.




Sunday, August 21, 2011

All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder - Post Game Reactions




In the post game hustle and bustle I only got a chance to talk to Zach Evans and Head Coach Erwin Klempner. I do promise however to have more from practise later in the week. I could have interviewed the whole team they played so well.

Heres what Zach and Coach had to say....


Poet Game Reactions by PhilTheThrill18

Regina Thunder 44 Edmonton Wildcats 10


The Regina Thunder Welcomed the Edmonton Wildcats this afternoon to Mosaic Stadium. Both teams were in search of their first win on the season. The temperatures were hot on the field but the boys played hard and left everything out there in front of 728 faithful in the stands.

The Thunder kicked off to start the game and the defense got its first crack at Wildcat quarterback Andrew Johnson and the offense. They got off to a good start with a quick 2 and out.

After a shanked punt by EDM kicker David Ness the Thunder started at their own 39 and on the first play from scrimmage Thomas Ringlein busted off a huge 62 yard run down to the Wildcat 9 yard line. 2 plays later Wyatt Catley on his first pass of the game hits Kolten Solomon in the endzone for the 8 yard touchdown. Ben Koot's convert was good 7-0 Thunder just 2:26 into the game. What a start for the offense who struggled in the red zone last week.

The Wildcats then took the ball and moved it to the Thunder 35 on two big runs by Andrew Johnson and Taylor Souster, the drive stalled and on third down the Wildcats put the field goal team on the field but a bad snap and a good play by Derek Pilon in the backfield forced a turnover on downs.

After two punts the Thunder took over on their own 15 yard line. Wyatt Catley threw into double coverage and he was picked off by Kevin Hanson who returned it to the 1 yard line. The very next play Taylor Souster plunged into the endzone for the game tieing Touchdown. 7-7. That was the first Wildcat TD of the season.

Offensive Coordinator Stefan Endsin true to his word after the Hilltops game implemented the run a lot more in the first quarter, 7-7 tie at the end of 1.

The Thunder implemented a bit of a wildcat offense to start the second quarter. Twice Kolten Solomon took the direct snap up the middle. The second time was for a 23 yard touchdown, his second of the day, capping a 11 play 96 yard drive that took 6:20 off the clock. 14-7 Thunder with 12 minutes left in the half.

The Wildcats responded with a drive of their own marching 75 yards on 8 plays but the Thunder defense came up big, first a big knockdown by Linebacker Jaren Wirth and then a stop on second down. Then a 12 yard field goal attempt by Ryan Smith is off the upright and no good. Still 14-7.

The Thunder couldnt get a first down after the miss and then a 30 yard punt and a 15 yard penalty and the Wildcats started on Regina's 35 yard line. One first down later they were forced to try another field goal this time from 34 yards. Jaren Wirth made his first of the night 14-10 with 4:37 left in the second.

Kolten Solomon continued his returning success with 44 yard kickoff return to the Wildcat 53. He then caught a 16 yard pass. Wyatt Catley then capped off the drive with a 5 yard toss to Jonathan Probe for TD. 21-10 was how its stood at halftime. Catley had himself a first half to remember passing for 71 yards and 2 TD's. Thomas Ringlein already had 112 yards rushing at halftime.

The Thunder got the ball first in the third and Kolten Solomon continued to shine with a catch and run for 38 yards. That set up a beautiful 17 yard touchdown pass by Wyatt Catley to Mike Schinbien. 28-10 Thunder 2:17 into the third.

After a Wildcat Punt the Thunder offense took over at midfield and after a third down conversion they filed to put it in the endzone so out came Ben Koot to kick a 35 yard field goal. He made no mistake 31-10 at 9:21 of the third quarter.

At that point in the third quarter the Thunder defense looked unbeatable. The D line playing awesome getting good pressure on Johnson.

Again the Thunder moving the ball late in the third big pass to Mike Schinbien and then a screen play to Thomas Ringlein and they were already at the 1 yard line. Thomas would punch it in for the touchdown 38-10 and there was still over 15 minutes left. The Thunder were clicking on all cylinders.

The Wildcats managed 2 first downs on their next drive that started on their own 48. 5 plays later Jaren Smith tried a 43 yard field goal that was short and left. still 38-10 Thunder. Defense playing outstanding in the entire game.

38-10 after 3 quarters.

In the 4th Thunder backup QB Asher Hastings got his first action of 2011, along with most of the backups.

The defense continued its dominance Zach Evans sacking Johnson about a half yard from a safety and then Zach Evans again stuffed the run on the 1 yard line forcing the Wildats to take a safety or so everyone thought but they punted. Joseph Todd returned it to the 31 yard line setting up great field position for Hastings and the offense. But after a sack for a loss of 5 and an incomplete pass The Thunder settled for a 33 yard field goal. Ben Koot stayed perfect on the day 41-10 with 8:17 remaining.

The bleeding did stop a little bit for the Wildcats as they forced a turnover late in the 4th on a backwards pass that was dropped by Derek Bell. However they couldnt do anything with it and punted the ball right back. Thunder defense steller again.

Derek Bell redeems his fumble with a massive 25 yard run late in the 4th. He looked unstoppable running over three defenders.

The Thunder would add a late 30 yard Ben Koot field goal.

Final Score 44-10 Thunder.

A great team effort by the Thunder who played outstanding football in all phases of the game. This is what everyone expected from this team who get their first win on the season.

               
Post game reaction yet to come stay tuned.

Its an All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Thunder Gameday

1 o'clock this afternoon the Regina Thunder will kick off week 2 and their second game at Mosaic Stadium this season. Today's opponent is the Edmonton Wildcats who are also looking for their first win of 2011. The Wildcats lost 9-5 to the Calgary Colts in week 1 and really struggled passing the ball. Andrew Johnson and Jordan Olson combined went 6 for 18 passing for only 63 yards and an interception. Contrary to the Thunder the Wildcats are a run first team and did that with some success against Calgary. Running back Taylor Souster put up 79 yards on the ground, total the Wildcats managed 129 yards rushing. Defensively Edmonton forced 5 fumbles from the Colts and recovered 4 of them, however they gave the ball up themselves 4 times. On paper this looks like a favorable match up for the Thunder who probably have a better offense, but the Wildcats showed what they can do on defense last week so the Regina offense is going to have to play well and take care of the football. After another week of practise Coach Klempner is expecting his guys to execute much better than they did against the Hilltops. Again kickoff is at 1 at Mosaic Stadium. Give me a follow on twitter @PhilTheThrill18 and I will have live updates as the game goes on.

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The Jays lost again to the Athletics 5-1 and had their bats shut down for the second straight game. In the last two games the Jays have managed only 1 run and 7 hits combined. Rookie Henderson Alvarez was on the mound last night and pitched very well giving up only 2 runs over 6 innings but lost because the Jays couldn't give him any run support. Granted Jose Bautista sat out with a stiff neck and Adam Lind left after 2 innings after taking a pitch to the wrist. Jesse Litsch gave up 2 insurance runs in the 8th and then in the 9th Jays fans got their first look at Rommie Lewis. He came in with 2 outs in the 8th and a man on, thins didn't go well against his first ever major league batter Josh Willingham who went yard stretching the lead to 5-1. Lewis would retire the next batter but talk about a crappy way to make your debut in the majors. Not how he pictured it I'm sure. The Jays finish off the 4 game set tonight looking for the split. Luis Perez will get his first start for the Jays while Oakland counters with Guillermo Moscoso.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

GREG MARSHALL PRESS CONFERENCE



Former Coach of the Riders Greg Marshall held a press conference today after being let go yesterday. All I have to say is what a class act he is.


GREG MARSHALL PRESS CONFERENCE by PhilTheThrill18

All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update



It was walk through day today for the Regina Thunder. The final practice before they welcome the Edmonton Wildcats to Mosaic Stadium tomorrow. Both teams are in search of their first win and in an 8 game season neither can afford to go oh and 2. The Thunder and Wildcats played only once in the regular season last year. Regina won that game on opening day in the PFC season.  The Thunder finished 6-2 while the Wildcats were 3-5. However this is by no means a cake walk, Edmonton lost in a close one 9-5 to the Calgary Colts last week and from what I’ve heard there are no easy wins this year in the league.  I can imagine the Thunder offense is anxious to get out there and do what they didn’t against the Hilltops, finish drives. Wyatt Catley had an up and down game throwing for 221 yards a touchdown but also a couple picks. Kolten Solomon led the way receiving with 56 yards on 7 catches, Clay Cooke caught the touchdown.  Defensively the Thunder looked pretty good in week one giving up only 15 points and they were lead by linebacker Philmon Bairu who had 10 tackles in the game and an interception. However Phil will not be playing tomorrow with a separated shoulder. Linebacker Will Kyle also had a good game tallying 8 tackles and he is going to have to step up in Bairu’s absence.  Come out and cheer on the Regina Thunder at Mosaic Stadium tomorrow at 1 o’clock. If you can’t make it I will be live tweeting the game from the booth. @PhilTheThrill18

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ken Miller Named Head Coach



The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have released head coach Greg Marshall and offensive coordinator Doug Berry from their contracts. Vice-President of Football Operations Ken Miller will take over the head coaching duties effective immediately.


Brenden Taman and Ken Miller by PhilTheThrill18

Thats 4 Straight

1 and 7. God that sounds awful. All I can think to say today is that they were lucky to not be playing a team like Montreal or Calgary because to be down only 21 after 3 quarters of some of the worst football I've seen, is almost hard to believe. The offense got off to another tough start with Darians first pass fumbling out of his hands and getting recovered by the Argos. Who in turn scored a touchdown. The self mutilation continued all game with penalties on every positive play the Riders had both on offense and defense. I don't think I have ever seen a team shoot itself in the foot that bad before in my life. Granted I'm not that old but still. I disagreed with some calls by the officials but when it comes down to it the Riders didn't deserve that win. I also wonder about some of those plays that were called, 3rd down and Darian's in shotgun and Brandon West is starting 3 yards in the backfield on 3rd and 1. He gets tackled for no gain and the Argos get the ball. Now whats even more unbelievable is that on the next 3rd down gamble they ran from the shotgun AGAIN! and if it wasn't for West making a great cut to avoid a tackle it would have been another turnover. And don't even get me started on the final minute of the game. Sure I understand going to the endzone on first and second down but on 3rd down why aren't they just trying to get the 10 yards and a fresh set of downs. I will say Chris Getzlaf almost made a spectacular catch in the endzone but could quite come up with it but after that get the first down and then try again. AND why were there two receivers in the same spot on that 3rd down play. Chris Milo had a tough night missing his first two field goals including a chip shot 27 yarder. I thought Brandon West and Stu Foord played pretty well at running back and that Hill, Dressler and Getzlaf showed up. James Robinson who wouldn't have even played if it wasn't for Dallas Baker being sick made a difference late in the game. I also thought the pass rush looked better and Tearrius George played pretty well.  Its hard to watch knowing that what happened in the 4th quarter is possible for this team, however we have yet to see it for all 4 quarters. To summarize the Argo's are bad enough to almost lose to a team that didn't show up for three quarters, and the Riders have less wins than they do. Last place sure doesn't feel good and I wouldn't be surprised if the peverbial S%#T hits the fan.

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On a more positive note the Jays won again last night this time over the Oakland Athletics 7-0. Ricky Romero pitched a complete game shutout giving up only 3 hits and 2 walks. Romero looks like a Cy Young award winner right now and I think that if he had some more run support early in the year that he would be a serious contender. He is 12 and 9 this season but his ERA is under 3. The future is bright for him that's no doubt. Some more production from the young guns with Cody Rasmus hitting a 2 run bomb in the 4th inning off Cahill and Brett Lawrie picked up his 10th RBI in his, don't quote me on this, 13th game? He also made some outstanding plays on defense, it is definitely an exciting time to be a Blue Jay fan. Bautista, Lind and Encarnacion added RBI's as well in the game while Arencibia had 2. The Jays play game 2 of the 4 game set tonight with Brett Cecil up against Rich Harden.






Thursday, August 18, 2011

All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update



The Thunder held their first practise of the week last night preparing for the Edmonton Wildcats. There were a few guys missing from practise including 5th year linebacker Philmon Bairu, who Coach Erwin says wont play this weekend. Other than that the other injuries seem to be fairly minor and will be monitored as the week goes on.

There was certainly a sense of urgency from the coaches last night to get this team ready for this weekend. The guys were pushed to get their heads into the task at hand and to start making plays in practise.

The offense struggled in week one in the second half so that will be a focal point come Sunday. O/C Stefan Endsin was working with Wyatt Catley and the rest of the offense to eliminate some of the mistakes that cost them last weekend.

General consensus around the defense is that they are pretty happy with their performance against the Hilltop offense. Everyone I talked to said they could have been better on the first drive of the game but that they really settled in after that and held a very good Saskatoon offense to only 15 points and none in the second half.

After practise I got a chance to talk with 5th year defensive end Max Amyotte about the defense. Also talked with starting running back Thomas Ringlein.

I chatted with Defensive Coordinator Shawn McCall and Head Coach Erwin Klempner as well.

Here's what they had to say.

Regina Thunder by PhilTheThrill18

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Sports


All-Rite Plumbing and Heating - Thunder Update

The Regina Thunder will hold their first practise of the week tonight starting at 6. The Thunder have their sights set on The Edmonton Wildcats who will visit Mosaic Stadium on Sunday at 1 PM. Regina will be looking to improve on offense and continue what was started on defense in week ones 15-10 loss to the Hilltops. Some costly mistakes in the second half cost the Thunder with a number of turnovers when they were threatening to score. The Wildcats aren't the caliper of team as the Hilltops but certainly wont be a walk in the park. The Thunder only had one regular season match up with the Wildcats last year and that was their opening game which they won 32-14. Both teams lost their opening games the Colts beat the Wildcats 9-5 last weekend. This is the Thunders last home game until September the 10th so make sure you come out and cheer on the guys. Sunday at 1.

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The Riders will hold their walk through today in Toronto. A number of roster changes with Remond Willis and Hugh Charles out with injuries also Eddie Russ and Tamon George are off the 46 man roster. R J Roberts will get the start in place of Willis and when I talked with Brenden Taman yesterday he says hes probably one of the best athletes at Defensive End, he said that that doesnt necessarily mean he is going to be lights out but Taman is excited to see what he can do. Yvenson Benard will be on the roster and will share reps with Brandon West and Stu Foord at running back. Interestingly Dallas Baker is on the 43, hes only been here a short time so we will see how much action he gets at receiver. Also Defensive Back Elliot Richardson is on for tomorrows game. Listen in on 620 CKRM starting at 4 o'clock. As always I will have Brenden Taman in the pregame show. Game time is 530.

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The Jays redeemed a late inning loss from the night before against the Mariner last night. A quick start with 6 runs in the first and I was thinking it could be a long night for Seattles pitchers. However 3 in the second and 3 in the third off of rookie Brad Mills and quickly it was 6-6. Just when it looked like the Jays would squander another lead they scored 4 in the 5th and 3 in the 6th. Jose Bautista hit his 35th homer of the season in the 6th and the Jays won 13-7. Luis Perez is credited with the win while Seattle's Jason Vargas got the loss. The rubber match is tonight at 8 o'clock with Brandon Morrow up against Blake Beavan.

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Former 11th overall pick of the Buffalo Bills Aaron Maybin was released earlier this week and I was sure his career was over. A huge bust for a first rounder, picking up some outrageously low numbers in his years as a Bill. But it seems the Jets think they can juvenate his career. Notice I didn't say rejuvenate. Also the Colts have signed free agent defensive end Tyler Brayton. The former Raider and Panther has played 8 seasons in the NFL and one would have to think he hurts John Chicks chances of making that team. Could be good news for the Riders, not so good for John.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RIP Rick Rypien



Sad news last night that Vancouver Canuck and former Regina Pat Captain Rick Rypien was found dad in his Alberta home yesterday. The guy played hickey with a lot of heart and wasn't scared to battle the toughest meanest dudes in the league. A buddy of mine shared a video on facebook of a fight against Atlanta Thrasher big man Zenon Konopka. A bit of a dirty play happened in the play where Mason Raymond was kneed by Evander Kane. Obviously Kane wasn't going to fight but Rypien got in the face of Konopka who basically said are you sure you want to do this? Rypien was probably a foot shorter and 50 pounds lighter but he not only held his own but won the fight. Bloodied he left the surface to the roar of the Canuck faithful. TSN's Ray Ferraro is saying on the broadcast "that is amazing that a guy at such a size disadvantage can do what he just did." What a moment, he will be missed. Rest In Peace Rick.

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The Riders practise for the last time at Mosaic this week before heading to Toronto this afternoon. Bug game between 1 and 6 teams on Thursday. Coming into work yesterday morning there were quite a number of phone calls that came to the after hours cage line for Rod to play on the sportscage. Wow some people are stupid!! Suggestions to play Durant one quarter then switch to Dinwiddie then back and forth again. Also another one of my favorites was that the team should just plain release Dinwiddie because then no one could suggest that he should play. Well its a good thing the fans aren't running this team because they would finish oh and 18 if they were. Sometimes it blows my mind that people are getting so mad and coming up with the most outrageous solutions. I'm not saying all fans are stupid but there are some that go to some pretty extreme lengths to show their displeasure with the 1 and 6 start. I understand the frustration, this team has been winning for a long time now and its become an expected thing however I have faith that things can and will turn around before this season is over. Lets not throw the baby out with the bath water, still 11 games left to get this thing righted and even if that means you win 6 games and finish on a high note. Anything can happen in the playoffs especially if your hot at the right time.

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Well the Jays bullpen let them down again. Henderson Alvarez left the game with a 5-4 lead in line for his first major league victory. Brett Lawrie hit the go ahead home run in front of his family and friends, much to the delight of the many Jays fans at Safeco Field in Seattle. Jesse Litsch came into the game and pitched well finishing off the 6th and 7th innings. Then came Trevor Miller, a guy that came in the Rasmus trade, and he gave up a solo shot to tie the game. In comes John Rauch and the first batter he faces goes yard to take the lead 6-5 for the Mariners. The Jays failed to comeback in the 9th and what looked like a good win for the team turned into another tough late inning loss. The nice thing about baseball is that there is always tomorrow, they will get a chance at redemption tonight.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Mondays Sports



The Riders hit the practise field again today and according to a tweet I saw this morning the team leaves tomorrow for Toronto. A short week and both teams are in desperate need of a win. Cleo Lemon is coming off his best game of the season passing for three touchdowns and 368 yards in a loss to Hamilton. That is unsettling especially after the showing the Rider defense had on Saturday. Cory Boyd was back in the lineup last week rushing for 73 yards and a touchdown, he was a Rider killer last year. However the Argo defense is less than impressive and if Darian can continue what he did at home against Calgary then we might be in for a shootout come Thursday. A win would go a long way headed into the bye week, and then its back to back matchups with the high flying Bombers. The only other game in week 8 is BC in Edmonton and I wouldn't be surprised if the Lions win that game. Well maybe a little surprised but it think its possible.

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The Regina Thunder will get back to work today preparing for week 2 of the PFC season. The Thunder lost a tough one on Saturday to the Hilltops but certainly aren't hanging their heads after a good effort. Up next are the Edmonton Wildcats who lost their home opener as well 9-6 to the Calgary Colts. Edmonton finished 3-5 last year second last in the PFC and will certainly be looking to improve on that this season. The Thunder will look to build on the good things from week 1 and eliminate some of the mistakes that cost them. Kickoff is Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock at Mosaic Stadium.

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The Jays open a three game set in Seattle tonight after winning 2 of 3 over the Angels at the Rogers Center. Brett Lawrie will be playing at home in the series as he grew up very near Seattle. Lawrie has played well in his 9 games so far batting 11-31 for an average of .355 with 7 RBI and 2 homers, one of which was a grand slam. The Jays will send rookie Henderson Alvarez to the mound for his second start of the season. In the first one he pitched 5 and 2/3 innings giving up 3 runs on 8 hits. Not bad for a debut outing. Tonight he faces off against Michael Pineda. Its a late start, 8 o'clock our time.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Sports


Great day to lay on the couch and watch the Jays and the final round of the final major of the year on the PGA Tour. The Jays got a big come from behind win with Johnny Mac Jose Bautista hitting homers. In the 9th inning the Jays trailed 4-3 but after  Cody Rasmus double, Brett Lawrie hit a double of his own to bring home Rasmus and that sent the game to extras. John Rauch pitched a solid 10th, probably the best Ive seen him all season needing only 9 pitches. Then in the Jays half of the 10th Escobar and Bautista walks and up comes Edwin Encarnacion riding a 13 game hit streak and he delivers a single up the middle for the walk off win. The Jays are 8-0 in extras at the Rogers Center this year. They win the series over the Angels 2 games to 1. It is an exciting time to watch the Jays with all the young talent playing well and its only a window into whats to come for this team. Brett Lawrie not only delivered with his bat but played solid defense, the same can be said for Colby Rasmus in center field. Bautista sits with 34 homers now on the year. Next action is tomorrow in Seattle.

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Big congratulations to the Regina Red Sox who are WMBL Champions for the first time in club history. They beat the Okotoks Dawgs 7-3 on the road last night to clinch the trophy. The won the series 3-1 over the Dawgs and Tony Crudo was named the series MVP.

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Whoever said that golf needs Tiger Woods was right to some degree yet Ive not been disappointed with the play this weekend after Tiger missed the cut. It seems that there is always about 5 golfers who were nobodies before that are in contention and playing outstanding golf. The final round is just over half over and its anyones tournament to win. Jason Duffner and Keagen Bradley are atop the leaderboard but with holes 15-18 still to come anything can happen. Yesterday Jim Furyk went 6 over on those holes to drop out of contention. What a tournament so far. Robert Karlsson also playing really well.

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The Riders short week started today with practise at Mosaic Stadium. The team heads to Toronto on Thursday for another basement bowl match up. The Argos lost again this weekend but their offense scored 32 points against a very good Hamilton defense. No easy wins in the CFL.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Post Game Reactions

I talked with defensive back Derek Pilon who had a fumble recovery and an interception in the game.

Quarterback Wyatt Catley making his first start of the season.

Receiver Kolten Solomon who lit it up returning punts tonight.

Also chatted with Head Coach Erwin Klempner and got his assessment of the game along with offensive coordinator Stefan Endsin.


Post Game Reactions by PhilTheThrill18

Post game reaction brought to you by All-Rite Plumbing and Heating

Saskatoon Hilltops 15 Regina Thunder 10




A beautiful night for football as the Regina Thunder kicked off their 2011 season at home against their provincial rivals the Saskatoon Hilltops. The Thunder finished their season last year with a loss in the Championship game to the Hilltops. The regular season series was split 1-1 last year and these two clubs finished 1 and 2 in the PFC.

In his 5th season Wyatt Catley will get his first chance at being a starter and Coach Klempner expects no drop off from last year when the Thunder led the league in points scored.

Derek Pilon led a pumped up Thunder squad onto the field in front of 948 fans at Mosaic. But the Hilltops got the ball first and scored a touchdown on a 17 yard pass from Chase Bradshaw to Kyle McGinnis. The Zach Schmidt convert was good, 7-0 Hilltops on an 11 play 101 yard drive that ate up 5:53 to start the first quarter.

The Regina Thunder came back with a drive of their own aided by a couple penalties and third down conversion but stalled on the 31 after a sack and a dropped pass by Jonathon Probe. Ben Koot kicked a 38 yard field goal 7-3 Hilltops with 5:20 left in the 1st quarter.

After a shanked punt by the Hilltops kicker Zach Schmidt the Thunder started with great field position at the Saskatoon 48 yard line but failed to get a single first down. Wyatt Catley started oh for 3 but didn't get any help from his receivers who dropped two balls.

After giving up a TD on the Hilltops first drive the Thunder defense settled in forcing 2 straight punts.

The penalty filled first quarter ends with the Hilltops leading 7-3.

Wyatt Catley completes his first pass of 2011 to Kolten Solomon in the second quarter, a 14 yard pick up. He keeps it going with another completion for 20 yards this time to Camille Lagimodiere. But is almost picked off at midfield by the Hilltops Richard Zacharias bringing up another Ben Koot punt with 10 minutes left in the half.

Flags seemed to fly on almost every play and neither offense is able to get anything done.

After another Hilltop punt and Kolten Solomom returned it 53 yards to the Saskatoon 25 yard line great field position for the Catley and the Thunder offense. After one first down the Thunder were looking at second and goal from the 5. Thomas Ringlein was wide open for a touchdown but Catley threw the ball at his feet bringing up third down. The Thunder left the offense out there and Wyatt Catley redeemed himself with a 5 yard touchdown pass to Clay Cooke. 10-7 Thunder with 4:06 left until halftime.

The Thunder defense looked to have forced another Hilltop punt after a huge pass knock down by Landon Walter in the backfield on second down. However Saskatoon faked the punt and big number 20 Andre Lalonde buldozed his way 43 yards for the touchdown. 14-10 Hilltops at 13:15 of the second quarter.

After a Thunder 2 and out the Hilltops got the ball back with 1:10 left in the second with good field position at the Regina 46. The Hilltops only managed 15 yards on the drive forcing a 38 yard Zach Schmidt field goal attempt which he missed left but the Thunder gave up the single point.

The Hilltops lead the Thunder at halftime 15-10 at Mosaic Stadium.

Kolten Solomon starts off the Third quarter with another good return this time 39 yards to the Regina 54. However Wyatt Catley was picked off on the drive by Saskatoons Richard Zacharias who returned it 27 yards.

6 plays later and the Hilltops were forced to attempt a 41 yard Zach Schmidt field goal. The kick was short the Thunder escape the turnover unscathed.

However on the very next series Justin Banin puts the ball on the ground and gives the Hilltops the ball right back. But the defense bails him out forcing a fumble of their own recovered by Joey Todd.

The turnover train continued in the third quarter as Catley threw his second interception of the game to Chris Friesen but Chase Bradshaw threw one of his own on the very next play to Derek Pilon.

After no turnovers in the first half there have been 5 in the first 10 minutes of the second.

Regina's Philmon Bairu gets his first interception of the season on a tipped pass by Chase Bradshaw, great play to keep that ball from hitting the turf. After a 3rd and 2 conversion on the last play of the third quarter the Thunder are threatening at the Saskatoon 29.

No score in the 3rd and Regina trails Saskatoon 15-10 into the 4th quarter.

Just when the Thunder looked like they might score with first and goal from the 4, the Hilltops forced a Wyatt Catley fumble recovered by Brett Pisio. Hilltops took over on their own 12 a minute and a half into the fourth.

The Thunder defense comes up with a huge play with their backs against the wall. The Hilltops were threatening at the 13 yard line but Tanner Hope comes up with the interception to keep them within 5 points with 7 minutes left to play. But again the offense can't capitalize and punt the ball away with 3:52 to play.

The Regina defense comes up big again forcing a two and out giving the offense a chance to get the win with less than 3 minutes left in the game.

Wyatt Catley took to the field starting at his own 45 and a chance to redeem a tough second half. A big conversion on 3rd and 10 was all for not as the Thunder turned it over on downs the next series of plays with 1:11 left in the game.

When the defense was able to force a punt a roughing the kicker penalty gives the Hilltops a first down and thats the game. 15-10 Hilltops is your final score from Mosaic Stadium. Early season mistakes cost the Thunder in this one, the offense with some costly turnovers and penalties galore were their downfall.

Post game reaction from players and coaches still to come.

Game Day Interview

I had a chance to talk with Coach Erwin Klempnar this afternoon about tonights game against the Hilltops. Heres what he had to say.



COACH ERWIN KLEMPNER by PhilTheThrill18

Its Thunder Game Day


If you would have told me before any football started, whether CFL or PFC, that the Regina Thunder would have the chance to be the first team to win on home turf at Mosaic Stadium I would have been remissed not to call you an idiot. However here we are and the Riders are 1-6 with their lone win coming on the road and the Regina Thunder have the chance to give Regina fans a win. It will be a tall task tonight with the Saskatoon Hilltops in town but I think the Thunder are up for it. Coming off a 6 and 2 season and an appearance in the championship game, they have 14 fifth year returnees and a lot of talent on the 75 man roster. The Thunder scored the most points of any team in the PFC last year with 337, allowing the second least. The Hilltops have 5th year quarterback Chase Bradshaw at the helm coming off his first full year as a starter and a championship. The Hilltops boast two very good running backs in Brendon Gryba and Regan Schuler. Last year the two clubs split their two match ups in the regular season. Lots more to come at game time from Mosaic at 7PM. Follow me @PhilTheThrill18 for live updates. I will have full post game analysis from coaches and players after the game tonight.

Brought to you by All-Rite plumbing and Heating

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The Riders fell to oh and 4 at Mosaic last night with a 45-35 loss to the Stamps, the second loss to Calgary in three weeks. The Rider defense struggled last night while the offense was able to move the ball quite well and score the most points it has this season. That turnover in the third quarter in the endzone that went for a touchdown was really the breaking point in the game . Keon Reymond returned his interception 117 yards and put the Stamps back up by 17. Hugh Charles scored three TD's on 94 yards rushing and Effrim Hill exploded for 177 yards receiving. The Riders kept fighting however right to the bitter end but there just wasn't enough time to pull this one off. the Defense that had played well in previous weeks really had a hard time stopping this Calgary offense. Shomari Williams said after the game that Calgary did exactly what they knew they were going to do but they just couldn't stop it. That's discouraging for a team. Williams did get his first sack as a pro on Henry in the second quarter but there just wasn't enough of anything to get Hank and his offense out of rhythm. Hence 45 points against. 1 and 6 sure does not look good no matter how you look at it. Up next is Toronto and hopefully they don't make Cleo Lemon look like an All Star.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Its Gameday



The Riders are set for tonight's match up with the Stamps at Mosaic Stadium. Thee Riders have yet to get a win at home this year something that was absolutely unheard of in previous years. It will be the second meeting between the two teams in the last three weeks. The Stampeder offense that looked a little slower to start the season really woke up last week with Henry Burris throwing for 3 touchdowns and over 300 yards. The defense has been steady all season long for the Stamps, surprisingly to many people because they are a new group but they have shutdown offenses quite handily, allowing the lowest yardage in the West Division only behind Winnipeg in the East. Not good news for a Rider offense that has yet to find its groove. Wes Cates will not play again and Hugh Charles will be getting his third start at running back and has improved over the last two games. The Riders average the most yards per rush in the league but have the fewest rushes. Darian Durant will have to step up and play a great game and his receivers are going to have to catch the ball. I'm sure Darian will be looking to use his legs more but not too much. Head Coach Greg Marshall said yesterday that he didn't want Darian turning into a Nealon Greene. In the sense that Nealon was a run first kind of player and pretty well all Rider fans will agree that Darian needs to use his arm and legs. Funny statement from the coach. Shomari Williams and Taerrius George will be sharing reps on the end in place of Luc Mullinder, Williams will get the majority of snaps but Carm Carteri will finally get his wish to see George in some game action. Other than that the roster is the same, only question is how healthy is Eddie Johnson and will Chris Milo get his first chance kicking the ball. Kickoff is at 7PM at Mosaic, you might see me on the Calgary sidelines during the game.

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The Regina Thunder will have their walk through tonight before their opening game of the season tomorrow against the defending champion Saskatoon Hilltops. The Thunder were on the losing side of that championship game so what better way to start the 2011 season than against the team that has set the bar in the PFC for years and years. I got a chance to go to the clubhouse and meet some of the guys yesterday and recognized a few players from the Rider training camp earlier in the year. Receiver Kolten Solomon is returning after an All star season last year catching 5 touchdowns and over 800 yards. With the departure of Jay Smith Kolten will play an even bigger role this year, he looked good at Rider camp so expect good things out of him. Zach Evans holds a practise roster spot with the Riders and is an exceptional defensive lineman tallying 15 tackles and three sacks last year, great young Canadian with a bright future. Quarterback Wyatt Catley is back for his 5th year and with Reid Quest gone I imagine he is the go to starter, newcomer Landon Bessel is with the team along with Asher Hastings but I have yet to see any of them play and have no idea what teh depth chart looks like. Other returnees include, linebacker Philmon Bairu, defensive backs Mark Ingram and Joey Todd, and defensive lineman Max Amyotte. Three other newcomers besides Bessel, DL Brett Wade, OL Robert Ingram, and LB Michael Bittman. Looking forward to a good game tomorrow at Mosaic come check out the Thunder at 7 o'clock at Mosaic Stadium. I will be live tweeting the game and have a full recap with interviews after the game is over. Follow me @PhilTheThrill18

Regina Thunder Update brought to you by All-Rite Plumbing and Heating.




Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Walk through day for the Riders before Calgary tomorrow. The Riders lost to the Stamps two weeks ago at Mosaic 22-18. The defense played good in that game but the offense just couldn't score to get the win. Tomorrow is really a big game not only to stay within striking distance of the Stamps but also to get that first win at home. Darian Durant and his offense really need to get on track and quickly, its time to put who's not here in the past and start using the tools that are there to make plays and put some points on the board. Wes Cates will not start again for the third straight game, Marshall says he would be surprised if he gets back into game action before the bye week. Shomari Williams and Taerrius Gearoge will be getting reps in place of the recently traded Luc Mullinder at Defensive End. Pressure on Henry will be key if they expect to hold that offense. Ive got Brenden Taman in the pregame show but not sure about halftime yet. Tune in to 620 CKRM.

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I am pleased to announce that I will be covering the Regina Thunder for the 2011 season. I will have interviews from practise and games for my blog as well as the team website. Looking forward to learning this team which is looking to win the PFC this year. The first game of the year is Saturday against the Saskatoon Hilltops, a rematch of the championship game last year. I will have much more in the days to come.

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The Regina Red Sox are in action for game 2 of the Finals tonight against the Okotoks Dawgs. Last night the Sox pulled off a come from behind win 8-5 at Currie field to take a 1 game to nothing lead. Game two of the best of 5 series is tonight 705 at Currie Field.

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OMG Tiger shot a 77 in the first round of the PGA Championship. Hes 7 over and the leader is 7 under.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Sports

Some things have changed already this week for the Riders. Luc Mullinder was traded yesterday for import receiver Dallas Baker from Montreal. Also Obed Cetoute was released and receiver Freddie Barnes and running back Yvenson Bernard were added to the practise roster. Darian Durant was asked yesterday about Doug Berry and their relationship. In previous interviews he had said everything was fine but this time the story changed a little bit, he said that they aren't best friends and that sometimes their opinions differ in certain situations. I think its frustration coming through that things aren't going well at all. Greg Marshall wasnt very happy about having to answer any questions about their relationship. I thought Darian handled himself well and he doesn't seem to be causing any problems, he's just doing his job and listening to his coach. Friday will be another test for this team and hopefully they can get things figured out on offense.

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The Jays kick off a set with the Oakland Athletics today at Rogers Center. Brett Cecil gets the start tonight up against Rich Harden. The Athletics sit 12 games under .500 while the Jays have 2 more wins than losses. Jose Bautista has hit 2 homers in his last 5 after a 14 game drought. Young players like Rasmus and Lawrie are playing well. Lawrie will be making his Rogers center debut today and I imagine he will get a warm welcome. John Rauch has a sore knee and will be unavailable. First pitch just after 5.

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The two finalist for the WMBL Championship are now determined. Okotoks Dawgs claimed the West Division Championship with a 11-10 victory over Medicine Hat. The start date for the Championship will be Wed and Thurs in Regina with games 3 and 4 scheduled in Okotoks on Fri. and Sat with Game 5 if neccessary in Regina Sunday. All Game times are 7:05 P.M.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sundays Musings

Its two days later and the bad taste still hasn't left the entire province as the Riders fell to a dismal 1 and 5. In every conversation Ive had over the weekend the Riders woes have come up and especially the ones on offense. now there are the people who blame Durant for the lack of production but I am quick to dismiss those because Darian is doing what he can. Unfortunately when people talk about dropped passes and mistakes on the part of Chris Getzlaf I can only nod and say he has to be better. If I'm counting correctly there have been 5 drops which would have been first downs at the very least in the last two weeks. This offense is shooting itself in the foot week in and week out. The D has played well enough to win every week but they aren't getting any help. Another hot point that's being thrown around is the firing of Doug Berry, I have a tough time knowing where to stand on this one. The guy brought us to the Grey Cup last year, the Riders had the best offense in the league next to the Stamps. Darian led the league in passing and rushing for quarterbacks and so in my mind play calling isn't the issue. But then sometimes in game situations I'm left wondering why?  Unfortunately I'm no expert when it comes to being a coach so to give an educated opinion is hard to do. One thing I do know is that if Berry does somehow get let go and Ken miller steps in I don't think things will change all that much. I thought Rob Vanstone said it best "no quick fixes here. Firings at this point would provide appeasement, but little else."

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The Stamps pulled off another win last night 32-20 over the Tiger Cats. I was pretty confident in a Hamilton win but it wasn't meant to be. The first half was all Ticats but the Stamps hung around and then pulled it off late as they have done so well all season long. The Stamps moved the ball well when it counted and closed this game out to improve to 4-2 and with Edmonton losing are just 2 points out of first place in the West. Tough loss for Eskimos losing Fred Stamps for 4-6 weeks after he suffered an abdominal injury and had to undergo emergency surgery. Jason Barnes had a big game against Winnipeg and Will have to continue that if the Eskis want to continue their dream season. There will be some major fallout with that offense without him thought that's for sure. its always interesting in the CFL.

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The Jays lost a tough one last night in Baltimore. Brandon Morrow started the game on fire before giving up 4 runs in the 6th and that was all the O's would need. Morrow gave up 6 runs through 7 and 2/3 innings but only three were earned. One bright spot Cody Rasmus hit his first home run as a Jay in the 2nd inning. The rubber match of the series went this morning with Ricky Romero pitching 8 innings giving up only 2 runs in a 7-2 Blue Jay win. Romero is now 3-0 in his last 4 starts and has really dominated as of late. Bautista, Rasmus, Arencibia, Mcdonald, and Encarnacion all hit doubles in the game and Brett Lawrie hit his first ever major league home run. The Jays have tomorrow off before oakland visits the Rogers center on Tuesday.

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The Regina Red Sox booked their tickets to the WMBL Finals with a 4-3 win over the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Saturday night at Ross Wells Park. Nick Cervantes battled through 7.2 innings while Randy Ramirez launched his second home run of the postseason as the Red Sox won their third game of the series, each by just one run. Regina now heads to their second consecutive WMBL Championship Series and await the winner of the WMBL West Champion. Stay tuned to reginaredsox.com or wmbl.ca for the WMBL Finals Schedule.

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Tiger woods finished the Bridgestone Invitational at 1 over par. Adam Scott is on 17 at 16 under. A non factor Woods this weekend. His old caddie Williams is enjoying carrying Scott's bag as he will no doubt win the tournament. Ricky Fowler played well this weekend.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

WOW Lions 24 Riders 11

I did not see that one coming, I will have to eat my words this week because I was pretty confident the Offense was going to finally come through with a big game. However a slow first quarter and most of the second Durant and his guys really couldn't move the ball, dropped passes, penalties and before they knew it it was 17-0 Lions. They did wake up however later in the first half scoring a field goal and a Chris Getzlaf touchdown. 20-10 at halftime. The second half was a horrible half for both clubs, The Lions outscored the Riders 4-1 in the third and fourth quarter. Eddie Johnson missed two field goals when the Riders couldn't finish drives, again dropped passes, penalties, and some good defense by the Lions I will admit. Tristan Jackson picked off Travis Lulay which led to a missed field goal, Durant drove the ball but couldn't put it in the endzone. What a frustrating game to watch. Getzlaf continued to drop the easy passes yet catch the spectacular ones, I can think of at least three balls that would have been for first downs that he let get away. Dressler played another good game and I was happy to see Clermont get a couple balls thrown his way. Neal Hughes got a chance to be involved in the offense and made the best of it. But the good things were too sporadic and mistakes cost the Riders again. Shooting themselves in the foot seems to be this years theme. I'm not even going to comment on the pass interference call late in the game because that game was decided long before that call. Now the question becomes, does someone pay for this slow start? Will a player or coach be fired this week? I don't know, but what I do know is that fans will be calling for the head of offensive coordinator Doug Berry and probably the rest of the coaching staff and management. Whatever happens something needs to change for this team whether that be a firing or just some sort of kick in the ass to get them going. Its going to be a long week in Rider Nation.

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The Bombers and Eskimos tangles for first in the CFL last night and the Bombers handed Edmonton their first loss. Ricky Ray had some troubles with the Winnipeg defense throwing 3 picks in the game. Buck Pierce threw for 242, 2 TD's and 1 interception. Fred Reid had a good game rushing for 96 yards and Denmark and Edwards combined for almost 200 receiving and a TD. 5 turnovers total in the game for the bomber defense along with 4 sacks. that defense is a monster even without Doug Brown who didn't play last night. Fred Stamps was held to only 41 yards but it was Jason Barnes who was the star receiver for Edmonton in this one, 125 and a TD. The Bombers are for real final score 28-16.

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Brett Lawrie made his much anticipated debut as a Blue Jay. Toronto kicked off a set in Baltimore with a 5-4 win. Lawrie hit 2 for 4 in the game with an RBI, he did pick up an error at third base as well. Brad Mills made his second start as a Jay pitching 5 and 1/3 giving up 3 runs on 4 hits striking out 5 for the win. The Jays are now 57-55 on the season. Game two of the series with the O's is tonight with Brandon Morrow on the mound countered by Chris Tillman, 5:05 start.

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I didn't get to see this one so here's the Red Sox recap courtesy reginaredsox.com.
One win away from the Western Major Baseball League Finals, the Regina Red Sox head to Moose Jaw tonight looking for a sweep of the WMBL East Division Finals. The Red Sox and Miller Express played 13 innings on Friday night at Currie Field with the Red Sox scoring the winning run on a sacrifice fly from Geoff MacDonald. With a win tonight at Ross Wells Park the Sox would make their second consecutive appearance in the league championship series.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Its Game Day in Vancouver


The Riders and Lions have but one win between them heading into week 6 of the CFL tonight. Two desperate clubs in need of a win as they battle for third in the West Division. Some changes on offense for the Riders tonight with Wes Cates missing his second straight game with an injury so Hugh Charles and Maybe Brandon West will see some time in the backfield. Also Jason Clermont has been demoted and James Robinson will see his first action as a Rider since being picked up a few weeks ago. Clermont will become the 6th receiver, just outside the starting 5. I guess some things needed to change on offense because things haven't been clicking like they need to. Big game tonight and almost a must win, I know its early but if were looking for a home playoff game the wins better start coming in.

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The Allouettes beat the Argos 36-23 last night at the Rogers Center. The Argos stuck around for the whole first half and did some good things both on offense and on defense. A miscue at the end of the half where Kackert didn't get out of bounds in time for a last second field goal and after that the Al's took over the game. The third quarter started and the Argo offense and its inconsistency continued, turnovers and punts galore and the Allouettes took over. Calvillo broke the record for most pass completions in the first quarter passing Damon Allen  and he didn't stop after that. Passing for over 300 and putting those two losses to rest by dominating a very good defense in Toronto. Cleo Lemon also played a pretty decent game passing for over 300 and a couple touchdowns but the thing with Montreal is that if they are clicking on all cylinders, you can't go cold for any part of the game because before you know it there's no coming back. The Al's are now 4-2 and depending on how Winnipeg does with Edmonton they could be back atop the East. The Argos however have lost 5 straight after week ones win in Calgary. I watched the Extra Yard after the game last night, inside the 2011 Argos and the host is talking about how Toronto was among the surprises with crappy records. Now I know the Argos probably have control over what goes on the show but my god I couldn't believe how they could possibly say that they were among the top teams in the league. Sure they finished 9-9 last year but until they get a quarterback they will never be an elite team. This is a passing league plain and simple. No surprises here that they sit bottom of the East. I am really surprised however that they fired the defensive coordinator Chip Garber, it seems to me that the defense wasnt the problem.

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I cant believe the Jays lost that game yesterday to the Rays. Three blown leads in the game, one in the 6th one in the 10th and one in the 11th. Than the Rays scored in the 12th to win it 7-6. Brett Cecil pitched a good game, Jose Bautista hit his 33rd home run and Cody Rasmus had another good game as well. However the bullpen had 2 chances to close this game out and failed. First it was Shawn Camp then it was John Rauch. 4-3 in the 10th and Camp gives up a solo shot and then in the 11th with a two run lead Rauch epitomized the Jays problems so far this season giving up 2 runs and was lucky to not lose the game right then in the 11th. The Jays lose 2 of 3 at Tropicana. Next action is today against the Orioles. Brad Mills gets the start for the Jays while the O's go with Tommy Hunter. Game starts just after 5 o'clock.

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The Regina Red Sox won game one of the Eastern Finals last night over the Moose Jaw Miller Express 6-5 at Currie Field. The Sox were down 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh but rallied with 4 in the inning than 1 in the eighth and 1 in the 9th for the win. Game 2 is tonight at Currie Field at 7:05.

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It was really good to see Tiger Woods back on the golf course yesterday. He shot a 2 under 68 in round 1 which is good considering hes been out since March but Adam Scott shot an 8 under 62 to lead after day 1. However it was only day 1 and anything can happen leading up to Sunday. Here's hoping some of that Tiger magic comes back. Awkward moments I imagine in the club house between Tiger and his old caddie Steve Williams who was let go just over a week ago. Ironically hes carrying the clubs of the leader Adam Scott.

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Sean Avery has landed in hot water with California police. The New York Rangers player was arrested at his Hollywood home after police claim he shoved an officer who was there to breakup a noise complaint. Police say Avery answered the front door, shoved an officer and slammed the door but cooperated when officers knocked a second time.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and players union head DeMaurice Smith have signed the new collective bargaining agreement. They inked the new pact on a makeshift table on the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The new deal, ratified by players yesterday, is in place after a 4 1/2 month lockout.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Well the Riders hit the road today for Vancouver and tomorrows matchup with the oh and 5 Lions. It will be a battle of two desperate clubs fighting for third in the West. Doesnt look like Wes Cates will be playing again this week and so Hugh Charles will get the start. Injury wise I think everyone else is good to go. I think its time that this offense explodes, its been some small mistakes and miscues that led to last weeks loss and I think were going to see a much better effort tomorrow. I expect a dominating win for the Riders 36-13.

Tonight the Argos are home to the Allouette's in an Eastern Division matchup. Both teams are boasting losing streaks, the Al's have suffered 2 straight losses while Toronto has lost 4 in a row. In my mind this is a no brainer for the Al's to win but at the same time Calvillo has looked less than impressive in the last two weeks, so I am less confident in a Montreal win. If Chad Kackert can continue his dominance maybe the Argos pull off the upset however unlikely. Last week he rushed for 139 yards and 2 TD's. However he already has three fumbles on the year. There still remains the big hole at quarterback with Cleo Lemon and Dalton Bell really unable to get things done consistently. Apparently Lemon will be the starter tonight and to me it doesnt really matter whos back there because the results are always the same, sub 200 yards passing and at least 1 INT.

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The Jays got lit up yesterday 9-1 at Tropicana Field in Florida. The Tampa Bay Rays exacted some revenge from the day before when they lost 3-1. The Jays let an opportunity get away last night because with a win they would have jumped into third in the Al East and been 4 games over .500, something they havent been all season. Carlos Villinueva had a tough night giving up 8 earned runs in just 2 and 2/3 innings. Carlos hasnt gone beyond the fifth in 3 straight starts compared to his previous 7 where he went at least 6 if not 7. Still he is one of the better pitchers in the rotation and a surprise one at that. Tampa's Jake Shields pitched a beauty giving up only 3 hits over 7 and 1/3 and one run. The Jays only had one hit until the 8th inning. The rubber match is this morning with Wade Davis on the mound fopr Tampa while the Jays counter with Brett Cecil. First pitch is at 10:05 this morning.

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Alex Rodriguez is under investigation for an illegal celebrity poker ring. The New York Yankee will be interviewed by investigators on his involvement.

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The Regina Red Sox are in action for game one of the East Final tonight at Currie Field. The Moose Jaw Miller Express are in town.  Moose Jaw surprisingly knocked off Mellvile in round one while the Sox knocked off Weyburn in three games. First pitch tonight is 7:05 and game two is tomorrow same place same time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Tiger-Cats Trade Arland Bruce to the Lions



The play of young receivers on the Ti-cats roster has made Bruce dispensable. Bruce has been hampered by a leg injury and some dropped passes this year and so hes had really no production so far. Through 5 weeks Bruce has tallied 9 catches for only 104 yards and no touchdowns. A far cry from last year when he was third in the league with over 13 hundred. It seems he had trouble fitting in with the new offensive coordinator Khari Jones. The Lions gave up a third round pick in 2012 as well as a conditional pick yet to be named. Bruce is expected to play Friday against the Riders.

Pats Hire New Assistants

General Manager Chad Lang announced the hiring of Malcolm Cameron and Josh Dixon as assistant coaches.

Malcolm comes to the club with a impressive coaching resume. He has spent the past nine seasons as a Head Coach in the ECHL, missing the playoffs just twice in that span while twice taking teams to the conference finals. Three all-star games and a runner-up for coach of the year three times highlight his coaching career in the ECHL. Prior to coaching pro, Malcolm was an assistant coach with the Acadia University Axemen (CIS) for two seasons where the Axemen won back to back Atlantic University conference titles.

Josh brings with him a strong coaching background in the CIS and with the prestigious Okanagan Hockey Academy where he was the Head Coach for the varsity team this past season. Prior to that Josh was an assistant coach with the Mount Royal Cougars (ACAC), University of Calgary and Carlton University

Wednesdays Sports

The Riders are back at practise today still without Wes Cates in the backfield. Hugh Charles will most likely get his second start of the season in BC on Friday. Coach Marshall said yesterday no decision has been made yet on Cates but if Brandon West is on the roster again this week that they will look at ways to get him into the offense. He said that both the Lions and the Riders are struggling to find consistencyy on offense with some dropped balls and missed opportunities. Friday will be a big game for both Clubs and its almost a must win game, pretty important game for only week 6. In other news The Stamps have released quarterback Micheal Bishop from their squad, not sure why they ever picked him up in the first place. Week 6 kicks off tomorrow with the Argos home to the Allouettes.

Here are the CFL players of the month for July. Courtesy CFL.ca

Gibson’s Finest CFL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE MONTH
QB – Ricky Ray – Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos’ quarterback Ricky Ray has been named the Gibson’s Finest CFL Offensive Player of the Month. Through the first month of the season, Ray completed 102 of 152 pass attempts and leads the league in completion percentage (67.1) and passing yards with 1,492.

The veteran QB has thrown 10 touchdowns, just one shy of his total for the entire 2010 season. Ray has only thrown one interception in five games and has rushed for 94 yards on 12 carries. With Ray at the helm, the Esks remain undefeated this season, and are first place in the West Division. The Esks have not started a season with five-straight wins since 1980.


Gibson’s Finest CFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE MONTH
DE – Odell Willis – Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defensive end Odell Willis is July’s Gibson’s Finest CFL Defensive Player of the Month. Willis leads the league with seven sacks, has had two multi-sack games and has registered 11 tackles and one special teams tackle.

Willis is in his third season with the Bombers and has registered 62 tackles and 28 sacks in his four-year CFL career. Willis’s success has contributed to the Blue Bombers’ first-place ranking in the East Division with a 4-1 start.


Gibson’s Finest CFL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE MONTH
P/K – Justin Medlock - Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ punter and kicker Justin Medlock has been named Gibson’s Finest CFL Special Teams Player of the Month. In his first five games, Medlock has registered 32 punts for 1,342 yards (41.9 average, long of 64 ) and one single.

Medlock is ranked fourth in the league in kicking points with 52, connecting on 12 of 14 field goal attempts (85.7%) and all 13 converts. His field goal average of 35.8 yards is the second highest in the league, with his longest coming from 55 yards.

Medlock has also registered three singles and has contributed 52 points to the Ticats’ 132 total points this season. This is Medlock’s first season with the Ticats.


Gibson’s Finest CFL CANADIAN PLAYER OF THE MONTH
RB – Jerome Messam – Edmonton Eskimos

Edmonton Eskimos’ running back Jerome Messam has been named Gibson’s Finest CFL Canadian Player of the Month. Registering 274 yards on 55 carries, Messam is ranked fourth in the league in rushing yards. His longest carry is 32 yards.

He also registered four receptions for 30 yards. Messam scored two touchdowns during the month of July. This is Messam’s first season with the Eskimos after being acquired from the BC Lions during training camp.

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The Jays got a win over the Tampa Bay Rays and David Price last night. Ricky Romero had a no hitter going into the 6th but have up a solo shot, however that would be his only run allowed over 8 innings. The Jays got a home run out of Jose Bautista his league leading 32nd on the year and his first in 15 games. Mark Teixeira is closest with 31. Tonight Carlos Villinueva gets the start up against Jake Shields.
 
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The Regina Red Sox kick off the Eastern Final tomorrow at Currie Field at 705. they are taking on the Moose Jaw Miller Express for the second straight year. Game two is Friday at home as well.
 
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The best young junior players in Canada will be on the ice together in Edmonton today. They're participating in a development camp for the world junior championship. Top draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is among the 47 players in attendance at Rexall Place
 
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With locked-out NBA players threatening to file an antitrust lawsuit, the league has beat them to court. The NBA has filed an unfair labour practice charge with the National Labour Relations Board and a lawsuit in federal district court in New York. The league accuses the NBA Players Association of being unco-operative in negotiations.