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Sunday, October 12, 2014

THUNDER 26 RIFLES 18


The Regina Thunder wrapped up the regular season on Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium against the Winnipeg Rifles. The Thunder needed a win and a Saskatoon loss to Edmonton to finish in first place. Spencer Mack got his second straight start at quarterback for the Thunder coming off a 27-27 tie to the Huskies last week. Runningback Nick Brown started his second game of the year on Sunday after going for 98 yards last weekend. The Rifles were in need of a win to secure a playoff spot next week.

In the first quarter the Thunder got on the board first. Cole Ward blocked a Brad Mikoluff punt and the Thunder offense were set up first down at the Rifle 19. On the very next play Colton Klassen rumbled to the endzone for his third touchdown of the year at 4:36 and it was 7-0 Regina. The Thunder defense continued to play well and got an interception from Taylor Meyer. They were unable to turn that into points but on the Rifles next drive the Thunder forced them into taking a safety at 13:29 and it was 9-0. That was the score after 1.

The Rifles found some success on offense in the second quarter. They set up Brad Mikoluff for a 31 yard field goal with the wind but he hit the right upright and it stayed out. Winnipeg did get on the board at the 13 minute mark as Tyler Vieira hit a wide open Michael Seifert in the endzone for an 11 yard score. The extra point was no good and the Thunder lead was 9-6. Regina got a last minute drive down to the Winnipeg 24 and on the last play of the half William McGee lined up a 31 yard field goal attempt. It was blocked however and we went to the break the Regina up 9-6.

In the third quarter the Thunder gave up 2 at 8:13 and their lead was just 9-8. Then on the Rifles next offensiv drive Dustin Erbach picked off Tyler Vieira. The Thunder would march it down and Spencer Mack threw a 9 yard touchdown to Thomas Bresciani at 9:51 and it was 16-8. The Rifles were back on the ball on offense and Tyler Vieira had a second straight pass intercepted, this time by Chris Tunnicliffe and it was Thunder ball. They got a 42 yard field goal after the turnover from William McGee at 12:36 and Regina led 19-8. That was the score after 3.

The Thunder were first and goal to start the 4th and on second down Matt Frass dove for a 2 yard touchdown 32 seconds in and Regina extended their lead to 26-8. The Rifles made a game of it as Tyler Vieira threw a deep pass to Brenden Naujokes who went 77 yards down the sidelines for the touchdown at 5:31 and it was a 26-15 game. Winnipeg got a 42 yard field goal from Brad Mikoluff at 13:47 and were down by just 8, 26-18. Winnipeg got the ball back after a two and out but turned it over on downs and then got another chance with just over 40 seconds left. The Thunder defensive line took over with sacks from Michael Bittman and Michael Desjarlais forcing a hail marry on the last play of the game which fell incomplete and the Thunder took the 26-18 victory. Finishing the year with a 5-2-1 record. The Saskatoon Hilltops won at home over Edmonton so the Thunder finish in second place and will host the Calgary Colts in the semi-finals next Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.

Here are the stats leaders from the game.

Quarterback Spencer Mack was 15 of 24 passing for 185 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Preston Bews led the way with 91 receiving yards on 6 catches.

Matt Frass caught 1 for 31 yards, Kasim Ocaya 2 for 27, Levi Paul 2 for 23 and Thomas Bresciani with 2 catches for 17 yards including a 9 yard touchdown.

Nick Brown put up 137 rushing yards on 20 caries in his second game of the year.

Colton Klassen had 8 carries for 46 yards and a 19 yard touchdown. Matt Frass with 10 carries for 31 yards and a 2 yard score.

Defensively Michael Bittman finished the game with 4 tackles and 2 quarterback sacks.

Michael Desjarlais put up 3 tackles, a sack and 2 knockdowns.

Taylor Meyer, Dustin Erbach and Chris Tunnicliffe each had an interception in the win.

Brett Selinger with 3 tackles, 1 on special teams and a forced fumble.

William McGee punted 10 times in the game for 339 yards and a long of 52. He was 1 of 2 kicking field goals as one was blocked.

Marcus Hall returned 5 punts for 42 yards. COlton Klassen with 3 kickoff returns for 46 yards.

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