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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

Photo: Riderville.com
1 - WEEK 2: Coming off a 27-19 win over Toronto in Friday's home-opener, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are already in Ottawa for their Week 2 clash, Thursday against the RedBlacks (5:30 pm Sask Time, TSN, 620 CKRM Radio Network). Ottawa had a bye in Week 1 so this is their season-opener and Rider QB Zach Collaros says Saskatchewan will have to "match their intensity".

2 - ODDS, FORECAST: For some reason the RedBlacks are favoured by 2.5-points and the weather prediction calls for a perfect night for football: sunshine and 22 degrees Celsius or 71 Fahrenheit.

3 - 1-0: The importance of the victory over Toronto last week can not be overstated. As defending Grey Cup champions, the Argonauts are presumably the best team in the CFL so for the Green & White to have had that good of a showing in Week 1, they should take a bow. Saskatchewan hadn't won a season-opening game since 2014.

4 - JONES'ING: If anyone was surprised by the slick showing of the Riders last week, it wasn't Head Coach & GM Chris Jones. "I told y'all before the season started that we're a good football team and I still firmly believe that," the Rider boss said this week. "If we stay healthy and keep people in the right mindset, we can play with anybody in the league. It's just a matter of doing those things: we gotta keep people healthy, keep practicing 'em and keep grinding 'em and get better at the things we're not good at."

5 - MINDSET: Jones' comments echo something I wrote in this space during training camp. The 2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders are good and they know it. Chris Jones' biggest task this season may be to keep his troops humble and grounded on a weekly basis. So far, so good. But they're a hungry bunch, led by vets such as Zach Collaros and Jerome Messam who are still chasing their first Grey Cup ring. The names and numbers may change but the goal remains the same.

6 - ANCIENT HISTORY: If last year's CFL East Final - a loss in Toronto - was "old news" for the Riders going into the Toronto game, then the same should hold true for last season's CFL Eastern Semifinal. The Riders trounced the RedBlacks 31-20 in a game where RB Marcus Thigpen ran for 169 yards and a TD and Ottawa QB Trevor Harris was picked off twice. Have the Riders moved on? Probably. Has Ottawa forgotten about it? Not likely.

7 - BACK TO NORMAL: Ahhh, the CFL. Duron Carter is front page news again (he'll start at CB on Thursday), there's another zany negotiation list story (the Eskimos have reportedly added Terrell Owens), and there was Fake News that Ottawa QB Trevor Harris will miss this game due to a preseason injury (however the RedBlacks have announced otherwise). The CFL is predictably unpredictable and that's why Canadians remain fascinated with it.

*Oh, and they still hate Duron Carter in Ottawa for running over their coach Rick Campbell.

8 - STATS: Some numbers that jump out ... Saskatchewan has the #1 overall defense after Week 1 (265 yards) and are #1 against the run (54 yards) ... QB Zach Collaros has the #2 Passing Efficiency (109.3) behind BC's Jon Jennings (131.1) ... Saskatchewan is 1-0 when winning the turnover ratio (+1) ... The Riders had the most rushing attempts in the CFL in Week 1 (27) and that's from a team which was 9th in rushing last year.

9 - WORLD CUP: I'm proud to report I haven't watched a second of the World Cup this past week and my life is none-the-worse for it. There's a reason the CFL will always beat soccer in Canadian TV ratings: it's a better product.

10 - SHREK LIVE: It was a treat to experience Shrek, The Musical at Globe Theatre. The show seemed a bit long, but not for the myriad of kids in attendance. They were spellbound. And people say there's nothing to do in Regina! Hogwash.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen


RED SOX GROUND BOMBERS 8-4

Powered by a six run second inning the Regina Red defeated the Brooks Bombers 8-4. The Sox, now 7-6, had 13 hits while the Bombers, 4-10, countered with eight hits.

North Vancouver’s Riley MacDonald was a human highlight reel as he contributed two long home runs, a double and four RBI for the Bombers. Riley Hickerson was three for four with a home run and two RBI.

Regina starter Kyle Wilson pitched seven solid innings for the victory. The junior from Arkansas Tech gave up three runs on six hits. He also had seven strikeouts.

Collin Thomas made his third start for Brooks with the loss his record dropped to 1-1.

Highlights – Brooks
Brooks had three doubles
Riley MacDonald has 25 RBI this season

Highlights – Regina
Red Sox pitchers had 10 strikeouts
Wesley Moss had two stolen bases

Upcoming Games - Wednesday, June 20
Weyburn at  Melville
Edmonton at Swift Current
Brooks at Regina
Medicine Hat at Ft. McMurray

(Outlaw Communications)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

3DOWNNATION: CARTER TO PLAY CORNER AGAINST REDBLACKS

Photo: Riderville.com
Duron Carter may be able to play on both sides of the ball for the Saskatchewan Roughriders but that doesn’t mean he’s a superhero, according to head coach Chris Jones.

Jones confirmed that Carter will start at boundary corner for Saskatchewan on Thursday against Ottawa.

“He’s going to play DB. He’ll play offence if we need him. Duron’s not Superman contrary to what he might tell you. He’s an outstanding player. He can play a lot of plays but we’ll have a guy go on the roster for Duron at receiver and then we’ll put Duron at DB,” Jones told 620 CKRM radio’s, Mitchell Blair.

Nick Marshall suffered a finger injury and he’ll have surgery which has landed the first-year CFL cover man on the six-game injured list and Jones said Marshall could miss the entire six weeks. Carter returns to the boundary corner spot where he started against the Stampeders in 2017.


“Same old stuff, different game, no different, just out there playing defence instead of offence,” Carter told Blair. “I get to out and hit people and make plays and stuff. It’s easy.”

In the lead up to the Oct. 20 game last season, Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell warned Carter on Twitter not to play defensive back and Carter replied that the gunslinger better put his chasing cleats on. Carter delivered by picking off Mitchell and returning it for a touchdown.

Carter said he wouldn’t be instigating any back-and-forth with Ottawa pivot Trevor Harris, who is expected to start for the Redblacks this week.

“I didn’t send any messages, I just was replying to what he said. I’m more of a back-my-stuff-up kind of guy,” Carter said.

Jones is on record as saying Carter could be the best defensive back in the league if he played the position full time and with more reps on defence during training camp, Jones feels he’s improved as a cover man.

“Well, I think that he’ll be even better than what he was last year. He’s a better DB right now than what he was when we played him last year against Calgary, so I expect him to go in and help us win the football game,” Jones said.

But Carter does have things to improve on, according to his coach.

“His discipline a little bit, getting his eyes in the right spot and just continually being a disciplined DB,” Jones said. “That’s the main thing he’s got to work on.”

http://3downnation.com/2018/06/19/riders-duron-carter-on-playing-db-its-easy/

CFL WEEK 1 - THE POINT AFTER

Photo: Riderville.com
A recurring theme has already returned after just one week of the 2018 CFL regular season.

The West Division emerged with a 3-0 record versus their Eastern rivals. The Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated the Toronto Argonauts 27-19 on Friday night before the Calgary Stampeders beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 28-14 and B.C. Lions got past the Montreal Alouettes 22-10, both Saturday night.

Last year, the West Division held a commanding 29-10-1 record versus the East Division. The Edmonton Eskimos led the way with a 7-1 mark while Calgary was 6-1-1.

Both Winnipeg and Saskatchewan were 6-2 while B.C. posted a 4-4 record.

The Ottawa Redblacks had the best record versus the West Division at 3-6-1. Toronto was 3-7 while both Hamilton and Montreal were 2-8.

Now, that's hardly a surprise given the West has been the dominant division for over a decade and since 2000 its teams have won 11 Grey Cups. But Ottawa and Toronto have captured the last two CFL championship games over Calgary.

The Redblacks will look to be the first East team to secure a victory over the West when they host Saskatchewan in their season opener Thursday night.

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1881 Scarth St. Regina, 306-789-0011
WINNING DEBUT: It wasn't a record-setting debut for Zach Collaros.

The veteran quarterback was a tidy 18-of-25 passing for 203 yards and a TD in the Saskatchewan Roughriders 27-19 home win over the Toronto Argonauts. It was Collaros's first game with the Riders after being acquired from Hamilton this off-season.

Collaros ended his tenure in Hamilton losing his final 12 starts, one short of the CFL record. The former Cincinnati star had almost as many TD passes (eight) as interceptions (seven) before being replaced by Jeremiah Masoli.

After Hamilton's 0-8 start to the season, it finished 6-4 with Masoli under centre.

Rush end Charleston Hughes enjoyed a banner Riders debut. He registered three sacks against Toronto.

That gives Hughes 102 career sacks, moving him to within three of Rodney Harding for 10th spot all-time. Hughes becomes the 11th player in league history to reach the 100-sack plateau.

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MITCHELL DOMINANT: History won't be on Toronto's side Saturday night.

The Argos host Calgary at BMO Field in their home opener. But Stampeders' starter Bo Levi Mitchell boasts an 8-0 regular-season record against Toronto.

The 28-year-old native of Katy, Texas, is a stellar 57-10-2 overall as a CFL starter and was named the MVP of Calgary's 20-16 Grey Cup win over Hamilton in 2014. But the Stampeders have dropped the last two league championship games against Ottawa and Toronto, respectively.

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MANZIEL WATCH: Johnny Football didn't see any action in Hamilton's season-opening 28-14 road loss to the Calgary Stampeders.

Ticats starter Jeremiah Masoli went the distance, completing 25-of-36 passes for 344 yards and an interception while rushing twice for 12 yards and a TD. Masoli will return under centre Friday night when Hamilton visits the Edmonton Eskimos.

Manziel, 25, made headlines across North America when he signed a two-year deal with Hamilton the day before the start of training camp. The six-foot, 210-pound Texan became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy as U.S. college football's top player in 2012 and two years later was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns.

But Cleveland released Manziel after two tumultuous seasons. He played in 14 games and posted a 2-6 in eight career starts, completing 147-of-258 passes (57 per cent) for 1,675 yards with seven TDs and seven interceptions. Manziel also ran 46 times for 259 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and one touchdown.

Manziel came off the bench in both of Hamilton's exhibition games, completing 21-of-32 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown with 29 yards rushing on six carries.

Manziel is the sixth Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback to play in the CFL, joining Terry Baker, Eric Crouch, Doug Flutie, Andre Ware and Troy Smith.

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RECORD PURSUIT: The two players expected to chase becoming the first player in CFL history to register 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in a season had differing starts to the '18 campaign.

Toronto running back James Wilder Jr., ran for 16 yards on five carries in the Argos' season-opening 27-19 road loss to Saskatchewan. The CFL's top rookie last year did have four catches for 68 yards.

Winnipeg's Andrew Harris, who just missed recording the historic double last year, had 77 yards rushing on 14 carries in the Bombers' 33-30 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. The CFL's top Canadian last season added three catches for six yards.

Last year, Harris ran for a CFL-best 1,035 yards while adding 105 catches - most ever by a running back - for 857 yards.

To achieve the milestone, a player would need to average 56 yards rushing and receiving over 18 regular-season games.

The six-foot-three, 227-pound Wilder ran for 872 yards (7.2-yard average) and five TDs while adding 51 catches for 533 yards in 10 starts. Wilder began 2017 with Toronto playing primarily special teams.

THIS 'N THAT: Winnipeg added veteran quarterback Mitchell Gale to its practice roster Monday. Gale has spent time over five CFL seasons with Toronto, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Calgary and B.C. The Bombers lost starter Matt Nichols (knee) during training camp and backup Alex Ross was injured in the club's 33-30 loss to Edmonton on Thursday night. With Nichols sidelined, rookie Chris Streveler started against the Eskimos ... According to the CFL, 323 players returned to their '17 team this season (65.5 per cent). Toronto led with 48 returnees from last year's Grey Cup-winning squad. B.C. (24) had the fewest. Montreal had the most first-year CFL players on its opening-day roster (18) while the Argos had the fewest (two).

(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1-CHRIS JONES’ ONE GLARING WEAKNESS: You’ll never get any argument from me about 95% of Chris Jones’s moves running the Riders. The roster is stacked with depth just about everywhere and his salary cap/ratio-management has been brilliant. But one game into Year 3 of him owning the keys to the Cadillac, the jury on his quarterback choices is still out. He sat Brandon Bridge in favour of an ineffective Kevin Glenn in last November’s Eastern final loss at Toronto. He either alienated - or didn’t make a big enough play - for James Franklin in the offseason before backing the money truck up to Zach Collaros’s house when he probably didn’t need to.  Zach got the win Friday night but left me and probably most of you wanting a lot more. I'm not writing Collaros off yet by any means as it’s far too early for that. But so far to date, when it comes to managing his quarterbacks, Chris Jones hasn’t impressed me much at all.

2-JUDGE IS BETTER THAN HURL: Platooning Canadians Sam Hurl and Cameron Judge at linebacker was a brilliant move by the aforementioned Chris Jones. Using that duo instead of Henoc Muamba effectively allowed them to sign Jerome Messam and ultimately fill 2 Canadian starting spots for the price one. Sitting in the east-side stands Friday Night, I couldn’t help but focus on who was in on each play the end result of each down. Didn’t take notes or anything but noticed a much higher success rate for the Argos moving the ball with Hurl in than when Judge was on the field. They’re different players as Hurl looks more like a smart veteran/run-stopper and Judge is more of a speedy cover-guy. It’s a great rotation for now but for what it’s worth, I think Judge will eventually take that job for himself on a full-time basis either this year or next.

3-MASOLI IN NO-WIN SITUATION: It's hard to imagine working in a more toxic environment than one in which your boss is waiting for you to fail. I’m trying to think of a scenario in which Jeremiah Masoli can shut the Johnny Manziel talk down in Steeltown. A 3- or 4-game win streak might do it but I’m really not even sure how much that would even help. He stepped up to the plate and performed when he had to last fall and he’ll need to do it over a full season this time just to keep his job. If Jeremiah comes out of this still as the trigger-puller in Hamilton by next season, then he will be living proof that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Aaron Rodgers had to fend off Brett Favre early on in Green Bay and now Masoli has to do the same with Johnny Manziel. The difference is Rodgers’ coach had his back while Masoli’s doesn’t. I still can’t believe the Alouettes haven’t managed to snag one of these guys to replace Drew Willy!

4-SHERMAN DISAPPOINTS IN ALS DEBUT: Khari Jones is running the offense in Montreal but it’s still Mike Sherman’s show. The Alouette bird wings on their helmets were fantastic but sadly that was the highlight of Montreal’s season opener. Punting and then dinking and dunking the ball down the field with short passes when they needed 2 scores in the final 3 minutes just won’t do it in this league. Sherman looks old, tired, and disinterested in this experiment. It's a long year ahead for those guys. 

5-GOOD RIDDANCE TO ADIDAS CFL JERSEYS: Ever since Nike revamped the CFL jerseys in 2005, all teams have looked like one big corporation. Too much piping on the uniforms has destroyed some of the finest looking uni's in all of sport. Time for a makeover back to the 80’s and 90’s when uniforms had only 1 or 2 colours and looked sharper than most NHL or NFL jerseys. Want to know why CFL merchandise isn’t selling in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver? Get the crappy trim off them all and they’ll be trendy again.

6-KELLY GRUBER A DISGRACE: Former Toronto Blue Jay (and son of former Saskatchewan Roughrider Claude King) Kelly Gruber is having a rough time. First, he got a DUI in Texas back in April. Then he baled on the Melville Millionaires baseball team supper in May. And then just to top it all off, he showed up at a Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction event loaded and is rude to the female host as well as fellow panelist and Jays analyst Kevin Barker. Having been raised by a dad whose been a recovering alcoholic for 31 years and counting, I’m not one to pile on anyone struggling with alcohol issues. Hell, I’ve had my own battles with the sauce. But it’s time for Kelly Gruber to either get help or at least quit making life miserable for himself and those around him.

7-REGINA RED SOX LEAP ABOVE .500: A great weekend for the Regina Red Sox included a stellar pitching effort from Evan Rogers Saturday night. Still early but hard to argue with calling him the ace after a complete-game shutout win over Melville. That game lasted barely more than 2 and a half hours. The Red Sox are finding their groove at a time the Moose Jaw Miller Express are falling back down to earth. I’ve been covering the Sox for 3 years now and feel like despite a slow start, this year’s team has the best shot of them all at winning a title.

8-TIME TO BAN HOCKEY FIGHTS: I’ve finally come around to the point where I don’t feel like we need fighting in hockey anymore. Ex-NHLers Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton are the latest to tell their stories to “The Players Tribune” and it struck me that the only one’s still clamouring to keep fighting in the game are dinosaurs like Don Cherry who fought back in the 50’s when players were about half the size and punched about half as hard as they do today. Wanna get cheap shots and hooking out of the game? That’s what suspensions are for.

9-WORLD CUP, FIFA STILL A DISGRACE: Not excited at all about Canada hosting some games in the 2026 World Cup of Soccer. Montreal is going to do a half-billion-dollar renovation of Olympic Stadium for this. Again, just imagine what money could do to bring my beloved Expos back! Again, what a disgrace!

10-DOCUMENTARY/BOOK OF THE WEEK: Find “The Players Tribune” online and watch both Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton tell their stories. It’s eerily similar to tragedy of Derek Boogaard living a miserable existence while the rest of us thought he was the envy of what we all wanted.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

WEYBURN OUTLASTS REGINA 4-3

Weyburn extended their winning streak to 13 games in dramatic fashion. Trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning the Beavers tied the game when Omar Prieto’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Luke Lubinieki.

Then in the bottom of the tenth, Wade Weinburger sent the 308 Weyburn fans home happy as he belted a walk off home run over the fence at Tom Laing Park.

Local product Eric Evans recorded the win as he struck out the three Red Sox hitters he faced in the extra frame.

Peyton Burks started for Regina and allowed a pair of runs over seven innings. The Arkansas Pine Bluff senior also registered eight strikeouts in the game.  Reliever Adam De La Cruz was the victim of Weinburger extra inning heroics.

Highlights – Regina
Red Sox pitchers had 12 strikeouts
Weyburn’s first inning run was the first the Red Sox had given up in 22 innings

Highlights – Weyburn
Eric Evans now has 2 wins and 3 saves
Corey Wheaton had 2 stolen bases to increase his team total to 8

The Regina Red Sox return to Currie Field Tuesday as they host the Brooks Bombers.

To purchase your Red Sox game tickets online visit https://www.reginaredsox.com/tickets/single-game-tickets/

(Outlaw Communications)

Monday, June 18, 2018

WMBL WEEK 2 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Swift Current’s Bo McClintock was selected as the WMBL Player of the Week in Week 2. Weyburn Beavers relief pitcher Shandon Herrera was named the League’s Pitcher of the Week.

Riley MacDonald from the Brooks Bombers and Nate Dechaine from Okotoks earned honourable mentions for Player of the Week.

Regina Red Sox reliever Sam Cottingham- Beard and Moose Jaw’s Mason Garispe also received honourable mention as Pitchers of the Week

Player of the Week (June 9 - June 15)

Bo McClintock - IF

Swift Current’s Bo McClintock powered his way to the WMBL Player of the Week. The Fresno State product hit six home runs and drove in 11 runs last week. He also scored 8 runs and walked twice.

On the season, McClintock now has eight home runs, 18 RBI and 13 runs scored.

On
June 12 vs Okotoks, McClintock was three for five with two homers, two runs scored and four RBI.
In the 57s June 11 game vs Fort McMurray, McClintock went two for three at the plate with a walk, two dingers and three RBI.

Honourable Mention:

Riley MacDonald - Brooks
Macdonald produced 6 runs and 11 RBI on 7 hits and 5 walks. He also had a double and 4 home runs.

Nate Dechaine - Okotoks
Dechaine had 9 hits including 2 doubles and 3 home runs. He also walked 4 times and drove in 6 runs.

Pitcher of the Week (June 9 - June 15)

Shandon Herrera - Weyburn
For the second week in a row a member of the Weyburn Beavers pitching staff has won WMBL Pitcher of the Week.

Shandon Herrera, a freshman from Lubbock Christian helped keep the Beavers undefeated streak alive with two wins and a save in four relief appearance last week.

In 6.2 shutout innings pitched, Herrera only allowed one hit, five walks while striking out nine.

On June 13 against Fort McMurray, Herrera pitched 3 shutout innings allowing just 1 hit to pick up the victory.

Honourable Mention:

Sam Cottingham-Beard – Regina
Had a win and a save in 2 games. Pitched 5 scoreless innings giving up 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5.

Mason Garispe – Moose Jaw
Earned a win after throwing 6 scoreless innings. Garispe allowed just 4 hits and struck out 11 of the 22 Melville batters he faced.

(Outlaw Communications)

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: 1-0, THE GOOD AND THE BAD

Photo: Riderville.com
BY: RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF

It wasn’t pretty, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders hit the ground running in the 2018 season by grinding out a 27-19 victory over the Toronto Argonauts Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.

The victory was very familiar to how the Green & White won their games in 2018; simple and safe on offence and relying on the big play on defence.

There are still a lot of kinks to iron out throughout the game plan, but the first two or three games of the CFL season are like an extended preseason so there shouldn't be any real judgment on what this -or any team in the CFL - will look like until Weeks 5 or 6.


Famoso Hill Centre
1881 Scarth St., Regina
Here’s what looked good Friday night:

- 1-0: This is all that anyone should care about. Picking up their first win of the season over the defending Grey Cup champions, a team the knocked them off in the East Division final and to do it in front of a home crowd is nothing but all positive.

- Defence does it again: Just like in 2018, the Saskatchewan Roughriders played a bend-but-not-break defence with a few huge plays sprinkled in-between. Newcomers Charleston Hughes and Nick Marshall were front and centre in this. Hughes picked up three sacks, four tackles and a fumble recovery while Marshall made the play of the game with his interception for a touchdown of a poorly thrown Ricky Ray pass late in the football game.

- Good at QB: Zach Collaros was incredibly efficient in his first start for the Riders. His 18-for-25, 203 yard passing performance wasn’t amazing, but it was just good. Nothing was incredibly adventurous offensively (more on that later), he didn’t get in any trouble and ended up connecting with nine different targets. It was just enough to win the game, which is all anyone can want.

Here are the things to work on:

- Wilting in the fourth: The defence was incredible in the first half of the game, but in the fourth quarter, the group really starting to bow. If it wasn’t for Marshall’s interception (which many say would have been called back if Argonauts head coach Marc Trestman had challenged for pass interference), the game may have had another ending.

- Sticking too long with the run: This offence is a run-first team (incredibly rare in today’s CFL), but almost to a fault. Jerome Messam lugged the ball 21 times for 74 yards. Take away the 11-yard carry late in the fourth, the Canadian freight train averaged just a paltry 3.1 yards per carry.

Because of the Riders' current ratio situation we will see a lot of Messam for the first little bit of the season. Lets hope they don’t wear out a player that would be key when the weather turns in the fall.

What is needed is more Tre Mason. Take away his first half fumble, it was a solid debut for the former Auburn Tiger.

- Nothing down field offensively: Above we mentioned how safe the game plan was for Zach Collaros. It was so safe that there were only three plays with pass attempts of over 15 yards through the air: 16 yards to Duron Carter in the first quarter, the 35-yard attempt to Carter a few plays later, and the chuck-and-duck completion (34 yards, 30 of it in the air) to Caleb Holley midway through the second quarter.

This will not win football games as the season progresses. There are so many weapons in this offence so things will surely come around over the next few games.

Next up for the Riders is a long road trip to Ottawa. It’s been a very friendly place for the Green and White over the last couple of seasons including the East Division semi-final a year ago.

They will also have the advantage of having a game under their belt as the Redblacks had a week one bye and will still have some rust on both sides of the ball. It will also be interesting to see how Trevor Harris will play after suffering a knee-injury early in the preseason.

Other CFL notes:

- Even with two epic lightning delays in the Edmonton-at-Winnipeg game on Thursday, the lid-lifter of the CFL season was the most entertaining game of the week. Mike Reilly and the Eskimos offence looks like they have that high-risk, high-reward offence cooking with over 400 yards passing and a 70% completion percentage.

Winnipeg also looked solid even with their raw rookie at the helm. Chris Streveler was ok, but with the help of Andrew Harris solid game along the ground and a few big plays, the Bombers almost pulled it out. With Calgary and B.C. winning this week, the West will be a fight to the very end in 2018.

- Speaking of Calgary and B.C. both winning this week along with the Rider victory, the West Division went 3-0 against the East in Week 1 of the CFL season. All four games in Week 2 will be East-versus-West match-ups with the East playing host in three of them. Let’s see if it holds up.

- There were no 100-yard rushers in Week 1. The leader out of the gate is CFL rookie Don Jackson. The 24-year-old’s 87-yards and a score were key to the Stampeders 28-14 victory over the Hamilton Tiger Cats. There were only 25, 100-yard rushing performances in 2017, and it will be interesting if this drops again in 2018.


A Canadian To Watch In NCAA

As we did all last season, we'll give you a player to watch in the NCAA, and we will do it again in 2018. It’s a good prep to see what is coming down the pipe for the 2019 and future CFL drafts.

Neville Gallimore
NG – Oklahoma (Rs.-Jr.)
6’2”, 316lbs.
St. Catherine’s, Ont.
High School – Canada Prep Football Academy

The redshirt junior will anchor a veteran Sooner defensive line in 2018. In 2018, the sophomore started five of 12 games and has played in 25 games over his college career. Gallimore was the high ranked Canadian high school player in 2015 by ESPN, SCOUT and Canadian Football Chat.

(By: RodPedersen.com Staff)

BOMBERS ADD MITCHELL GALE

WINNIPEG, MB. –   The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announce today the club has signed international quarterback Mitchell Gale to the practice roster.

Gale (6’1, 225, Abilene Christian University, January 7, 1990 in Alva, OK.) played five seasons in the CFL, throwing for 1,050 yards and four touchdowns on 158 passing attempts. Gale spent his four-year college career with the Abilene Christian Wildcats, throwing for 97 touchdowns and over 12,000 passing yards. Gale has spent time with the Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions.