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The University of Regina Rams achieved a new milestone following a 55-21 blowout victory against the University of Manitoba on Saturday night. For the first time in the organization’s history, the Rams clinched first place in Canada West with a record of 6-2 in the regular season.

This is a significant turnaround following the Rams’ dismal 0-8 record in the 2015 season, boosting morale for the team.

“I feel really great, and I think the whole team feels good, too,” said Rams receiver Kyle Moortgat. “Just because of the way the season went last year…going from last [place] to first. It’s been a huge improvement for the team, and everyone’s having a lot more fun playing as well.”

Moortgat attributes first-year head coach Steve Bryce’s coaching philosophy and emphasis on team bonding to the team’s success this season. According to Moortgat, Bryce changed the Rams’ mentality by means of his knowledge and inspiration to move forward from last year.

Despite the Rams’ strong performance thus far, the team plans to remain focused both on and off the field, knowing that there’s still a lot of preparation ahead of them going into the post-season.

“We only won by a couple of points for most of our games [during the regular season]. I think going into the playoffs we want to make a statement that we are a dominating team, and we can make a run at the Vanier Cup,” Moortgat said. “When it comes to game time, we just have to know our responsibilities, everyone’s got to do their job…and hopefully we’ll come out victorious.”

The Rams will be hosting a Canada West semifinal matchup against the fourth-seed UBC Thunderbirds at Mosaic Stadium on Nov. 5. In the past two matchups, the Rams defeated UBC and will be looking for a third win on Saturday.