REGINA - The University of Regina's defence led the team to a 45-11 win over the Manitoba Bisons in Canada West football action at Mosaic Stadium on Friday night.
The Rams' defence accounted for 22 of the team's 45 points, as Bruce Anderson had a fumble return for a touchdown and both Mike Kerr and Jamir Walker returned interceptions for majors. Regina also forced Manitoba to concede two safeties.
Steve Famulak also had a big game for the Rams (1-0), tying for the team lead with 5.5 tackles and also recording 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup. Brenden Owens was the team's leader on the offensive side of the ball, catching five balls for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Marc Mueller was 16-for-25 for 189 yards, while running back Adrian Charles had 83 rushing yards in his Rams debut.
Jeff Lukomski and Daniel Knaus also had interceptions for the Rams, while Stefan Charles and Akiem Hicks both had sacks. Besides his fumble return for a touchdown, Anderson also recovered a fumble early in the first quarter.
Khaleal Williams was 20-for-33 for Manitoba (0-1) and had 170 passing yards, but threw four interceptions and was sacked five times. He also rushed for 70 yards, most of which came on a nifty 60-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak as halftime approached. Matt Henry had 55 rushing yards for the Bisons, while Xavier Johnson led the team with five receptions. Louie Richardson had a team-high 9.5 total tackles for Manitoba.
The Rams scored the game's first major in the last minute of the first quarter, as Mueller aired out a 42-yard pass to Owens, who made a diving catch at the goal line to extend Regina's lead to nine.
Cue the Rams' defence.
Famulak's sack on Williams early in the second caused a fumble, which Anderson picked up and brought back all the way to the end zone to put the Rams up 16-0. The Rams added a Chris Bodnar field goal and another safety, but Williams' long touchdown scamper for the Bisons made the score 21-8 at halftime.
Regina's defence kept it going in the second half, as Kerr picked off a Williams pass and ran it back 38 yards for a major. A Nick Naylor field goal brough the Bisons to within two scores with five minutes left in the third, but the Rams put the game away with back-to-back touchdowns. Owens hauled in a 26-yard pass from Mueller late in the third quarter for his second touchdown reception of the game, and a 53-yard interception return for a major by Walker early in the fourth put the Rams up by 30.
Regina added another Bodnar field goal in the fourth, and a punt single in the final minute gave the Rams their 45th point - the most the team has ever scored in a game against Manitoba.
The Rams will be back in action next Friday at Calgary, while Manitoba will host Alberta in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 11.
NOTES: The Rams improve their all-time record to 5-6-1 in season openers ... the Rams also improve their all-time record to 6-13 against Manitoba in Canada West games ... the win marks Regina's third consecutive victory over Manitoba ... Kerr's pick six in the third quarter was the first interception of his four-year career with the Rams ... Bisons punter Brendon Bowman was injured in the final minute of the second half and did not return.
Regina Sports Info