AFTER a rocky season start, the Winnipeg Rifles blazed their way back into the win column on Sunday, hammering the Edmonton Wildcats in a 46-24 rout.
It was the team's first victory at Investors Group Field, having dropped their home opener to the Edmonton Huskies, and then being toppled by defending national champion Saskatoon Hilltops earlier this month. The win pulls them up to 3-2 on the season, and if this means the junior club's offence is now clicking, that number could be on the rise.
"I feel like we can't come down from that," final-year receiver Matt Lariviere said, still buzzing after a game that saw him catch six passes for 93 yards and three touchdowns. "We haven't really clicked (before) as to what we think we could do. So we really showed what we could do. The sky's the limit for us."
The Rifles scored on their first drive of the game, as starting pivot Ryan Marsch threw to Lariviere, who broke the plane. Edmonton responded with a major of their own just four minutes later, and took a 14-10 lead near the end of the first quarter, but the Rifles pulled ahead on a touchdown strike to Matt Goodrich (who finished with 217 receiving yards) a minute later.
After the half, the squad started opening up the lead, and never looked back. For this steady march down the field, Lariviere points to Marsch -- who went 20 for 28 and a whopping 408 yards -- and his colleagues on the attack. "All game we moved the ball," Lariviere said. "There was no ifs, ands or buts about it... We have so much talent in our offence, and at any point in any week, anyone can have the game that I had."
Next, the Rifles will head to Regina on Saturday to face the Thunder. They go into a bye week after that, then will host the Thunder on Oct. 6.