The Saskatchewan Roughriders put up 19 points in the second quarter, and the defence stood tall in a 28-13 win over the Ottawa Redblacks Friday night. While the night saw Cody Fajardo go 17/22 and 231 yards with two touchdowns, and Frankie Hickson’s first CFL rushing touchdown, the talk after the game was about an incident in the fourth quarter.
With 5:15 left on the clock, Saskatchewan’s Garrett Marino tackled Ottawa quarterback Jeremiah Masoli low. A low tackle on the quarterback is usually a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, but it was the action afterwards that changed the mood of the game, and the penalty Marino received.
Marino celebrated the hit that knocked Masoli out of the game, and he received the strictest penalty that can be handed out. The Command Centre, conferring with referee Andre Proulx, gave Marino a 25-yard rough play penalty and he was ejected from the game.
“It was disappointing,” said Riders head coach Craig Dickenson after the game. “That’s not the way you want to finish a game. We were playing pretty good football the whole game and we really had a chance to just close it out in style and it ended in a way that none of us want to see.”
The antics by Marino after the hit drew the ire of the Ottawa Redblacks as well, with the team leaving the bench and coming over to the Riders' sidelines. It would take around five minutes for the officials to get the two teams separated, but no further penalties were handed out.
Before the fourth quarter incident, though, the Riders essentially dominated the first half of the game. Fajardo’s 231 yards through the air helped the team to take a 22-6 lead at the end of the first half.
The first touchdown of the game for the Riders came on a 19-yard pass from Fajardo to Duke Williams. This was followed up by a 63-yard run by Frankie Hickson.
“It’s a play that we practice all the time,” Said Hickson at the post-game media availability. “We’re really good at it.”
Hickson finished the 92 yards rushing. Jamal Morrow would also have a good game on the ground, picking up 78 yards on 16 carries.
The lone points for the Riders in the second half of the game came from a Fajardo pass, as he hit Kian Schaffer-Baker with a short little pass, that Schaffer-Baker then took 12 yards to give Saskatchewan the major.
On the defensive side of the ball, A.C. Leonard and Keion Adams both recorded a sack on the win. Larry Dean and Nick Marshall came up big in the secondary as they each recorded an interception.
Penalties had been an issue raised by Dickenson frequently so far this season, and the team seemed to have paid heed. The Riders had no penalties against them in the first half and were called for five penalties totalling 60 yards all game.
Saskatchewan now prepares for Touchdown Atlantic, as they take on the Toronto Argonauts in Wolfville, Nova Scotia next weekend.