THE Winnipeg Rifles couldn't pull the trigger on the post-season as they fell 49-29 to the Edmonton Huskies on Sunday to end their playoff hopes.
The road loss was the last regular-season game for the junior football squad, which finished the season 3-5. If the Rifles had won, the fact the Edmonton Wildcats tied their game against Regina the day before meant the Winnipeg squad would be headed to the playoffs. Instead, the Rifles finished fifth in the Prairie Football Conference with the Wildcats fourth and in a playoff spot.
But the Rifles didn't go down quietly on Sunday, racking up 448 yards of offence in Edmonton as they sought to keep their post-season dreams alive, and the team's big guns came out to play.
Receiver Kurt Goodrich hauled down six passes from pivot Ryan Marsch for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns. That padded his stats as the top receiver in the conference, and he wrapped the year with 985 yards on 41 catches.
Meanwhile, Marsch -- the conference leader in passing yards -- completed just 16 of 36 attempts against the Huskies, though those passes were good for 306 yards.
Despite the season-ending disappointment, the loss capped off a reworking year of sorts for the Rifles, who came off a dismal 1-7 season with a very young team last year. This season was the first with Rifles alumnus and former CFL offensive lineman Ryan Karhut in the head-coaching gig.