Hilltops Over Power Wildcats in PFC Semi Final

The Wildcats came into Sunday’s tilt looking to avenge a lose at home a couple of weeks ago against the Hilltops and advance to the PFC final. These two teams last faced off in the playoffs in 2009, when the Wildcats downed Saskatoon 33-20 in the PFC Championship Game.

Both teams had a difficult time moving the ball in the opening quarter as the Hilltops couldn’t go anywhere on their first drive. The Wildcats did have some success on their first drive until Michael Waldron intercepted a Taylor Yaremchuk pass. The turnover production continued as Hilltop backup pivot Jared Andreychuk fumbled a snap and the Wildcats recovered. Yaremchuk moved the Cats deep into Saskatoon territory; however Ben Cressman thwarted the drive as he picked off the pass at the 2 and rambled 44 yards to give Saskatoon breathing space. But the Toppers couldn’t move the ball on the drive and had to punt it away. However Tyler Henry couldn’t find the handle and the loose ball rolled into the Edmonton end zone where Brennen Thorpe dove on it to put the home side up 7-0.

The Cats got on the board in the last 5 seconds of the frame as Ideen Samadi’s 31-yard field goal try was wide and the Hilltops conceded a single. Both offenses had a hard time moving the ball in the second stanza and the 7-1 score held until the 9:40 mark when Zach Schmidt boomed a 57-yard punt single to make it 8-1. Schmidt rounded out the first half scoring with an 11-yard field goal to put Saskatoon ahead by 10 at halftime.

The Wildcats had the ball to begin the second half but the kickoff was fumbled and Reid Hnidy recovered at the Edmonton 37, but the Hilltops couldn’t cash in on the error. However turnovers were the Wildcats downfall on the day as they would fumble on their 3-yard line and Derrick Sorenson recovered. One play later Tom Shockey would take a handoff and score untouched on a 3-yard run to make it 18-1. From there, things went from bad to worse for the Wildcats. A fumbled snap on a David Ness punt was recovered by the Hilltops and from there, Brendon Gryba made it 25-1. Schmidt added a field goal, and then after a fumbled kickoff return which gave the Hilltops the ball again, Gryba ran 33 yards down to the 5 and on the next play Andreychuk scampered 5 yards for the score to put the home side up 35-1. Wildcats kicker Samadi would make a 37-yard field goal to make it 35-4 Hilltops at the end of 3.

The teams traded touchdowns in the 4th quarter as Wayndel Lewis made it 42-4 Saskatoon as he scored on a 3-yard run. Chase Nahrebeski would then reel in a 9-yard touchdown toss from Yaremchuk to make the final 42-11.

The Wildcats committed 7 second-half turnovers and 11 in the contest. Yaremchuk would only complete 14 of 30 passes for 149 yards and toss 6 interceptions. Running back Levon Hawreliak, in for the injured PFC rushing champion Jordan Samoil, ran 25 times for 232 yards. The Hilltops QB Matt Karpinka went 15 of 21 for 175 yards on the day, while running back Andre Lalonde ran for 128 yards on 18 carries.

The Hilltops move onto the PFC Final where they’ll face the Regina Thunder in a rematch of the 2010 classic.

This concludes the end of the 2012 Season for the Edmonton Wildcats. Thanks for your support throughout the year and we will see you all next year


Stuart Gibson
Edmonton Wildcats Media Coordinator
Phone (780) 718-3447