The Regina Riot overthrew the reigning queens of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League on Sunday, becoming the first team since the WWCFL’s inception to beat the Saskatoon Valkyries.
Hundreds of spectators were at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Mother’s Day to see the provincial rivals go head to head.
Until this point, however, the rivalry had been a decidedly one-sided affair. And that made the 15-7 victory all the sweeter for the home team.
“It is like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders,” Riot quarterback Aimee Kowalski said after the game. “It has finally given this league a competitive edge. It isn’t just the Valkyries anymore. It could be any team at any time.”
The Valkyries’ winning streak stretches back to May 28, 2011 when they beat the Riot 56-6. Since then, they have dominated regular-season play and have won two league championships.
This game, however, saw a more organized and energized Riot controlling much of the play. The team has new talent on the field and on the sidelines, after keeping important veterans in key positions.
“The Riot are a much-improved team. They outplayed us today,” said Valkyries head coach Jeff Yausie. “For us, it’s back to the drawing board — and then we are going to need to play them again in a couple weeks.”
“These girls have worked their butts off, and as coaches we told them if you work hard you will beat the best team in the league,” said Riot defensive line coach and former Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive tackle Markus Adams, who stood in for new head coach Darren Fisher for this game.