Friday, September 9, 2016
REGINA THUNDER @ SASKATOON HILLTOPS GAME PREVIEW
The Regina Thunder (3-1) visit the Saskatoon Hilltops (3-1) on Saturday in a battle for sole possession of 2nd place in the Prairie Football Conference. The Thunder are coming off a 43-29 win over the Winnipeg Rifles in week 4 while the Hilltops beat up on the Edmonton Wildcats 53-16. Saskatoon went 2-0 against Regina last season with a 35-17 victory at home and then again in Regina 26-25. Kickoff Saturday is at 7 o'clock at SMF Field.
THUNDER OFFENSE - Regina has scored 133 points in their first 5 games, 3rd best in the PFC. Quarterback Sawyer Buettner leads the league in passing yards with 958 and has thrown the second most touchdowns with 6 and the 3rd most interceptions with 5. Kris Calcutt leads the league in receiving yards with 350 and has 3 touchdowns which is tied for 2nd. WR Kristiane Desautels has 208 yards receiving, 7th most in the PFC and has scored two majors. RB Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette is 2nd in league rush yards with 524 and has scored more touchdowns than anyone with 6. Ethan Hautz 278 rushing yards is 7th in the league and he has scored on touchdown. The Thunder have turned the ball over 7 times, second least in the league.
HILLTOPS OFFENSE - Saskatoon has scored a league leading 149 points through four weeks of the season. QB Jared Andreychuk is 3rd in passing yards at 882 and has thrown a league leading 9 touchdowns and has 4 interceptions. Receiver Jason Price is the PFC's 3rd leading catcher with 284 yards while teammate Sam Mike is not far behind in 4th with 278 yards. The two have combined to catch 6 touchdowns. RB Logan Fischer is 4th in rushing yards with 309 yards and has scored 4 times which is the third most in the league. The Hilltops have turned the ball over 14 times so far this year, 2nd most in the PFC.
THUNDER DEFENCE - Regina has given up the second least points in the first four games of the year at 77. Marcus Hall and Polis Koko lead the club with 13 tackles a piece. Koko has added 2 interceptions which is tied for 3rd most. Linebacker Paul Toth is coming off a 5 tackle and 4 assisted tackle performance against the Winnipeg Rifles and is the reigning PFC Defensive Player of the Week. In total Toth has 10 tackles and 13 assisted on the season. Matthew Williams continues to lead the PFC in sacks with 3.5 heading into week 5. The Thunder have forced 7 turnovers so far this year, 2nd least.
HILLTOPS DEFENCE - Saskatoon has allowed 85 points this season, 3rd least in the league. Cameron Schnitzler leads the PFC in tackles with 22 and also has a forced fumble. Adam Benkic is tied for 8th with 14 tackles and has a fu,ble return touchdown. 4 players have one interception for Saskatoon: Logan Bitz, Ben Solie, Spencer Anderson and James Vause while Blake Herman is second in sacks with 3.0. The Hilltops have forced 13 turnovers, 2nd most.
THUNDER SPECIAL TEAMS - Kristiane Desautels leads the PFC in punt return yardage with 163 and also has 43 yards in kickoff returns. Tyson Haubrich leads the club with 178 yards on kickoff returns, that is good for 3rd in the league. Kris Calcutt has punted 17 times this season for a 39.6 yard average and has made 7 of 12 field goals.
HILLTOPS SPECIAL TEAMS - Josh Ewanchyna is 2nd in punt return yards with 97 and has 26 on kickoffs. Adam Machart has 94 yards on punt returns and Liam Murphy has 87 good for 3rd and 4th in the PFC. Murphy leads the club with 90 yards on kickoff returns. Nikolas Hunchak has punted 14 times for a 37.5 yard average while Desmond Vessey has punted 11 times for an average of 36.9 yards per kick. James Vause has made 4 of 6 field goals attempted.
Kickoff from Saskatoon Saturday night is at 7 PM.