Hilltops Squeeze By Wildcats
The Edmonton Wildcats showed tenacity and toughness as they fought to stay in the playoff race in the PFC. But it wasn’t meant to be as the Wildcats went down fighting 19-10 to the Hilltops in Saskatoon on Sunday afternoon in front of approximately 800 fans.
The Wildcats came into Sunday’s game needing a victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, while a Hilltops win would clinch top spot in the conference.
Hilltops rookie kicker Zach Schmidt would open the scoring 9:37 into the opening quarter with a 47-yard field goal. He would double the Hilltops lead with a 29-yarder with 12 seconds left in the first.
In the second quarter, the Wildcats run game roared to life as Taylor Souster would motor for 50 yards on his first two carries of the game. But the Wildcats would score their lone touchdown via the pass as Anthony Johnson fired a 10-yard TD pass to Tyler Nelson to give the champions a 7-6 lead. A muffed Wildcat punt return gave Saskatoon great field position, but had to settle for a 3rd Schmidt placement giving Saskatoon the lead as he connected from 10 yards out to make it 9-7 after 30 minutes.
Schmidt hit his 4th field goal of the day to up the lead to 5. Shortly thereafter, Clayton Garnett would increase the Hilltops lead as he took a 47-yard pass from Chase Bradshaw to make it 19-7 after 3.
The Wildcats fought back in the fourth quarter with a Donovan Kavich field goal with 6 minutes left in the game but it proved to be too little, too late as the champions where knocked out of post-season contention with a 19-10 loss.
The Wildcats defense had a strong outing holding the Hilltops to three field goals in the first half as the Toppers went into the locker room only up by 2. Linebacker Mike Podloski had a huge game leading all defenders, racking up 11 tackles and 22 defensive points. The defensive secondary held the Hilltops to just 145 yds in passing as Chase Bradshaw was 8 for 23 and 1 TD on the afternoon.
Offensively the Wildcats had a solid outing racking up 345 total yds in the contest with the running game producing 233yds and the passing game picking up 143yds on the afternoon. Andrew Johnson was 13 of 21 and 1 TD, while rushing for 107yds on 15 carries. Running Back Taylor Souter had 11 carries for 86 yds while Wide Receiver Mitch Richter had 5 catches for 53 yds. The Hilltops offense was held to 322 total yds with the running game picking up 191 yds. Running Back Regan Schuler rambled for 108 of those yds on 21 carries. Hilltops Wide Receiver Clayton Garnett caught the loan Toppers TD as he snagged 1 catch for 47yds.
The Hilltops clinch the regular season title with a 6-1 mark, while the Wildcats loss allows Winnipeg to take the last playoff berth. The Wildcats wrap up 2010 with a home game at Clarke Park this Saturday Oct 16th 7:30pm against the Calgary Colts.
All Edmonton Wildcat practices are at Rundle Park and the players take to the field at around 7:30 pm nightly.
Edmonton Wildcats Media Coordinator
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