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FAMOSO MONDAY NIGHTS

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS FOR ROUGHRIDERS

Dakoda Shepley on Tuesday
REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders returned to the field on Tuesday for the first time since Saturday's 31-0 loss at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Riders had a new face on the field - offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley - after announcing they'd signed their 2018 first round pick to a practice roster agreement earlier in the day. Shepley was one of the last cuts by the New York Jets coming out of NFL training camps.

Riders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones said that's some good news the team could use this week.

"Yeah," Jones agreed. "We drafted him where we drafted him for a reason. We feel like he's a very good football player and look forward to seeing what he brings to our football team."

Shepley had been waiting at home for the Riders and his agent to work out a deal, and that's what led to the UBC product getting into Regina this week.

"As you know, I got released by the Jets," Shepley reported. "I was looking for an opportunity and Sask called. If there's an opportunity to come and play here, I'm going to take it. I'm not one to turn down an opportunity to play football."

The bad news is that Chris Jones announced a long list of significant injuries coming out of the Winnipeg game.

Gone for the year are OG Dariusz Bladek and DT Mic'hael Brooks. C Dan Clark will be gone for "an extended period". DB Matt Elam is expected to miss Saturday's game at Calgary. DT Zack Evans didn't practice on Tuesday, but is expected to play against the Calgary Stampeders.

Jones said WR Naaman Roosevelt is "out" and it'll be close whether or not he'll be available for the CFL playoffs.

As far as Saturday's loss to the Blue Bombers goes, quarterback Zach Collaros felt the reason for the sound defeat is simple.

"First and foremost, don't turn the football over," Collaros said. "Continue to get completions and first downs. It's no secret that we didn't play well, and that starts with me. We're moving on. We watched the film, we were critical about it, and we're going to learn and get better."

The Riders visit the Calgary Stampeders Saturday at 5:00 on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.

/=S=/

Here's the team's list of transactions from Tuesday morning:

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the following roster moves:

ADDED TO PRACTICE ROSTER:

RELEASED FROM PRACTICE ROSTER: 
  • National defensive back Tristan Doughlin
  • National full back Oumar Toure

Shepley was selected by the Riders in the first-round (5th overall) of the 2018 CFL Draft. The 23-year-old, University of British Columbia product recently attended training camp with the New York Jets after originally signing with the team in April, 2018.     

THE POINT AFTER: CFL WEEK 17

Photo: CFL.ca
It's a crucial time of the year for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Hamilton (8-7) visits the Ottawa Redblacks (8-7) on Friday night to open an important home-and-home series between the two. At stake is first in the East Division and home field for the conference final Nov. 18.

Friday's game isn't a must win for Hamilton, but a victory would certainly boost its chances of finishing first and hosting the division final.

Ottawa claimed the season's first meeting 21-15 at Tim Hortons Field on July 28. A win Friday night would not only move the Redblacks two points ahead in the standings but give them the season series, which is the tiebreaker in the event of a season-ending tie in the standings.

Hamilton would clinch first by sweeping the home-and-home series. But if Ottawa wins Friday, it will only need to capture one of its final two regular-season contests to earn top spot.

The Ticats could still finish first with a loss Friday night but wouldn't control their own destiny. They'd need to win their two remaining regular-season games (versus Ottawa and Montreal) and have the Redblacks drop both of theirs (to Hamilton and Toronto) for the East final to be held at Tim Hortons Field.

Hamilton heads into the contest on a roll, having won two straight and five of its last seven games. The Ticats are 4-4 on the road but a stellar 4-1 within the East Division, the loss to Ottawa being the lone blemish on that mark.

Ticats starter Jeremiah Masoli threw for 338 yards and four TDs in a 34-20 road win over Toronto on Friday night. Masoli has a CFL-best 11 300-yard games this season as well as the league's top quarterback efficiency rating (101.8).

Ottawa has dropped two straight and is 4-3 at home and 3-2 within the East. Quarterback Trevor Harris's 69.4 per cent completion average is tops among CFL starters while Canadian receiver Brad Sinopoli has a league-best 101 catches for 1,207 yards (third overall) and four TDs.

It will be yet another interesting week in the West Division with the B.C. Lions (8-7) hosting the Edmonton Eskimos (8-8) and Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-6) visiting the Calgary Stampeders (12-3).

Calgary remains atop the standings but suffered its first home loss last weekend, a 26-21 decision to B.C. The Stampeders are hurting, especially at receiver with Marken Michel (shoulder), Kamar Jorden (knee), DaVaris Daniels (collarbone) and Reggie Begelton (broken arm) all out.

Eric Rogers missed a lot of time following knee surgery but has since returned.

Running back Don Jackson (three catches, 49 yards) was Calgary's leading receiver against B.C. as quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell finished 17-of-38 passing for 215 yards with two TDs and an interception.

Calgary held B.C. to 319 total offensive yards but newcomer Tyrell Sutton ran for 106 yards and two TDs on 22 carries for the Lions.

Saskatchewan is also coming off a lopsided 31-0 loss to Winnipeg (9-7), which has won four straight. The Bombers' defence held the Riders to 195 total offensive yards, registered four sacks and intercepted Zach Collaros twice.

Linebacker Adam Bighill led Winnipeg's defence with eight tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble while Tyler Loffler had both interceptions. However, the Riders still own the tie-breaker, having won two of the three regular-season matchups with the Bombers.

Edmonton tightened up the West Division standings with an important 34-16 home win over Ottawa to snap a three-game losing streak. Mike Reilly, who'd been battling the flu, threw for 369 yards and a TD while rushing 72 yards and Bryant Mitchell had 13 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown as the Eskimos erased a 16-14 half-time deficit by outscoring the Redblacks 20-0 in the second half.

Calgary can clinch first in the West and home field for the division final with a win or tie while B.C. will cement a post-season berth with a victory. The Riders can secure a home playoff date with a win and Lions loss or tie.

The top three finishers in the West will clinch divisional playoff berths. The fourth-place finisher will cross over into the East Division as the No. 3 seed.

This marks the third straight year a West Division team will participate in the Eastern playoffs, but no Western crossover squad has qualified for the Grey Cup.

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BOMBERS SIGN GRAY: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were rewarded for their patience Monday.

The Bombers signed offensive lineman Geoff Gray, who they selected eighth overall in the 2017 CFL draft. The deal keeps the former Manitoba Bisons star in Winnipeg through the 2020 season.

Prior to being drafted by the Bombers, Gray, a Winnipeg native, signed as a free agent with the NFL's Green Bay Packers. After being released, Gray went on to spend time with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.

"When we selected Geoff we knew there would be a period of time, at best, where he would be exploring NFL options,'' Bombers GM Kyle Walters said in a statement. "We're very glad he has chosen to return to Canada and begin his CFL career.''

The six-foot-six, 310-pound Gray started 30-of-32 regular-season games at Manitoba as well as six playoff games, playing guard and tackle. He was Canada West's top lineman in 2017 and a Canadian university first-team all-star.

"I look forward to being able to play at home in front of family and friends,'' said Gray. "It's rare to be able to play professional football where you grew up, and in the same stadium with many fond memories from university football.''

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TIGHT RACE: It promises to be a tight race once again for the CFL rushing title.

Ottawa's William Powell currently leads with 1,275 yards but has just a six-yard advantage on Winnipeg's Andrew Harris. Harris was the league's top rusher last year with 1,035 yards, just nine more than Powell.

However, Powell has the advantage this year as Ottawa (8-7) has played one less game than Winnipeg (9-7). The Redblacks host Hamilton on Friday night while the Bombers are on a bye week.

(Canadian Press)

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1. LOSING IN THE PEG NO BIG DEAL: Saturday's game snowballed from Anthony Gaitor’s early Scoop N' Score but it was a game Winnipeg needed a lot more than the Riders did. We got ‘em in the Banjo Bowl and laughed in their faces. Let them (Winnipeg fans) have that one. It’s a small price to pay to keep their fans interested. Ain’t much of a rivalry if we kick them around all the time.

2. RIDERS COULD GET REILLY: Barring a miracle championship finish for Edmonton, I just have to think the horse has left the barn for Mike Reilly playing under Jason Maas beyond this season. Reilly is a poised, superior quarterback and Maas is an erratic, inferior head coach.

That just can’t last.

The Roughriders should seriously consider letting Zach Collaros walk at season's end and re-allocate that money toward a bigger package in luring Mike Reilly to Saskatchewan. The benefits are two-fold: Chris Jones gets that missing piece to his championship puzzle and prevents the B.C. Lions from getting Reilly first.

That really weakens 2 of your West Division rivals and puts you in the driver’s seat to run down the Stampeders who we know will choke in the playoffs anyway. Jones and company might need to trim a salary or two to make this work but hey, it’s not like we can’t live without a defensive star or two.

This group is plenty good enough to make due.

Y’er welcome.

3. ROUGHRIDER CANADIAN CONTENT LACKING: If Dariusz Bladek is gone for the year, it decimates what was already a shaky offensive line. This is a key Canadian position for all teams. Devon Bailey doesn’t excite anyone at receiver and linebacker Sam Hurl was a free agent pickup, not a home-grown recruited Canadian talent in the Chris Jones era.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad Jones and John Murphy focus on acquiring talent from south of the border as that truly is the place to find real difference-makers but if we learned anything from the Roy Shivers-era, when he had Corey Grant and Jason French starting, we should know by now that you cannot neglect your Canadian content drafting/recruiting completely.

Whomever dropped the ball here, the responsibility falls on Chris Jones. Surely, he will find a way to address this in the offseason.

4. STILL WANT OCTOBER PLAYOFFS?: Thank you to the CFL Board of Governors for not yet caving to Commissioner Randy Ambrosie or the morons trying to move the season up for an October playoff schedule. Not only would this compete directly with the MLB playoffs and World Series for a TV audience, but as we found out over the weekend, it doesn’t really lead to warmer weather games anyway. The coldest games of the year in 2017 occurred during the regular season and 2016 gave us a much warmer, drier November than October. Time to throw cold water on this silly idea and focus on fixing problems that actually exist like finding people to buy tickets in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

5. KENT AUSTIN: Interesting update from 3 Down Nation about the status of the only man to guide the Riders to a Grey Cup championship as both a quarterback and head coach. Having seen his first exit from the Riders as a young fan behind the bench, and then his more-recent departure after I covered the 2007 Grey Champions every day as a beat reporter, I’ve had a front-row seat to this guy at his best and at his worst.

Kent’s hatred of losing is his biggest asset and his biggest weakness. When the milk goes sour, life becomes miserable for Austin and those around him. Ending his Ticat head coach tenure with 8 straight losses has to gnaw at him and he doesn’t take failure well.

I just hope one day we get one more chance to see Kent work for the Green & White, maybe as a GM, and complete the trifecta for roles on our Grey Cup teams. We never fully embraced him and he never fully embraced us but we were always better with Kent Austin than anyone else and he was always better with us then anywhere else.

And nobody is better than Kent Austin at his best.

6. UNION SHOULD LEAVE HERVEY ALONE: Ed Hervey is accountable to the fans and that’s why he should have every right to criticize Jonathon Jennings in public. Ed took some serious flak from the CFLPA for tearing Simeon Rottier a new one in front of a mic back in 2013. The result: Some problems were corrected and Hervey - with the help of Chris Jones of course - turned that team around into a champion within 2 years. And judging by Jennings agent's reaction in taking a swipe at his GM, Jennings needed a wake-up call.

Somehow, I think the CFLPA has far more pressing issues than coaches or GM’s calling their players out publicly.

7. WALLY, GET OFF THE FIELD: He’s been getting away with it for nearly 30 years and still no one wants to put him in his place. Football coaches are told to stay off the field, even when they don’t get what they want in the game. Wally has never followed this rule and gets right up in referees' faces when he doesn’t get his way. It happened again Saturday night in Calgary. This needs to stop. He’s been good for the Canadian Football League, but not nearly as good as the CFL has been for him.

8. THUNDER DESERVE CENTRE STAGE: The 5-3 Regina Thunder are probably the 2nd-best junior football team in Canada. Problem is, a quarter of their schedule was against the greatest junior football team in Canada, the Saskatoon Hilltops. But instead of moaning and groaning, Head Coach Scott MacAulay will haul his crew on the road for a playoff game next weekend and try to beat an Edmonton Huskies team they’ve beaten on the road before. Zero home playoff games is normally a death sentence in the PFC but these guys are a tough out and don’t make excuses. Don’t bet against them making a Cinderella playoff run in 2018.

9. BLUE JAY MANAGER SEARCH: Two words: Dusty Baker. This American League thing with the DH will be a cinch for him. And he’s overdue for a ring.

10. SHUT YOUR MOUTH JIM BROWN: I’m hearing a lot criticism of Justin Cox, Roberto Osuna and other athletes accused of domestic violence and that’s a good thing. But when I see Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown lecturing everybody about what the black community needs and which politicians should govern the United States, I just shake my head.

Throughout his years on this earth, Jim has been accused of assaulting at least 4 women and even convicted in one of those cases when he refused to follow the judge’s orders.

The world has far better legendary athletes to look up to as role models, such as Pinball Clemons, LeBron James, Frank Robinson, Dusty Baker, Michael Jordan and Andre Dawson and should just start ignoring this clown named Jim Brown.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

CFL 2018 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

TORONTO -- Below are the 106th Grey Cup playoff scenarios for Week 19:

WEST DIVISION
Calgary Win OR Tie = Calgary clinches first place in division and hosts Western Final on November 18

BC Win = BC clinches a playoff berth

Saskatchewan Win AND a BC Loss OR Tie = Saskatchewan secures a home playoff date

EAST DIVISION
Playoff positioning cannot be determined this week

CROSSOVER
A West Division team will crossover to the East Division for the third consecutive season

CLINCHED:
Calgary Stampeders clinched a home playoff date
Saskatchewan Roughriders have clinched a playoff berth
Ottawa REDBLACKS clinched a home playoff date
Hamilton Tiger-Cats clinched a home playoff date

ELIMINATED:
Montreal Alouettes
Toronto Argonauts

(CFL PR)

TUESDAY'S REGINA HIGH SCHOOLS DAILY DISH

Small School Soccer – 2A City Finals at the Affinity Plex
Girls: Luther 3 Sheldon 0
Boys: Riffel 4 Luther 2

Both Girls teams advance to the Regional Playoffs in Notre Dame on Sat. Oct. 20
Both Boys teams advance to the Provincial Championships in North Battleford on Fri. Oct. 26 and Sat. Oct. 27.

Jr. Boys Volleyball  
Campbell 2 O’Neill 0
Campbell 2 Martin 0
Knoll 2 Riffel 0
Knoll 2 Miller 0
Riffel 2 Miller 0

TUESDAY SCHEDULE

Sr. Girls Tier 1 Volleyball
Sheldon and Knoll at O’Neill 6, 7, 8 p.m.
LeBoldus and Miller at Campbell 6, 7, 8 p.m.

Sr. Girls Tier 2 Volleyball
Notre Dame at Balfour 6:00 p.m.
RCS at Laval 7:30 p.m.
Johnson and Thom at Harvest City 6, 7, 8 p.m.

Thanks, 
Aaron Anderson
Commissioner of Athletics

Monday, October 15, 2018

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: A BRAND NEW WEEK

Photo: Riderville.com
BY: RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF

It was going to happen sooner or later -- we said it here at Out Of The Tunnel just last week.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders defence and special teams couldn’t bail out an anemic offence in a 31-0 drubbing at the hands of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday at Investors Group Field.

On the positive side, it’s good to get this out of the way now and rebuild in the final two games of the season and the bye-week leading up to playoffs. It can, and has been, done before but it may be difficult as the injuries are building up on the offensive side of the football.

Dan Clark was held out of Saturday’s game, Brendon LaBatte shifted to centre with the newly acquired Philip Blake taking over at left guard. Then Dariusz Bladek got hurt, and it didn’t look good. So, the offensive line is getting thin and frankly there isn’t much wiggle room there.

The receiving corps is already banged up with Naaman Roosevelt and Jordan Williams-Lambert sitting out Saturday as well. Now, this all may be the plan of the Riders to have these key tools rested and ready to go for a playoff run, but on paper it looks dim right now.

The injuries started to pile up a bit on defence with Zack Evans and Nick Marshall both getting dinged up and not finishing the game. We will find out as the week progresses as to who will hit the field in what is now a very important game in Calgary this Saturday.

The offence has been bad for the majority of the season (we've all seen the stats). The one that sticks out the most is for a double-digit winning team to be outscored 386 to 404. That is a rarity in CFL history.

Only five times has a team won 10+ games and been outscored. Four of them were 10-8 and the other was a complete anomaly.

2013 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats 10-8 (453 to 486) Lost Grey Cup

2008 – Edmonton Eskimos 10-8 (512 to 526) Lost East Final

1997 – Montreal Alouettes 13-5 (509 to 532) Lost East Final

1993 – Calgary Stampeders 10-8 (574 to 583) Lost West Final

1886 – Toronto Argonauts 10-8 (417 to 441) Lost 2-game total point East Final

The 2013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season is eerily similar to the 2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders.

They started the season 1-4 then finished the rest of the season going 9-4 with a loss in their third-last game of the season on the road 36-6 in Montreal. Hamilton then went on to the Grey Cup game (which they lost mightily in Regina).

Sound familiar?

The Saskatchewan Roughriders started this season 3-4 and then went on a tear before losing their third-last game of the season 31-0.

It’s not a stretch that the Riders can put together four or five great games and get to the Grey Cup. They have a lot of work to do, but it definitely can be done.

After saying last week that the Riders had second all but sewn up, that might have been an overstatement upon review. With the loss to Winnipeg (who are playing their best football of the season), and Edmonton and B.C. both winning, the West is air-tight from second to fifth.

A lot will be worked out this weekend when the B.C. Lions host the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night at B.C. Place in Vancouver. A Lions win would knock the Eskimos out of the playoffs because B.C. would have a four-point edge in the standings and Edmonton split their season series with the Bombers, but Winnipeg holds the edge in points for/against.

The Lions are in the driver’s seat and hold their destiny in their own hands. They face Edmonton and Saskatchewan on the road and host the Stampeders.

An Edmonton win would create absolute chaos (which we all love).

Winnipeg has the bye this week and just two games remaining.

A Saskatchewan win in either of their last two games (or any number of losses by Winnipeg and B.C.) would seal second in the West for the Green and White.


This Week in Canada West:

It was looking like it could have been an absolutely devastating week for the Regina Rams (1-5). After having their wins removed because of an ineligible player during the bye-week, all-Canadian quarterback, Noah Picton sat out his first game as Rams quarterback in four seasons.

Backup Seb Britton looked solid, and the Rams defence forced four turnovers in a 32-17 win over the Alberta Golden Bears (2-4).

After being left for dead halfway through the season the UBC Thunderbirds (3-3) are now in a fight for a possible home playoff date after a 20-10 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies (3-3).

The log-jam at 3-3 was sealed after the Calgary Dinos (6-0) made quick work of the Manitoba Bisons 34-19. Adam Sinagra’s path to the Hec Creighton trophy continued with another 300-yard passing game.

It’s going to be a doozy of a Week 7 in the Canada West!

Week 7 in Canada West:

Friday, October 19th
Regina Rams (1-5) at Calgary Dinos (6-0) 7:00pm (McMahon Stadium)

Saturday, October 20th
Manitoba Bisons (3-3) at Saskatchewan Huskies (3-3) 2:00pm (Griffiths Stadium)
Alberta Golden Bears (2-4) at UBC Thunderbirds (3-3) 1:00pm (Thunderbird Stadium)


Wanda Harron Photography
This Week in the PFC:

The narrative of the 2018 Prairie Football Conference season continued in its final weekend of the regular season.

The Saskatoon Hilltops mopped the floor with the Winnipeg Rifles 48-7 at SMF Field in Saskatoon. Running back Josh Ewanchyna’s MVP season continued with 177 yards on the ground and four touchdowns. He finished the season with 1,007 yards rushing in just seven games.

The Regina Thunder sealed third rolling over the Calgary Colts 70-6 at McMahon Stadium. They will face the Edmonton Huskies in the PFC semi-finals as the Huskies won their final game of the season 42-17 over the Edmonton Wildcats.

The other semi-final will see the Saskatoon Hilltops host the Winnipeg Rifles.

PFC Schedule:

Semi-finals - Date and time TBD:
Regina Thunder at Edmonton Huskies
Winnipeg Rifles at Saskatoon Hilltops


Canadian to Watch in the NCAA

Shane Richards Sr.
Guard – Oklahoma State
6’8”, 336lbs.
Calgary, Alberta
High School – Crescent Heights

The top rated offensive lineman by CFL scouting bureau’s first rankings for the 2019 draft, Richards has had a comeback year in 2018.

He sat out all of 2017 as a medical redshirt and came back in 2018 as a redshirt senior. Richards began the season starting at right tackle but was replaced for the middle three games of the season. He has since come back and started at right guard in the Cowboys last two games against Kansas State and Iowa State.

He is a giant of a man and may be the first offensive lineman taken off the board in the 2019 CFL draft in May.

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

PATS WIN IN CALGARY, 4-3 IN OT

HitmenHockey.com/Candice Ward
Calgary, AB – Colorado Avalanche prospect Nick Henry scored 14 seconds into overtime to lift the Regina Pats past the Calgary Hitmen 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The resilient Pats never led until the end, erasing deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. 

It was former Hitmen defenceman Aaron Hyman who forced overtime for the visitors netting a power play goal with 8:54 remaining in regulation. Cole Dubinsky and Jake Leschyshyn rounded out the scoring for the visitors.

Riley Stotts, Jake Kryski and Kaden Elder provided the Hitmen goals while Mark Kastelic added a pair of assists.

Calgary outshot Regina 32-22 with both teams going 2-6 on the power play.

The Pats are back on home ice Wednesday to take on the Spokane Chiefs at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. Tickets are available at reginapats.com, the Brandt Centre Box Office and at any Regina Safeway, where Fun Zone tickets are $13 plus tax. The game will be broadcast on Access TV and 620 CKRM.

(With files from HitmenHockey.com & ReginaPats.com)

SOCCER FINALS: REGINA HIGH SCHOOLS MONDAY SKED

MONDAY SCHEDULE

Small School Soccer – 2A City Finals
Girls: Sheldon at Luther @ Affinity Plex 5:00 p.m.
Boys: Riffel at Luther @ Affinity Plex 7:00 p.m.

Adults $5.00
High School Students Gr. 9-12 $3.00
Grade 8 and Under – Free of Charge

Jr. Boys Volleyball
O’Neill and Martin at Campbell 6, 7, 8 p.m.
Riffel and Knoll at Miller 6, 7, 8 p.m.

Thanks,
Aaron Anderson
Commissioner of Athletics

Sunday, October 14, 2018

FAMOSO RECAP: BLUE BOMBERS 31 ROUGHRIDERS 0


WINNIPEG - Adam Bighill was signed by the Blue Bombers for his leadership and tenacious talents. He delivered big time on Saturday.

The veteran linebacker had three quarterback sacks, one forced fumble that led to a touchdown and eight defensive tackles in Winnipeg's 31-0 shutout of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"When you get a quarterback sack it feels good,'' said Bighill, a seven-year veteran who was the CFL's top defensive player in 2015 while with the B.C. Lions.

"You're really taking the wind right out of them and it's demoralizing for them, and it's demoralizing for your opponent when you're just beating your man one-on-one and you're winning.''

Winnipeg extended its winning streak to four games and improved to 9-7, remaining in third place in the tight CFL West Division standings.

It was the Blue Bombers' first shutout victory since a 29-0 win over Hamilton in 2006. The Riders' last shutout loss was a 24-0 decision to Edmonton in 2014.

"It's just a taste of reality. It happens,'' said Saskatchewan defensive lineman Charleston Hughes, who had two tackles, including one for a loss.

`"We did get shut out. They pretty much dominated the whole entire game. Now you just really go back to the drawing board and figure out what happens.''

The Bombers avoided a season-series sweep by the Riders (10-6), who had already secured a playoff spot. Saskatchewan, which had its three-game win streak halted, finished the game with four turnovers while Winnipeg had one.

Bombers safety Taylor Loffler intercepted quarterback Zach Collaros twice and the home team scored all 31 points by halftime in front of 26,070 fans at Investors Group Field.

"We've got to protect (Collaros),'' Riders offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte said. "You can't let him get roughed up, especially early in the game.

"And we can't turn the ball over because I think no matter what else we focus on, that was the one thing that truly put the dagger in us.''

Winnipeg led 14-0 after a first quarter in which Saskatchewan turned the ball over on its second and third possessions of the game.

A Collaros pass was caught by Kyran Moore, but Bighill forced a fumble and Anthony Gaitor caught the loose ball and ran 45 yards for the 7-0 lead at 5:22.

Darvin Adams made it 14-0 after he got behind Riders safety Mike Edem and hauled in a long bomb from quarterback Matt Nichols that he turned into a 72-yard catch-and-run score with two minutes left in the first quarter.

Loffler's second interception of the game - his third pick of the season - led to Justin Medlock's 29-yarder at 6:11 of the second quarter. Medlock was also good on four converts.

Weston Dressler stretched for a 31-yard TD pass from backup Chris Streveler, who also plunged in for his own major with less than a minute remaining the first half.

Nichols completed 10 of 18 pass attempts for 155 yards with one TD pass and no interceptions. Streveler played the fourth quarter, completing three of five passes for 47 yards with one TD and one interception. He also ran seven times for 45 yards.

"I've been a part of games where our defence played good enough for a shutout, but maybe there was a single scored at some point,'' Nichols said.

"To have no points scored is an unbelievable effort by our defence. They've been playing unbelievable football and I would like to think we prepare them well all week at practice.''

Collaros was 8 for 19 for 69 yards with two interceptions. He was replaced by Brandon Bridge early in the third quarter. Bridge went 7-for-12 for 59 yards with no interceptions.

Saskatchewan head coach Chris Jones called it an "inexplicable loss'' with too many early mistakes. He was asked if he was worried about Collaros's recent performances.

"My name's not Chicken Little so I'm not going to sit here and start pointing fingers at anybody,'' Jones said. "I mean, if I'm pointing fingers at anybody, it needs to be me.''

Saskatchewan offensive lineman Dariusz Bladek and defensive lineman Mic'heal Brooks were both taken out of the game on carts. Jones said they may be out for an extended time.

The Bombers will next have a bye week while the Riders play in Calgary next Saturday.

(RodPedersen.com Wire Services)

THE SPORTS DOCTOR'S WEEK 6 NFL PICKS

Last week I was an unimpressive 8-7 (37-41) and 6-9 (35-43) against the spread.

Sunday Early

Arizona Cardinals (1-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1) 
Line: Vikings by 10

If the Vikings can defeat the defending champs in Philly, surely, they can beat these sad sacks in their own barn? Memories of the Bills still linger so I can’t bet on Vikes covering the spread.

Dr. Football: Take the Vikings to win but not cover.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2-1) 
Line: Chargers by 1

L.A.’s losses this season have come against the Chiefs and Rams, so they should have little trouble even in the Dawg Pound.

Dr. Football: Take the Chargers to win and cover.


Chicago Bears (3-1) at Miami Dolphins (3-2) 
Line: Bears by 3

Chicago’s schedule gets a lot tougher after their bye week, so I believe that they will only have the Miami nightlife on their mind. Also, Miami has been playing good football thus far.

Dr. Football: Take the Dolphins in an upset.

Carolina Panthers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2) 
Line: Redskins by 1

Carolina has the Saints firmly in their sites and will look to “one-up” them by laying a beating on the fading Redskins.

Dr. Football: Take the Panthers in an upset.

Indianapolis Colts (1-4) at New York Jets (2-3) 
Line: Jets by 2.5

I haven’t written off the Colts just yet, and I sure don’t trust the Jets even at home. Andrew Luck will start to find a real groove on the road.

Dr. Football: Take the Colts in an upset.

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) 
Line: Bengals by 2.5

Pittsburgh has won the last six in a row in this series and nine out of the past 10 and haven’tlost in Cincinnati since September 2013. Go with Big Ben.

Dr. Football: Take the Steelers in an upset.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-4) 
Line: Falcons by 3.5

QB issues have erupted with the Bucs so this makes them easy prey for the “better than their record shows” Falcons. This will be a Tampa Bay wake up call.

Dr. Football: Take the Falcons to win and cover.

Seattle Seahawks (2-3) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-4) in London.
Line: Seahawks by 3

Seattle is regrouping and seem to be on the rise while Oakland is a work in progress. No real home field advantage in this one.

Dr. Football: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.

Buffalo Bills (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3) 
Line: Texans by 10

Houston’s pass rush will have Josh Allen running towards Mexico by half time.

Dr. Football: Take the Texans to win and cover.

Sunday Late

Los Angeles Rams (5-0) at Denver Broncos (2-3) 
Line: Rams by 7

Is it just me but are the Broncos less likeable without Peyton Manning under center? L.A. will continue to dominate even in the smog-less thin air in a “closer than it should be” game.

Dr. Football: Take the Rams to win but not cover.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3) 
Line: Jaguars by 3

Jacksonville is a much different team without Leonard Fournette, and the Cowboys are much better at home. I think Dallas pulls it off.

Dr. Football: Take the Cowboys in an upset.

Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-2) 
Line: Ravens by 3

Tennessee is quietly getting it done with a solid defense, while the Ravens don’t seem to play as well on the road as all of Joe Flacco’s interceptions this season are away from home. Another upset.

Dr. Football: Take the Titans in an upset.

Sunday Night

Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) at New England Patriots (3-2) 
Line: Patriots by 3.5

The NBC liaison with the NFL schedule maker must be the highest paid employee in that building; what a Sunday night match up. While the Chiefs surprised New England at home last year, the Patriots are just warming up with their third consecutive home game.

Dr. Football: Take the Patriots to win and cover.

Monday Night

San Francisco 49ers (1-4) at Green Bay Packers (2-2-1)
Line: Packers by 9.5

Packers always seem to explode after they have been embarrassed. The 49ers won’t know what hit them.

Dr. Football: Take the Packers to win and cover.

(Follow Dave on Twitter at @The SportsDoctor)