Rifles record unblemished

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Mike Watson may still be searching for perfection, but you can't argue with the Winnipeg Rifles results to date.

RIFLES 29 WILDCATS 28

Watson's Rifles improved to 4-0 yesterday afternoon with a 29-28 come-from-behind victory over the Edmonton Wildcats in Prairie Football Conference action yesterday at Foote Field.

"We don't like playing unless it's close I guess," Watson said in a telephone interview from Edmonton shortly after the completion of the game. "We did panic for a bit, but we showed some resiliency. We're not perfect and it's not exactly the momentum train right now. That's depressing in one way, but good in another because we've played three of our first four games on the road and we're still undefeated."

The Rifles are the only undefeated team in the Canadian Junior Football League and should certainly hang on to their No. 1 ranking despite having a bye this coming week. The Rifles will return to action on Sept. 18 against the Saskatoon Hilltops at Canad Inns Stadium to open the stretch drive that will see Winnipeg host three of its final four PFC games.

Kicker Jake Kennerd scored the final nine points for the Rifles yesterday and secured the victory with a 19-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.

"I knew I had to put it through, but there were about three minutes left and I thought our offence would have another chance to score," said Kennerd, who also connected from 35 and 46 yards.

"This is the first time I've ever been 4-0 on any team. To get to this point, it puts down a message that teams are going to have to be sharp to beat us, but we've just got to keep going."

Speaking of keeping it going, Rifles quarterback Nathan Friesen had another big game, finishing 17 of 31 for 247 yards and two touchdown passes. Friesen also rushed eight times for 106 yards and a 12-yard touchdown run.

Luke Kennerd led the Rifles receivers with six catches for 138 yards and a touchdown, while Jeremy Bothelo added a nine-yard touchdown reception to round out the Rifles' scoring.

The Rifle defence had a tough afternoon, allowing 490 yards of total offence, but did come up with some big plays, recovering a pair of fumbles and forcing the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs twice.

Discipline, or lack thereof, was a factor in the contest as well as the Rifles were flagged 12 times for 105 yards and the Wildcats committed 17 infractions for 165 yards.


Videos

Photos