EDMONTON – Despite totalling over 500 yards of offence, combined with a record-breaking performance from starting quarterback Brad Launhardt, the Alberta Golden Bears dropped a sloppy 31-17 decision to the visiting Regina Rams, Saturday afternoon at Foote Field.
Alberta committed 26 penalties for 185 yards, while also turning the ball over three times in their second home loss of the season.
With Manitoba earning a win over Calgary on Saturday, the Rams playoff hopes were dashed, but their 14-point win over Alberta avenges their one-point loss at home to the Bears in Week 2.
Alberta (4-3) can still host a home playoff game in two weeks, but will need to defeat the Saskatchewan Huskies next Saturday in Saskatoon.
Launhardt completed a program record 36 passes for 436 yards, but was held without a touchdown pass, also throwing a costly interception in the fourth quarter.
Rams starter Josh Donnelly completed just 14 passes, but threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair of long TD passes in the first half.
His first lengthy TD strike came just 50 seconds into the first quarter, as he hit Ryan Schienbein for an 80-yard reception to open the scoring for Regina. Schienbein finished the game with six receptions and a game-high 151 receiving yards.
After a Matthew Peterson rushing touchdown for the Bears cut into Regina’s led, Donnelly hit Riley Boersma for a 69-yard TD strike late in the second quarter. Jonathan Giustini hit a 24-yard field goal for Alberta late in the second, but trailed 20-11 at the half.
Like they had in the first half, Alberta had no issue moving the ball offensively. Canada West receiving leader Ben Kopczynski finished with a career-high 11 receptions for 150 yards, while Peterson added 69 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards. However, two turnovers on downs, coupled with the massive amount of penalties undid Alberta’s offensive gains.
Donnelly hit Kyle Moortgat for a 24 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, for a Rams team that led for 59 minutes on Saturday.
Alberta, trailing by two scores, mustered a lone Giustini field goal in the fourth quarter.
With their playoff spot locked up, they will now aim for the highest seed possible next weekend with their trip to Saskatchewan. Regina will close out their Canada West season against Manitoba.