The Saskatchewan Roughriders bounced back from their loss last week against the Montreal Alouettes in a big way Saturday. The Riders would score 21 points in the third quarter en route to a 41-20 victory over the Alouettes, improving to 3-1 on the season.
“We just played better,” said head coach Craig Dickenson after the game. “Not perfect – there's plenty to improve on, but the guys came out, especially that second half and just gave it their best. That’s one thing we talked about at halftime – let's play the way we’re capable of and see what the score is at the end.”
The defence was key to the success of the Riders Saturday. They recorded six sacks, while also getting two interceptions, and forcing three fumbles, two of which were recovered by the Riders. Leading the way in the sack department was Anthony Lanier, who finished up the game with three of them.
“Every dog has his day, and now you’ve got a team full of dogs, so which dog’s gonna have it,” Lanier said during the post-game press conference, talking about the number of players who are all capable of putting up multiple sacks in a game along the Riders defensive line.
On the offensive side of things, Cody Fajardo would throw for 224 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. His top target in the game was Kian Schaffer-Baker, who caught seven passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. The other touchdown through the air was caught by Mitchell Picton.
“We didn’t start the way we wanted to but after half time we felt a little disrespected as an offence because they chose to kick off to us again, and we took it personally, and we went out there and it kind of motivated us on offence,” Fajardo said after the game. The opening drive of the third quarter would be capped off in just four plays with a 12-yard run by Jamal Morrow for the major.
Penalties continued to be an issue for the Riders, however. The team was called for 16 penalties, costing the Riders 155 yards on the field. This included seven penalties against the offence for 60 yards.
The Alouettes would finish the game with Trevor Harris going 18-for-26 from the backfield, throwing for 198 yards, and tossing two interceptions. The Riders' defence also limited the running game for the Alouettes to just 87 yards.
By comparison, the Riders had 163 yards on the ground, 103 of those from Morrow.
The Riders will now get set for the Ottawa Redblacks. They visit Mosaic Stadium this coming Friday night.