Munch, crunch, munch: Saskatoon Hilltops crush Calgary Colts, hit the 50-point mark once again

Michelle Berg/Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Saskatoon Hilltops Riece Kack (47) and Matt Wist (44) celebrate a big defensive play during first-half action Sunday against Calgary Colts atSMF Field in the Gordie Howe Sports Complex. Photo taken in Saskatoon on Sunday, August 27, 2023.

For the third straight week, the Hilltops walked off the field with a lop-sided win — this time a 50-18 decision over the visiting Calgary Colts

Darren Zary, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Another “50-burger,” as Saskatoon Hilltops coach Tom Sargeant put it Sunday.


Yes, indeed, the Hilltops ate up a lot of yardage, scored a lot of points and, for the third straight week, walked off the field with a lop-sided win — this time a 50-18 decision Sunday over the visiting Calgary Colts at SMF Field.

“What do you think of that?” wondered Sargeant, whose team improved to a perfect 3-and-0 this season in the Canadian Junior Football League’s Prairie Football Conference. “I’m happy. Once again, our first quarter was exceptional. Coaches did a great job of preparing, getting these guys ready and then, boy, did they execute the plan.

“For a third of the season done now, we feel pretty good where we’re at.”

Sargeant said the Hilltops did “everything we thought they should and could do” in the opening quarter. While the second quarter was okay, outscoring the opponents 22-10 — “we lost a little bit of energy or momentum,” admitted Sargeant — the Hilltops eventually ran, and threw, away with it.

“It was good to unload the bench again, and they came out and played well,” assessed Sargeant.

“We’re moving this thing in the right direction. Now we’ve got a bye (over the September long weekend). We feel pretty good about things going into the bye and we can get ready for whoever our next opponent is.”

That’ll be the Regina Thunder. The two provincial rivals will meet Sept. 9 in Regina.

On Sunday, it was a well-oiled Toppers machine churning out the yards on offence and making some big plays on defence.

Quarterback Trey Reider completed 17 of 26 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns through three quarters.

Boston Davidson rushed the ball 15 times for 190 yards and one TD major.

Noah Flaman caught three balls for 37 yards and one TD.

“Boston was Boston, right? He made some outstanding cuts, some good runs,” said Sargeant. “He’s just an elite back and he makes this whole thing go. Trey, from last week to this week, I saw good improvements and got to see him. A couple of times, he got a little wound up and jacked up to overthrow but we’ll coach that and get better.

“But any time you put 50 up, you’ve got to feel pretty good about the process.”

The Hilltops’ young players once also played a major role in the team’s win.

Xavier Sabo caught four passes for 139 yards and a touchdown, while Landon Thibault added a 31-yard TD catch and Corbin Ebben had five carries for 16 yards and one TD major.

“It felt really amazing,” said Sabo. “We just went out, did our job. Good blocking. It felt really good.

“We worked hard all week, came out and did our job. Defence, offence both played good. Yeah, we’re coming.”

Teijon Abel-Douglas nailed three of four field-goal attempts, connecting from 12, 35 and 36 yards out.

Defensively, lineman Kai Kukurudza had four tackles, three quarterback sacks and a tackle for a loss.

“He had an outstanding game,” noted Sargeant.

“Just some real good things we’re jumping on the field today. And Teijon, our field-goal kicker, has been on point all season.

Riece Kack added three tackles and 2.5 sacks on defence for the Hilltops, who led 43-10 at half-time.

“I really thought the defensive line played outstanding football,” noted Sargeant. “Riece Kack and Ben Marce were all over the place as edge players and we got some good inside push, but that D-line was real good. We gave up a couple of gap runs but that’s guys not fitting in well with the defensive calls that were made. That’s why we’re going to coach it up a little bit more and be better, but, again, I feel just real good about heading into the bye with just a great 3-and-0 start for this football team.”

It’s a bit of a quirky schedule as the Hilltops do not play at home again until Sept. 30 when the play host to the Regina Thunder after three straight away games.

“At the end of the day, we’re not complaining right now,” Sargeant said with a shrug. “We aint complaining. Like I said, happy with what we’re at. We’re excited where we’re at, who we’re with, and this young team’s getting smarter and they’re getting better. What I’m seeing is, from Game 1 to Game 2 to Game 3, we’re getting better. That’s what exciting. Where we take it from here, who knows? That’s also the good part about this. We’ve got a high ceiling in front of us.”