With one minute left in the game, the Thunder were trailing 26-21 to the undefeated Hilltops.
READ MORE: Saskatoon Hilltops enter bye week undefeated
But then, Thunder quarterback Sawyer Buettner made a touchdown pass to Lee Brown, followed by a two-point conversion to complete a stunning second-half comeback at SMF Field.
“It’s a big one for us, we haven’t had too much success against these guys in the past couple of years,” Thunder head coach Scott MacAulay said.
“So to be able to come up here to their own house and stuff, and come out with this win, it’s a big deal for our team and I think it’s going to bring us a lot closer.”
The Hilltops had found their groove early in the game, leading 20-6 at half-time.
However, Regina limited Saskatoon running back Logan Fischer – who has seven touchdowns this season – to just 94 rushing yards, nearly 30 yards fewer than his season average.
“We could not run the ball and it’s pretty tough to call a game when you’re so used to running the ball and getting that mix going,” Hilltops head coach Tom Sargeant said.
“Our players just weren’t playing on the fly, and we just weren’t playing confident at the end of the day.”
“So they did a good job of getting in our heads and not allowing us to play aggressive and physical.”
Despite being evenly matched over the past few seasons, this is the first time the Hilltops have lost to the Thunder since 2014.
“They’re the top dogs obviously, a great team, a great tradition. So it’s good that we can come in here and prove to ourselves most importantly now that we can beat them,” Buettner said.
“As long as I’ve been here, I think we usually lose a game a year and we always come back better. It’s been a humbling experience. We’re going to come out, we’re going to work really hard and we’re going to rectify these mistakes,” Hilltops’ Ryan Turple said.
The Hilltops (3-1) are back in action on Sept. 17 when the head to Calgary to play the Colts (1-3).