Ritchott runs Rifles to win in B.C.
On a rainy day in Chilliwack, Michael Ritchott did it again.
The former Grant Park Pirates runningback carried 22 times for 225 yards and a touchdown as he led the Winnipeg Rifles to a 35-0 shellacking of the Valley Huskers this weekend.
This was official Canadian Junior Football League inter-conference play so the Rifles victory meant that the team improved to 2-3-0 on the season as it tries to battle its way into the Prairie Junior Football Conference playoffs.
The game also made CJFL. It was the first regular-season game between the Prairie Football Conference and the British Columbia Football Conference.
Poor weather conditions forced both teams to use the run and, thanks to the presence of Ritchott, the Rifles dominated. Not only did Ritchott have 225 yards, but Blair Mattes carried 15 times for 73 yards and Austin Klein rushed six times for 76 yards. In total, the Rifles had 380 yards on the ground.
In the end, the Rifles had 425 yards in net offence, piling up 21 first downs, with only 56 passing yards.
The heavy rain caused issues for the passing game. Rifles quarterback Jamie Ybarra completed only seven of 21 passes for 52 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His favourite target was former St. Vital Mustangs star Kai Madsen, who had three catches for 24 yards.
Backup quarterback Jonathon Remple carried two times for two yards, but both went for touchdowns. Michael Ritchott and Madsen scored the other two TDs for the winners.
The Rifles were also outstanding on defense. In fact, the defensive unit held the Huskers to a net offense of just 110 yards. Defensive back Stefan Conway led the way with two tackles and one interception, Donavon Hillary had two quarterback sacks, and Andrew Ricard had four tackles and two pass knockdowns.
The Rifles play again on Sept. 24 when the Edmonton Huskies invade Investors Group Field. The Rifles will need a win to stay in the playoff hunt. Both the Rifles and Huskies are 2-3-0 this season.
Game time is 6 p.m. Individual game-day tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster online. Fans are asked to enter through the Bomber store. Rifles fans are reminded if they can’t make the game, they can still catch all the action online at riflesfootball.com.
– SCOTT TAYLOR with Joe Czech
Photo courtesy Winnipeg Rifles