It took some help from the crossbar of the field goal posts but the Regina Thunder ended the home part of their schedule with a 27-26 win over the Edmonton Wildcats.
Both the Thunder and Wildcats came into the game in a three-way tie for the final two playoffs spots in the Prairie Football Conference.
“This was our playoff game right here, we needed that,” quarterback Brock Sich said after the game which saw him throw three touchdowns.
“We have to win out now, two more games and then playoffs, anything can happen.”
While both teams eventually got their offence rolling, points were at a premium in the first quarter. Both defences proved to be tough to figure out but a big passing play from Wildcats quarterback Justin Swedish got the ball down to the one-yard line where he finished off the drive with a one-yard run.
After the Thunder got into the red zone due to a big Tristan Lockman run, Sich connected with Lee Brown for the score.
Sich got the ball back due to a fumble recovery and connected for another touchdown pass.
Penalties and fumbles reared their ugly heads for the Thunder in the game. Two touchdowns were erased due to penalties and the thunder lost two fumbles in the second half.
“There’s a lot of dropped balls, there’s a lot of penalties, there’s a lot of missed tackles, our coaches have got to be better with our substitutions and stuff, we got to better at getting reported in regards to who’s being injured and all that kind of stuff,” head coach Scott MacAulay said.
The Wildcats’ David Adebayo found a big hole for the Wildcats and rumbled in for a go-ahead touchdown with under 10 minutes to go in the game.
But at the end of the game, special teams ended up being the deciding factor.
A 36-yard punt return gave the Thunder the ball late deep in Wildcats territory, which ended with Sich throwing another touchdown.
One the final play of the game, a 41-yard field goal by the Wildcats bounced off the crossbar, sealing the win for the Thunder.
“This win puts us a little bit ahead of what’s going on in the standings and stuff and with the amount of injuries that we have right now too, it takes a little bit of the pressure off,” MacAulay said.
The Thunder move to 3-3 while the Wildcats drop to 2-4 in the standings.
Regina will head out on the road for the final two weeks of the regular season, with Winnipeg up next.