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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

THE POINT AFTER: WEEK 10

Photo: CFL.ca
Saskatchewan head coach and general manager Chris Jones has been criticized for some of his tough personnel decisions and stubbornly sticking to a quarterback rotation. But there's no questioning his acumen as a defensive co-ordinator.

The Roughriders defence registered five sacks and five turnovers in its 40-27 home win over Calgary on Sunday night. The win not only moved the Saskatchewan (4-4) into fourth in the West Division, it also knocked the Stampeders (7-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.

What's more, the Riders beat the Stampeders at their own game.

Calgary's defence entered the game leading the CFL in fewest yards allowed (255.2 per game), rushing yards (72.3), passing yards (199.7), offensive points (11.1), touchdowns (six) and passing TDs (three). Offensively, the Stampeders were tied with Winnipeg for fewest sacks allowed (nine) and had committed a league-low eight turnovers.

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw four TD passes but was sacked five times. He also fumbled once and had an interception Nick Marshall returned 67 yards for a touchdown.

Marshall, a former quarterback at Auburn, also had a three-yard TD run for the Riders while Matt Elam and Charleston Hughes both had two sacks apiece. Marshall became the first CFL player to score two different ways in a game since Winnipeg's Milt Stegall had a 37-yard touchdown catch and 52-yard fumble return off a blocked punt July 15, 1999.

Hughes played 10 seasons in Calgary before being dealt twice - first to Hamilton then Saskatchewan - this off-season. He has a league-best 11 sacks, the sixth time Hughes has had 10-plus sacks in a season.

Saskatchewan quarterback Zach Collaros was a tidy 25-of-34 passing for 270 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The Riders also managed to run for 112 yards on 20 carries.

Saskatchewan also scored when Sam Eguavoan blocked a Calgary punt, then returned it to the end zone.

The win was redemption of sorts for Saskatchewan, which fell behind 24-0 to Calgary on July 28 in a 34-22 loss at Mosaic Stadium.

Sunday's game tightens things up in the West Division. Calgary still remains first but only two points ahead of Edmonton (5-3) and four in front of third-place Winnipeg (5-4). The Riders broke a fourth-place tie with B.C. (3-5).

Calgary and Saskatchewan return to action Saturday night. The Stampeders host Winnipeg while the Riders visit B.C.

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NICE ROLL: Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris was 29-of-39 passing for 361 yards and a TD on Friday night in leading Ottawa to a 44-21 road win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It was Harris's third straight 300-plus yard game and followed a 487-yard performance in a 24-17 win over Montreal on Aug. 11.

Over that span, Harris has completed 100-of-128 passes for 1,229 yards with four TDs and two interceptions. Harris stands second overall in CFL passing with 2,735 yards, second only to Edmonton's Mike Reilly (3,046 yards).

Running back William Powell registered his second straight 100-yard rushing game against Winnipeg with 106 yards and a TD. Powell also ran for 104 yards and the game-winning touchdown against Montreal and is the CFL's second-leading rusher with 714 yards, 78 yards behind Winnipeg's Andrew Harris.

Greg Ellingson also had his second straight 100-yard receiving contest with eight catches for 100 yards. Ellingson registered 11 catches for 110 yards versus Montreal.

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LET'S GO TO THE EX: A season-high 18,104 spectators watched the Toronto Argonauts rally for a 24-23 win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday afternoon.

It was a second straight home win for Toronto (3-5), which overcame a 24-point deficit to beat the Ottawa Redblacks 42-41 on Aug. 2.

Ideally, Toronto would be able to ride the momentum of the two wins with yet another home date during the Canadian National Exhibition, which opened last week. That would give the Argos, who're averaging 13,881 fans at home, a terrific opportunity to attract more spectators to BMO Field.

Instead, Toronto visits the Montreal Alouettes (1-7) on Friday night before heading to Tim Hortons Field to face arch-rival Hamilton on Sept. 3. The Argos' next home game is Sept. 8 against the Tiger-Cats.

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TD MACHINE: Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly leads the CFL in touchdown passes (19) and TDs scored (eight). The league's outstanding player last season is on pace for 54 scores, which would move Reilly into a very rare grouping with former all-star Doug Flutie.

The former Heisman Trophy winner is the only CFL quarterback ever to register 50-plus TDs in a season, doing so four times. He had 56 in 1994 with Calgary (48 TD passes, eight rushing touchdowns) and 55 in '93 with the Stampeders (44 TD passes, 11 rushing). Twice the Canadian Football Hall of Famer had 52 (38-14 in '91 with B.C., 47-5 in '97 with Toronto).

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RARE LOSS: With Saskatchewan's 40-27 win over Calgary on Sunday, Stampeders starter Bo Levi Mitchell's record stands at 63-11-2 in 76 career starts.

Mitchell remains a win away from joining Sam Etcheverry (64-57-1) in the top-20 all-time. He needs three more victories to surpass Kent Austin (65-59-1).

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HISTORIC EFFORT: Winnipeg's Andrew Harris ran for 72 yards and a TD on 12 carries in the Bombers' 44-21 loss to Ottawa on Friday night.

That gives Harris 7,060 career yards, making him the 12th player in league history to reach the 7,000-yard plateau. He's currently tied with Jim Evenson for 12th in all-time CFL rushing.

Harris stands second among Canadian-born rushers behind the late Norm Kwong (9,022). Harris, the league's top rusher last year, is leading again this year with 792 yards (6.0-yard average).

(Canadian Press)

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1-BROOKS-ELAM-MARSHALL WON THE GAME, NOT ZACH: Zach Collaros did some nice things and made some really good reads but he hardly made a difference in Sunday's 40-27 win over Calgary. It’s the first time we’ve seen the trio of Mic’hael Brooks at defensive line, Nick Marshall at corner and Matt Elam at outside linebacker all starting at once and boy did it pay off!

As Rob Vanstone put it, take a bow Chris Jones. If your staffer hadn’t screwed up in Edmonton (Elam couldn’t play due to a clerical error), your Riders might be 5-3!

2-THOSE SUMMER SUNDAY NIGHTS: Last August, the Riders entered a Sunday 5pm home game against the B.C. Lions at 2-4, staring at another lost season. They emerged with an unforgettable defensive gem led by Ed Gainey’s 5 turnovers and turned their season around while B.C. belly-flopped the rest of the way. Too early to tell where the Riders and Stamps will go from here but it’s all enough to make me think they should go ahead and request more of those Sunday night games next summer.

3-JEFF FAIRHOLM STILL JABBING DURON: This is hardly news. Jeff is active on twitter and called Duron an unflattering name last fall when Carter laid a late cheap-shot on an Ottawa defender near the end of the regular season. Jeff Tweeted Sunday night: “Great win by the Riders today. They played as a team and won as a team. Enough said”. He didn’t name Duron specifically but it’s not hard to read between the lines about what he meant. It’s one thing for us talking heads to rip Duron but completely another when someone with the credibility of Jeff Fairholm does it. It's looking more and more like Duron has played his final down in this league and I’m not even sure that’s such a bad thing.

Still haven’t figured out if he ever liked football in the first place anyway.

4-BEST MOSAIC STADIUM SNACK: Piffles Float Shop conveniently located by section 120. I had the root beer and it was a delight.

5-#REGINA RED SOX PROUD: Sad to see the Red Sox awesome August end with a thud in Medicine Hat last Thursday. Not because they lost the championship game. It’s not like we could be any more proud of this bunch even if they had won. But rather because we have to wait another 9 and a half months to do it all over again. This summer has rewarded Regina and southern Saskatchewan baseball fans with a taste of what could be. It took 5 tries for both the Weyburn Beavers and Medicine Hat Mavericks to finally knock this juggernaut out. That 4-1 record when facing elimination is nothing short of remarkable.

I was coy with Regina Manager Mitch MacDonald prior to game 4 at Currie Field on one of those nights the Sox stared death in the eye when I asked, “There isn’t championship celebration to prepare for tonight, is there?” He gave me an icy stare and replied with “Not that I know of.”

And it does count that the Sox pushed it to a game 5 and didn’t let those Mavericks celebrate on our own turf.

6-MITCH MacDONALD IS KENT AUSTIN: Kent is the greatest quarterback the Riders have had in 40 years, while Mitch is the greatest player the Red Sox have ever had. Kent came back to coach the Riders to a Grey Cup championship while Manager Mitch masterfully pieced together a depleted roster to get to the final game of the playoffs a la Cinderella like Kent Austin’s ’89 Riders.

Think about it.

Kent tried out for the St. Louis football Cardinals. Mitch tried out for the St. Louis baseball Cardinals. Neither one of them are real chatty but they’ll both tell you more in one sentence than Danny Barrett ever will in an afternoon.

If my jury or anyone else’s was out on Mitch as manager before the playoffs, it shouldn’t be now.

7-LOCAL MEDIA STILL DOESN’T GET IT: Coverage of the Sox improbable run was piss poor at best. Some outlets like Access Communications and CKRM did a good job but others who have full-time sports people barely even noticed it. A Sports Director at another radio station once told me, ‘we don’t cover the Red Sox because no-one ever calls me to ask me about them’. This is probably true but it really is a chicken-and-egg thing. If you cover it properly, people become interested and give you content to produce. If you don’t, then nobody wins and you end up regurgitating the same stuff TSN and Sportsnet have.

And you’re not going to do it better than TSN or Sportsnet are.

How about instead of laying people off and complaining about the internet and what it’s done to local sports outlets, actually go out and produce some original content, maybe? Not everyone can cover the Riders. People I talk to tell me they love the Red Sox and wish there was more coverage to teach them more about the team and its players. Me too!

8-FIRST FAMILIES OF REGINA SPORT: Well nobody is going to outdo the Getzlaf crew overall but for baseball we’ll go with Leo, Mitch and Geoff MacDonald. For hockey it’s Barry, Doug, Bear and Sheri Trapp. In football, Ron Lancaster’s son-in-law/longtime CFL on CBC-TSN spotter Larry Mueller and Larry’s son/Stamps assistant coach Marc Mueller.

9-WHATEVER HAPPENED TO…: ...The buzz about Fuddruckers returning to Regina? Just don’t feel it anymore.

10-BOOK/DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: Just watch the U or R Rams and Regina Thunder either at Leibel Field (Rams Wednesday, Thunder Saturday) or on Access Communications (Thunder) next weekend. A quick shift from the boys of summer to the boys of autumn but hey it’s something to get excited about if you don’t have Rider tickets or want a better seat than you have at Mosaic Stadium.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

PATS ACQUIRE ROOKIE GOALIE

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce they have acquired 17-year-old goaltender Carter Woodside from the Kootenay ICE in exchange for a conditional 8th round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.

Woodside (6’0, 161), from Asquith, Saskatchewan, was originally a 6th round pick by the ICE in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

“We are really happy to acquire Carter,” said Pats General Manager John Paddock. “He will add some needed depth at the goalie position to our organization.”

Woodside played the 2017-18 season with the Prince Albert Mintos of the SMAHL. In 21 appearances he went 15-5-0 with a 2.53 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. In the playoffs, he appeared in three games, going 2-1 with a 1.69 goals against average and a .940 save percentage as the Mintos went to the league final against the Notre Dame Hounds.

The condition on the trade is based on the number of games played for Woodside during the 2018-19 season.

The Pats will kick off the 2018 pre-season on August 31 against the Swift Current Broncos at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. Season tickets and 17-game packages for the 2018-19 season are available now by visiting reginapats.com.

Monday, August 20, 2018

FIELD SET FOR 2018 CP WOMENS OPEN IN REGINA

REGINA, Sask. – Saskatoon native Bobbi Brandon was one of four golfers to claim the final exemptions into the 2018 CP Women’s Open via Monday’s qualifying event at Royal Regina Golf Club.

Brandon, a PGA of Canada Professional who works out of Moon Lake Golf & Country Club, carded a 2-over-par 74 to sit T2 among the 11-player field. This will be Brandon’s second appearance at the CP Women’s Open. She competed in Canada’s National Women’s Open in 1998 at Essex Golf and Country Club in Windsor, Ont., where she missed the cut.

Sweden’s Louise Stahle fired a 2-under par 70 to earn medalist honours.

American Jennifer Hahn (74) and Japanese amateur Kasumi Kuniyoshi (76) earned the final two spots.

Brandon will be the 16th Canadian in the field at the CP Women’s Open. All are trying to become the first Canadian to win an LPGA Tour event on Canadian soil since Canadian Golf Hall of Fame honoured member Jocelyne Bourassa won La Canadienne in 1973.

(Golf Canada)

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: THE ROLLER COASTER CONTINUES


BY: RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF

After being about as down as a team could be, the roller-coaster that is the Saskatchewan Roughriders season is back in the upward motion.

This after an outstanding 40-27 victory over the now previously undefeated Calgary Stampeders Sunday at a soldout Mosaic Stadium.

It was the prototypical Roughrider win: big plays on defence, a big play on special teams and mistake-free offence.

With the release of Duron Carter one week ago, there were many questions surrounding who would step up to be the next "big-play" stars on the Roughriders. Two were front and centre on Sunday:

REC Jordan Williams-Lambert: If anyone said he would be the first Rider receiver to have a 100-yard game in 2018, that person is a down-right liar. The former all-conference receiver out of Ball State had his best game as a receiver since a 11 catch, 179-yard performance on October 11, 2014 against Western Michigan.

CB/QB Nick Marshall: In this game, the Auburn star showcased his impressive his offensive and defensive skills. The 67-yard interception for a touchdown late in the first quarter was his second pick-six of the season. Marshall has an incredible knack for sitting on a route and baiting a quarterback to throw the football. As a former quarterback, Marshall has keen insight on what a quarterback can see in situations like that and uses that to his advantage.

His other touchdown was reminiscent of how he helped the Auburn Tigers win football games. Marshall just wanted the ball, and he willed his way into the end zone for the score.


Those were the top two performances of the night but there were others. Matt Elam picked up a pair of sacks and five tackles; the ageless wonder Charleston Hughes picked up two more sacks to push his league lead to 11 while adding a tackle for loss and another two tackles; the Rider offensive line kept Zach Collaros relatively clean while piling up over 100-yards rushing.

There were so many positives in a game that the Riders hope is the first step in a strong 11-game run to the end of the season.

There are still a few things that need to be cleaned up. As solid as the offence was, they had to settle for too many Brett Lauther field goals. If it wasn’t for the Marshall interception for a score and the blocked punt for a touchdown, the reliance on the offence would have gotten the Riders in trouble.

Granted it was a great first step offensively, there needs to be a few more strides before fans can get comfortable with the offence on the field.

This gets us to a big game against the B.C. Lions on Saturday night. If we turn back the clock to a season ago, the Riders took one on the chin in Vancouver 30-15 in week seven. This was the bottom point of 2017 and seemed to be the rallying point for the Riders on a run towards the playoffs.

This one has the same feel to it. The Lions are lights-out good at home and are smarting after the Toronto Argonauts came from 10-points down to knock off the Leos at BMO Field in Toronto.

Travis Lulay is having a fantastic comeback season and has a great group of receivers to throw to but still has to make up for an average offensive line. With the addition of Shawn Lemon, the Lions defence has stepped it up a notch and it will not be an easy night in Vancouver.

A Rider win would set up yet another thrilling chapter in the Labour Day Classic against Winnipeg.



AROUND THE CFL

- Ottawa went on the road and beat the brakes off the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 44-21.

In a battle of two of the top offences in the CFL, it was the Redblacks that had the extra firepower. Trevor Harris threw for 361 yards with 100 of them going to Greg Ellingson and William Powell picked up yet another 100-yard rushing game with 106-yards on the ground.

The East Division still isn’t as good as the West top-to-bottom (oh hey there Montreal). Both Hamilton and Toronto are 3-5, but it’s not a bad 3-5 record so the playoff crossover isn’t a sure thing in the West.

- The other game that shocked many was the Toronto Argonauts 25-24 comeback win over the Lions.

It was the second come-from-behind win and second career win for Argonaut quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Toronto may have found a diamond in the rough in the much-travelled pivot.

In just two games Bethel-Thompson has thrown for 562 yards and five touchdowns with just a single interception. If they continue to get play like this, it will be an interesting off-season for the Double Blue at the quarterback position with the impending retirement of Ricky Ray and a lot of value tied up in James Franklin.

It’s a problem most CFL teams would like to have.

PFC WRAP

The 2018 Prairie Football Conference season began much the same as the 2017 season ended, with the Saskatoon Hilltops dominating the competition.

The four-time defending Canadian champs went on the road to Mosaic Stadium and laid it on the Regina Thunder 41-7. Running back Ben Abrook picked up 71 yards on the ground while quarterback Jordan Walls threw for 316 yards and a score.

In other action, the Winnipeg Rifles used a solid defence to pick up the 19-3 victory over the Edmonton Wildcats. The weekend finished with the Edmonton Huskies routing the Calgary Colts 66-0.

PFC Week Two

Saturday August 25th
Winnipeg Rifles at Regina Thunder 3pm – Mosaic Stadium
Calgary Colts at Saskatoon Hilltops 7pm – SMF Field
Edmonton Huskies at Edmonton Wildcats 7pm – Clarke Park

Canada West Notebook

There's pre-season action this week on many fronts.

The Regina Rams will host the Manitoba Bisons on August 22nd at Leibel Field in Regina. The Calgary Dinos will take on the Alberta Golden Bears on the 22nd at Great Chief Park in Red Deer. The Saskatchewan Huskies will play their green and white game on August 23rd at Griffiths Stadium.

Canadian to watch in the NCAA

Brady Oliveira
RB – North Dakota
5’10”, 222lbs.
Winnipeg, MB.
High School – Oak Park

Much of the Fighting Hawk offence will rest on the shoulders of the senior running back. Oliveira had a standout junior season in 2017 with 637 yards and three touchdowns as a reserve running back. This earned him an All Big-Sky honourable mention.

This came on the heels of a stellar 2016 that saw the Winnipeg native roll up 897 yards rushing and 10-touchdowns.

He was a star in high school at Oak Park with the highlight being a 370-yard, six touchdown effort that broke the Winnipeg high school record for rushing touchdowns in a game.

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

REGINA'S JON RYAN RELEASED BY SEAHAWKS

Brady Henderson
ESPN.com

The longest-tenured Seahawk is now an ex-Seahawk.

In a move that was expected, veteran punter Jon Ryan announced Monday on Twitter that he has been released.

The NFL Network reported that the release was requested by Ryan, who had played for the Seahawks since 2008.

The move allows Ryan to look for his next team, and it makes official what had been expected since the Seahawks traded up in the fifth round in April's draft to select Michael Dickson from Texas.

"It's been an absolute honor and privilege to play in this great city of Seattle for the past 10 years," Ryan wrote in his tweet. "I never wanted this day to come, but I knew it would someday. Even though I'm leaving, I will always be a Seahawk."

Ryan, 36, had two years remaining on his contract with base salaries of $2.6 million for 2018 and $3 million for 2019. His release clears $2.6 million in 2018 salary-cap space.

The Seahawks were giving him a chance to compete for his job. He averaged 45.6 yards on five punts over the first two preseason games compared with 51.6 on six punts for Dickson.

In discussing Ryan's situation last week, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called him "a perfect pro."

"He has taken to the competition by showing the classy guy that he is, and he's helping Michael wherever he can and talks situations with him, works to support him," Carroll said then. "He's helped him with his holding and all that stuff that Michael didn't have a lot of experience at. He's been a consummate pro."

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24427134/jon-ryan-long-seattle-seahawks-punter-released-team

RIDERS ACQUIRE RECEIVER BRIAN JONES



The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired national wide receiver Brian Jones from the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the 2019 CFL Draft.  

Jones was originally selected by the Argos in the first-round (4th overall) of the 2016 CFL Draft. Through his first three seasons the 24-year-old has registered 12 receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown in 24 regular-season games.  

(Riders PR)

FAMOSO RECAP: ROUGHRIDERS 40 STAMPEDERS 27


REGINA - One offensive touchdown doesn't win a lot of football games.

But the Saskatchewan Roughriders were buoyed by a relentless defensive effort and a spark on special teams in their 40-27 upset victory over the previously unbeaten Calgary Stampeders.

"This is a huge win for us .. we just beat the No. 1 team in the league and it tells everyone else that we're here,'' said Riders linebacker Sam Eguavoen, as his team improved to 4-4.

"We didn't need a lot from the offence tonight. Defence and special teams is two-thirds of the game and they carried us .. made a lot of plays.''

Calgary was aiming to become the fourth team in the past 50 years to start a CFL season with eight consecutive wins. Instead, they see their record slip to 7-1.

Bo Levi Mitchell, despite throwing for four touchdowns, was under pressure for the majority of the game. The Riders blitzed and showed some unorthodox formations on defence that led to uncharacteristic misplays from the Calgary quarterback. He was sacked five times and intercepted once, with one of those sacks resulting in a lost fumble.

"You pressure the quarterback and you'll win in this league. End of story,'' said Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson.

"That guy in the CFL wins and loses games.''

Saskatchewan quarterback Zach Collaros completed 25 of 34 pass attempts for 270 yards, though he was held out of the end zone.

The Riders were playing their first game without receiver Duron Carter, who was a league all-star in 2017. Carter was released earlier in the week. Jordan Williams-Lambert picked up the offensive slack with a team-high 10 catches for 152 yards. Shaq Evans had five receptions for 69 yards.

Mitchell completed 22 of 36 attempts for 275 yards. DaVaris Daniels led the Stampeders with five catches for 83 yards and two TDs. Kamar Jorden had five receptions for 66 yards and a TD, while Romar Morris rushed 13 times for 70 yards.

The Riders' lone offensive touchdown was actually scored by full-time defensive back Nick Marshall on a three-yard run at the goal line. The cornerback also scored a touchdown on a 67-yard interception return, which put the Riders ahead 14-0 after the first quarter.

Eguavoen's blocked punt and return for a touchdown and Brett Lauther's third first-half field goal sent the home team into the locker room with a 24-6 lead.

Calgary's first possession of the second half was more of the same. Mitchell was sacked and fumbled on the play, with the Riders recovering deep in Calgary's end. Three plays later and Marshall was dancing in the end zone after his short touchdown run. The Riders' lead swelled to 31-6.

"He's just a ball player,'' Rider head coach Chris Jones told the media of Marshall, who was a quarterback at Auburn University in the NCAA.

Jones added that Marshall would likely see more short-yardage touches in the future.

But Mitchell and the Calgary offence showed some fight following the Marshall score. They rallied for 15 unanswered points on back-to-back touchdown drives - scores from Jorden and Daniels - and Calgary was back in it, trailing 31-20 after three quarters.

Lauther kicked three more field goals - he had six on the night for Saskatchewan - in the fourth quarter to match Calgary's touchdown with Mitchell finding Daniels again. Though, Calgary just couldn't get any closer.

"We got outplayed, outcoached,'' said Dickenson.

"They seemed to play faster. They had a little bit more edge. They were a little more physical. They executed a little better. When you put all of those things together and when you're playing a good team you're going to get beat.''

Both teams are back in action on Saturday with inter-division matchups. Calgary will return home to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, while Saskatchewan is on the road to tangle with the B.C. Lions.

"We're going to enjoy this one for sure, but we can't let it get to our heads,'' Eguavoen said. "We have another big divisional game on a short week so we have to be ready to go and keep this momentum going.''

POSTGAME COMMENTS FROM RIDER COACH CHRIS JONES

- When you're not down 24-0 after the first quarter, it helps. We held onto the ball, got some drives going and burned the clock. And we took advantage of opportunities on defense.

- Anytime you can break their protection, that's what it is. We did a much better job of man coverage today. Defensively we need to keep him in the pocket, and we did that. We disrupted him and that helped us win the game.

- Let's be careful to anoint that we're going to the Grey Cup. Last week they had us finishing last. This is one game on a long journey. The good thing now is we get to play all these West Division teams face-to-face. I said all along we had a good team, but we stubbed our toe more than we should've. In six days, we haven't play real good over in Vancouver. But today we realized that if we do all the little things right, yes, this is the team I envisioned.

- It's for sure that they can't score points when our offense is out there. We need to control the football and wear on people.

- Calgary didn't have any penalties at halftime. With that being said, we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot as much as we have, especially post-snap. That was one of the biggest things of the night.

- Nick Marshall is a ball player. I could put him just about anywhere. QB, RB, receiver, any of our DB spots. He just needs to be on the field. That man is dynamic with the ball in his hands.

- On the punt block we just flooded all the gaps and hit all the gaps. It was a great design by Dickie. He did a great job of finding something that would allow us to get to the block point. It's one of the first times in a long time that we drew it up, and executed it. The ability to block punts is a knack.

- Williams-Lambert has a been a good player for us. He needs to block better. There were times tonight he missed them. But he caught 10 balls and 2 or 3 were real tough ones. When a QB throws it to you, you gotta catch it and that's what he did tonight.

- It's one win. I certainly hope it's a turning point and everybody in that room hopes it is. But Tre Mason said nobody here's surprised. We just have to execute in all three phases and know that it's not going to be perfect. They cut it to 11 points but we made some plays to back up by 10 and that was big for our confidence.

- Our fans tonight were just outstanding. There were plenty of times I couldn't hear myself talking. I wondered if they could hear what I was calling.

- I wore the CFL shirt tonight that they gave us, so I've gotta wear it every week! It's an important message for our league and the Commissioner. The governing body thinks a lot of the Diversity program and it's something I believe a lot in too. It's a good thing.

- We do things for a reason (cutting Duron). We thought that was the way to go with our team, and if that's why we won, so be it. Our players brought the right attitude tonight. If we bring that the rest of the season, we'll win a lot of football games.

RP
@rodpedersen

(With files from the Canadian Press)

PATS OPEN TRAINING CAMP TUESDAY

The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce the 2018 Training Camp presented by Sleek Signs will begin on Tuesday at the Brandt Centre.

Rookies will be on the ice from Tuesday to Friday, and then the veterans will report and begin on-ice sessions on Saturday. Camp will culminate with the annual Blue and White intrasquad game on Monday, August 27. Rookie camp will be split into two separate teams, named for Pats alumni Chandler Stephenson and Jordan Weal. Main Camp will be split between Team Garth Murray and Team Boyd Kane.

Here is the full camp schedule:
Tuesday August 21, 2018
– 6:00pm – 7:00pm – Team Weal Practice
– 7:15pm – 8:15pm – Team Stephenson Practice

Wednesday August 22, 2018
– 10:00am – 11:00am – Team Weal Practice
– 11:15am – 12:15pm – Team Stephenson Practice
– 12:30pm – 1:30pm – Goalie Session
– 7:00pm – 9:00pm –Team Weal vs Team Stephenson Scrimmage

Thursday August 23, 2018
– 8:45am – 9:45am – Open Skate for Veterans
– 10:00am – 11:00am – Team Stephenson Practice
– 11:15am – 12:15pm – Team Weal Practice
– 12:30pm – 1:30pm – Goalie Session
– 7:00pm – 9:00pm –Team Weal vs Team Stephenson Scrimmage

Friday August 24, 2018
-11:00am – 1:00pm – Team Weal vs Team Stephenson Scrimmage

Saturday August 25, 2018
-10:00am – 11:00am – Rookie Camp Holdovers’ Practice
-7:00pm – 9:00pm –Team Kane vs Team Murray Scrimmage

Sunday August 26, 2018
-10:00am – 10:45am – Team Kane Practice
-11:00am – 11:45am – Team Murray Practice
-7:00pm – 9:00pm –Team Kane vs Team Murray Scrimmage

Monday August 27, 2018
-10:00am – 10:45am – Team White Practice
-11:00am – 11:45am – Team Blue Practice
-7:00pm – 9:00pm – Blue vs White Game

Saturday, August 18, 2018

HILLTOPS FLATTEN THUNDER 41-7

Wanda Harron Photography
REGINA - The Saskatoon Hilltops looked very much like four-time national champions as they beat up on their provincial rivals the Regina Thunder 41-7 Saturday night at Mosaic Stadium.

With the game tied at 7 late in the first quarter, a 42-yard David Solie FG set Saskatoon on a 34 point run and a week one victory.

Hilltops' running back Ben Abrook led an impressive ground game finishing with 171-yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns.  Fifth-year pivot Jordan Walls was 20 for 29 for 316 yards and one touchdown while Thunder QB Brock Sich went 13 for 24, 205 yards and one touchdown. Lee Brown of the Thunder led all receivers in the game with 113 yards on 8 receptions.

The Thunder host the Winnipeg Rifles (1-0) Saturday, August 25th, at 4pm at Leibel Field in Regina. The broadcast will be available province-wide on Access 7 and Facebook Live.

(Darren Dupont)

ESKIMOS TROUNCE ALOUETTES 40-24

EDMONTON - Mike Reilly passed for three touchdowns and took one in himself as the Edmonton Eskimos came away with a 40-24 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday.

Reilly was 33 for 42 passing for 424 yards to help the Eskimos (6-3) earn their fourth win in the past five games.

He surpassed the 25,000 mark for passing yards in his CFL career in the game.

Antonio Pipkin started at quarterback for the Alouettes (1-8) with Johnny Manziel out with a concussion.

Montreal (1-8) has lost six games in a row and has only one victory to show from its last 20 games. Pipkin is the fifth QB the Alouettes have started in that six-game losing skid.

Edmonton got a 38-yard field goal from Sean Whyte on its opening drive, and added to that on the Eskimos second drive when Reilly hit replacement running back Shaq Cooper for an 11-yard passing touchdown.

(The Canadian Press)

ARGONAUTS STUN LIONS 24-23

Adam Gagnon: CFL.ca
TORONTO - Another start, another comeback win for McLeod Bethel-Thompson and the Toronto Argonauts.

James Franklin's one-yard TD run with 2:59 remaining rallied Toronto to an exciting 24-23 win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday afternoon. Franklin put the Argos ahead 24-20 at 2:59 of the fourth quarter after they'd fallen behind 20-10 in the third.

Bethel-Thompson was solid in his second CFL start, completing 18-of-29 passes for 260 yards with a TD. On Aug. 2, Bethel-Thompson provided plenty of second-half drama with four touchdown passes to rally Toronto from a 24-point deficit in a stirring 42-41 home win over the Ottawa Redblacks.

"We're still shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half not completing drives,'' Bethel-Thompson said. "I'm learning more each time I go out there.''

Toronto head coach Marc Trestman put Bethel-Thompson's performance into perspective.

"We now have a quarterback who's played eight quarters, that's it,'' he said. "We have to grow with him.

"He made some very big throws when we needed him to. That's a work in progress ... our roster is fluid and will be that way until we put it all together.''

Marcus Ball appeared poised to cement the Toronto victory when he had a clear path to the endzone on an interception with just over two minutes remaining. But he fumbled and the Lions' Chris Rainey recovered at the B.C. 22-yard line.

Ball redeemed himself by recovering Manny Arcenaux's fumble at centre field with 38 seconds remaining. That thrilled the season-high BMO Field gathering of 18,104 with the CNE underway.

"Marcus is too good a player to not make up for that,'' Bethel-Thompson said. "It was one of those glitches.

"I knew the defence was going to pick that up.''

Tyler Long's 46-yard field goal at 6:37 of the fourth pulled B.C. to within 24-23.

"In the fourth quarter (of the Ottawa game) and the last half of this game, a light switch went on and we became more of a team we wanted to become,'' said Trestman. "We weren't that team to start this game.

"We were undisciplined, couldn't contain the quarterback, couldn't finish drives. But in the third and fourth quarters we found a resilience, an edge and a way to win the game.''

The contest was big for both teams.

Toronto pulled into a second-place tie with the idle Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-5). The long-time rivals will meet in an important home-and-home series starting on Labour Day.

B.C. (3-5) remains tied for fourth in the West Division with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-4), who face the unbeaten Calgary Stampeders (7-0) on Sunday. The Lions are also tied with Toronto and Hamilton in a cross-over scenario.

Lions coach Wally Buono made his final regular-season visit to Toronto. The CFL leader in coaching victories (276-161-3) and seven-time Grey Cup winner (twice as a player, five times as a coach) will retire at season's end and fell to 32-16 against the Argos.

"They out-competed us,'' Buono said. "In a very, very close game that's the difference between a stop, that's the difference between a play and that's the difference between a point.

"In the second half it was very evident in my mind they out-competed us and with that got the win.''

(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)

RIDERS READY FOR STAMPEDERS


Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones cancelled the team's pregame walk-through on Saturday as they prepare to host the Calgary Stampeders in Sunday's annual Plaza of Honour Game (5:00 pm, TSN, CKRM).

That and other topics were discussed in his pregame news conference at Mosaic Stadium:

DID THE SMOKE CANCEL THE WALK-THOUGH?

CJ: No. We've just had a long week and decided to do something different.

WHAT'S THE TEAM LEARNED SINCE THE LAST GAME VS CALGARY?

CJ: We're a 3-4 football team. You can't go back in time. Once you put yourself in the position you're in, you can't do anything to change it. There's no magic formula. You just gotta move on to the next thing. I told them this morning that the bad news is we're 3-4 and the good news is we're 3-4. With Winnipeg losing last night, they've lost four ball games. Edmonton's next and they've lost three games. We win this football game, we're one game out of 2nd place. We just gotta keep grinding.

It's pro football. There's a lot of parity there. We can't put ourself in a position where we're down 24 points. We just gotta play solid football and let the chips fall.

WHAT ARE THE 'LITTLE THINGS' YOU NEED TO CLEAN UP?

CJ: All the little details that you put in. One of the NBA coaches said this year that there are no little things. The little things that you're speaking of end up being big things because that's what end up costing you games. We've gotta do a better job of securing the football, knowing if we're a deep quarters defender, making sure if you're a head-up guy that we're not giving them a vertical seam on punt return. All those little things that people don't see.

ARE YOU A DESPERATE FOOTBALL TEAM?

CJ: I don't look at our situation as desperation. We look at it more like there's a lot of parity. Calgary's a bit of an anomaly. We certainly can't take away anything that they've done. We've got to worry about what we do rather than what they do.

THOUGHTS ON LOUCHEIZ PURIFOY?

CJ: He's a good football player. Going back to when he was in BC, he's a good blitzer, instinctual, he's a good cover guy, so he's a guy that'll fit in well with the group that we have here.

WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT CALGARY'S DEFENSIVE FRONT?

CJ: Devone's done a great job. They mix their coverages and they do a nice job stopping the run with their base or their movement. They do a good job of putting teams in 2nd-and-long and once it's 2nd-and-8 or 2nd-and-9, that's advantage defense.

DO YOU CHANGE MUCH AGAINST CALGARY?

CJ: It's not like they're going to completely change their offense because they played us two weeks ago. They've got certain plays they'll run week-in, week-out. There will be wrinkles but Dave's not going to go away from that. There's a little bit of carry-over and then you just need to weather the wrinkles.

QB ZACH COLLAROS

WHAT DID THIS TEAM LEARN FROM THE LAST CALGARY GAME?

ZC: The importance of not turning the football over. And we really focused the entire week on the little things. There's a lot of plays to be made out there and we focused on the attention to detail and what that can lead to when everyone's on the same page.

Everything. It's all 12 players whether it's missed assignments, proper execution, route running, communication between the running back and QB, there's a lot of little details that have to be done the right way. It starts with the QB. We had a good week though, so it's an exciting time and who better to have in here than the best team in the league?

HOW IMPORTANT IS PUTTING POINTS UP EARLY?

ZC: We haven't really preached starting fast but obviously the little details will lead to that. Really it's finishing drives and scoring TDs. That's every offense's goal; once you get in the redzone you want to put up 7's than 3's. That's something that has been a point of emphasis.

DO YOU BUY INTO PLAYING DESPERATE?

ZC: Yeah I think so. I think if I was watching two other teams play, I'd buy into it more. Being in the locker room, that's not the vibe. It's a very long football season. At the same time, we do have a sense of urgency and know how tough this division is.

IS IT DAUNTING TO FACE AN UNBEATEN TEAM?

ZC: You don't really look at the records. For me, I look at their defense and they have a very good front four. Singleton is obviously a great player. They're just a really smart and savy defense. They play the system very well. That's more the daunting thing. They're just a very well-coached team and they play well together.

RP
@rodpedersen

HOPSON AND TERRY INDUCTED INTO PLAZA OF HONOUR


The 2018 Plaza of Honour induction ceremony was held Friday night at Mosaic Stadium. Rider greats Jim Hopson and John Terry were inducted into the franchise's Hall of Fame. Here are some photos:


The stadium setting will hopefully become very popular. It's been used with success by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, ON.


Born and raised in Regina, Jim Hopson realized a dream by playing for the Thom Trojans, Regina Rams and Saskatchewan Roughriders. After 38 years in Education, Jim became President & CEO of the Roughriders in 2005 and that's when everything turned around for Canada's Team. Over his decade in office, the Riders appeared in four Grey Cups and won two. In 2014, Jim won the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award from the CFL.

Hopson concluded his speech by thanking the fans. He said they're the ones that made his job so worthwhile, and kept him eager to serve day after day as President of the Riders.


John Terry grew up in South Carolina and came to Saskatchewan in 1996 after stints with the Cowboys, Bears and Argos. He talked about some of the legendary coaches and mentors he had in his career, and he also thanked Roughriders fans for sticking with the club even through the tough times.

That was a nice touch.


Riders Assistant VP of Football Operations Jeremy O'Day inducted John into the Plaza.


Mosaic Stadium is still a marvel. The best in the CFL.



We broadcast the SportsCage live from the concourse, and were entertained by the 620 CKRM Rider Pep Band ..


I had the honour of MC'ing the Plaza Luncheon on Friday morning, and it was a treat to have worked with both J.T. and Jim during my time with Canada's Team ..

RP
@rodpedersen