It was a Saskatoon Hilltops pounding that most didn’t expect going into the home opener.
Hilltops head coach Tom Sargeant said all week they were going to be in tough against the Winnipeg Rifles.
But it was the Rifles who were in tough as they got routed 40-13 in front of a packed house at SMF Field on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m happy with the effort,” Sargeant said. “I expect to play a much better game next week.”
Receiver Ryan Turple caught a 67-yard pass from quarterback Jared Andreychuk to open scoring and the Hilltops outscored Winnipeg 27-0 in the second quarter.
“The guys did great,” Andreychuk said. “The receivers have tons of skill and they’re going to make plays all season.”
Andreychuk went 8-for-19 with 193 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Logan Fischer had 20 carries for 133 yards.
The game included a rare highlight as Andreychuk threw a four-yard touchdown pass to defensive lineman Dillion Buckle with 10:00 minutes left in the second quarter.
“It was my first ever offensive touchdown,” Buckle said. “(Coach Sargeant) always tries to get our fifth-year guys a TD, so it was good to get one.”
The Hilltops defence nabbed two interceptions and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Adam Benkic.
“I was happy with the defence for the most part,” Sargeant said. “At times we gave up too much on the run, we need to fix that for next week.”
The Hilltops’ next game sees them pay a visit to the Edmonton Huskies this weekend.
They opened their year with a 15-6 away loss to the Regina Thunder.