Braden Konschuh, U of Regina Sports Information
REGINA – The Regina Rams opened up their 2009 Canada West schedule with a 28-10 win over the Manitoba Bisons on Friday night in front of 2,241 spectators at Mosaic Stadium.
An early field goal gave the Bisons a 3-0 lead, but the Rams reeled off 18 unanswered points in the first half and added another major late in the third quarter to take a commanding lead. Manitoba scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to draw within two scores, but the Rams were able to hold off the Bisons the rest of the way.
Making his first CIS start after serving as a backup for the previous two seasons, Rams quarterback Marc Mueller completed 24 of his 34 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Mueller’s top target on the night was Jordan Sisco, who caught seven passes for 93 yards. Graham Mosiondz led the Cougars on the ground with 86 yards on 15 carries.
Jamir Walker led Regina’s defence, recording two interceptions for the Rams. Linebacker Brandon Ganne had a game-high nine tackles, while Perri Scarcelli connected on four of his five field goal attempts.
For the Bisons, Nathan Friesen completed eight of his 24 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Rory Anderson caught three passes for a team-high 45 yards and hauled in Manitoba’s lone major of the contest. James Gerardy rushed for 57 yards on just five carries, while starting back Matt Henry had 12 rushes for 50 yards for Manitoba. Wyatt Jacobi led the Bisons on defence with eight tackles and a sack.
The Bisons struck first after the Rams fumbled on their first offensive play of the game, as Scott Dixon split the uprights with a 37-yard field goal. Rams kicker Perri Scarcelli replied with two field goals of his own, including a 12-yard chip shot that finished off an 11-play, 77-yard drive engineered by Mueller late in the opening quarter.
After Manitoba conceded a safety midway through the second, Scarcelli hit another short field goal to put the Rams up 11-3. The first touchdown of the game was finally scored with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, as Mueller aired out a 42-yard pass that was hauled in by Brenden Owens in the end zone, giving the Rams an 18-3 lead at the half.
Mueller threw his second touchdown pass late in the third quarter, as the Rams gambled on 3rd-and-three and the third-year pivot found Mark McConkey in the end zone for a nine-yard reception.
The Bisons scored their only major of the game early in the fourth quarter after Friesen connected with Anderson for a 24-yard score to cut the lead to 15. Scarcelli added his fourth field goal midway through the fourth to round out the scoring.
The Rams will play at No. 4-ranked Saskatchewan (1-0) next week, while Manitoba will travel for a game against Simon Fraser (1-0).
Game Notes: The Rams have now won two straight games over Manitoba after losing seven consecutive to the Bisons between the 2006 and 2008 seasons … counting conference games only, Manitoba now holds a 13-5 edge in the all-time series … Friday’s game marked ten years to the day that the Rams played their inaugural CIS game, which was also played against the Bisons at Mosiac Stadium (then Taylor Field).