The Regina Thunder 2016 season came to an end with a PFC semi-final loss to the Saskatoon Hilltops, 25-24 on Sunday afternoon at SMF Field in Saskatoon.
With the win, the Hilltops advance to take on the Calgary Colts for a second straight year in the PFC Championship game. The Hilltops will have homefield next Sunday.
In the first quarter the Hilltops jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on their first drive. It was capped by a Ryan Turple touchdown catch at 2:20. Then at 14:15Saskatoon went up 14-0 on a rushing touchdown from Logan Fischer and that was the score through 15 minutes.
In the second The Thunder kicked two field goals at 6:06 and 10:42 thanks to James Reid and it was a 14-6 game. Saskatoon got three back from James Vause at 12:17 but Reid kicked his third field goal of the quarter with two seconds left on the clock and the Hilltops lead was 18-9 at the half.
In the third quarter the Hilltops got a defensive touchdown from Adam Benkic who returned a fumble to the endzone at 7:49 and it was 25-9 Saskatoon. The Thunder responded on a Sawyer Buettner touchdown run at 12:53 to cut the lead to 25-16 after three.
In the fourth Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette got Regina to within two with a touchdown run at 6:49. It was 25-23 at that point. It stayed that way until late and the Thunder drove deep into Saskatoon territory with less than two minutes left. Facing third and one under the shadow of the goalposts. They elected to take a delay of game penalty to move the ball back and try the go ahead field goal but it was missed and went for a single at 13:14. That made it 25-24 and that was the final on Sunday afternoon.
QB Sawyer Buettner threw for 316 yards in the loss while Levi Paul led the receiving corps with 81 yards. Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette ran for 53 in the contest and scored a touchdown.