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Monday, July 24, 2017

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK FOR AUTO EXTREME REGINA

10 Things I Think I Think for Auto Extreme Regina. The first 20 customers this week with $2000 of work are entered for a trip to the Caribbean!

1 - We said Saturday's Roughriders-Stampeders game would tell us a lot about both teams. It did! The 27-10 Calgary victory showed the Stampeders are still the class of the West and the Roughriders still have a ton of work to do. The youngest team in the CFL has to grow up FAST.

2 - I asked Rider Hall of Famer Dan Rashovich on CKRM's halftime show what Chris Jones has to do to wake his team up. Razz responded "It's not Jones! It's the players!" It's true. Right now 1-3 is on the players. However when all is said and done (in November), Jones will be responsible for whatever transpires. That's how it works.

3 - In the aftermath of Saturday's lopsided loss, CKRM colour man Luc Mullinder explained, "We learned a lot about the Roughriders tonight and right now ... the truth hurts". The performance was inexplicable. Hopefully come Saturday when the Riders host Toronto, they'll be adequately ticked off enough to go out and prove they ARE a good football team. It's time.

4 - Trailing 17-0 at halftime in Calgary, my first thought was "The bye week killed this team". The week off stalled any momentum coming out of the win over Hamilton on July 8, and it was the culprit for the team coming out flat against the Stamps. It's no excuse, but it's a reason.

5 - Despite the pain of the loss, I'd still rather lose with Saskatchewan than win with Calgary. That may not be a logical stance - or even a popular one - but it's honestly how I feel. Even the bad times in the 306 are better than the good times anywhere else!

6 - The attendance was poor at McMahon Stadium and without Rider fans, the place would've seemed empty. The fact is Stampeders fans have been spoiled by their team's excellence since John Hufnagel showed up. Winning has become boring for Calgary football fans. In a very twisted way, try to ENJOY the drama associated with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Dallas Cowboys have thrived on it for 20 years.

7 - This Saturday when Calgary hosts Hamilton, the Stampeders will hold a 25-year reunion for the 1992 Grey Cup champs. Doug Flutie will be there but Wally Buono won't, even though BC is at Edmonton the night before. The message from Wally basically is "I'm a Lion now". Please discuss.

8 - Cory Chamblin is coming to town with the Argos on Saturday and even got a message to me through a mutual friend on the weekend. The simple fact is, I love Cham! It didn't ended well but I think he's a FANTASTIC coach and appreciate all he did for this franchise. He's also cool as hell. The past is the past and I, for one, will be real glad to see him.

9 - Rider fans are justifiably hot right now but some are going overboard with their ridiculousness. Cutting Rob Bagg? Trading for James Franklin at this juncture? Give me a break. EVERYONE is in this together so let's cool off and see how it all turns out.

Oh, and the best seats in the house for Saturday's game against Toronto are still available in the AGT Lounge. A tad pricy? Yes. But why not enjoy the CFL's finest stadium in luxury with food included? Call the Rider ticket office this week or visit the Mosaic Stadium box office in person.

10 - It was an unsightly crowd in Toronto on Monday as Doug Flutie was honoured by the Argos. The biggest culprit for lagging CFL attendance this year? Over-priced tickets in many markets.

Meanwhile CFL TV ratings in the GTA remain golden for Argo games. The Argos are the girl Toronto calls at 2 am for some lovin', but won't take her out on a date. Just my $0.02.

Y'er welcome,
RP

OUT OF THE TUNNEL

Photo Credit: David Moll
THINK BEFORE YOU JUMP

Let's get right to it but first, just slowly back away from the panic button. While Rider Nation has every right to begin the fretting after a 27-10 domination by the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium Saturday night, we here at Out of the Tunnel want to offer some food for thought before you jump off that cliff.

You hear grumblings at the lakes, cottages and summer outdoor festivals. You read them on message boards, comment sections and social media -- the pure frustration, mostly due to the Riders' start of the game in Calgary.

Pick any part of what went wrong in the opening half and it has been mentioned: Jerome Messam running roughshod, Kevin Glenn getting sacked five times, less than 100 yards of offence, poor play in the defensive backfield; really there wasn’t much that was positive to pick out.

Coming off a bye week - and prior to that a solid performance in a victory over the beleaguered Hamilton Tiger-Cats - many were expecting the Green & White to come out of the tunnel and play fast, physical football. It was anything but.

By now, we have all either watched, re-watched, poured over stats and/or read every blogger’s point of view about what happened and all of it adds to the frustration.

Simply put the Riders are now 1-3 and, during Chris Jones’ first 22 games as head coach. just 6-16. To see it in print stings, but for fun, let’s compare it to the past ten head coaches after their first 22 (or less if fired prior) games.

Chris Jones (2016-2017)         6-16
Corey Chamblin (2012-2013) 12-10
Greg Marshall (2011)              1-7 *fired after week eight
Ken Miller (2008-2009)          14-8
Kent Austin (2007)                  12-6
Danny Barrett (2000-2001)     7-14-1
Cal Murphy (1999)                  3-15
Jim Daley (1996-1997)           7-15
Ray Jauch (1994-1995)           11-11 *lost eight straight to begin 1995 season
Don Matthews (1991-1992)    7-15
John Gregory (1986-1987)      6-15-1

So there you have it: 30 years of Rider head coaches and their (mostly) inauspicious starts. Only four were .500 or better but Austin and Miller inherited teams that were .500+ the previous year and Jauch’s slide was swift in year two.

Corey Chamblin is the only one to turn things around, but it too was gradual. He took over after a tumultuous 2011 that saw Greg Marshall fired eight games into the season and the team finishing 5-13 under Ken Miller.

In 2012, Chamblin was three games better at 8-10 and was again three games better (11-7) in 2013 and won it all (which is starting to feel like another lifetime ago).

What’s the point of this exercise? To remind us all that to turn around any team takes time, and sometimes a two or three game improvement year over year is all that is needed (and maybe a dash of patience would help).

But, this isn’t the Saskatchewan Roughriders of even five years ago. A turnaround should be easier than it was in the past. There’s a brand new $280-million stadium that is the jewel of outdoor facilities in Canada, the business operations is the best in the CFL, and most importantly the biggest and most engaged fan base in the league. This is supposed to be THE destination in the CFL and recruiting players for fast success should be easier.

Secondly, if you look back at the list, only Ken Miller had more than just the head coach title. He was also Vice-President of Football Operations. This adds to the frustration for fans, everything begins and ends with Chris Jones -- on the field and off.

These are tough times right now and as a fan, you have every right to complain, pick apart and chastise the team you love.

NOTES FROM WEEK 5

- It seems like Edmonton just finds ways to win and Hamilton finds new ways to lose. The Ti-Cats led for 55:27 of the game with the Eskimos first and only lead coming with :33 remaining. The drive that Mike Reilly led for that game winning touchdown was football artistry. It is a thing of beauty to watch as all facets of the offence are clicking at the same time. In a pressure situation, everyone was on the same page; Offensive coordinator Carson Walch was in a play calling groove (all :37 of it), while Reilly was a calm field general guiding the five-play, 75-yard drive that also included a pair of running plays. If you have a chance, go watch that piece of mastery again.

- Reilly is also our early choice for CFL MOP.

- A funky Week 5 ends Monday night with the REDBLACKS playing their second game in six days as they head to Toronto to take on the Argonauts. Ottawa escaped with a 24-16 victory over Montreal on Wednesday night and back-to-back wins would go a long way towards erasing any memory of the poor start to the season.

- The Game of the Week was the 45-42 B.C. Lions victory at home over Winnipeg on Friday. The Bombers had a 42-27 lead early in the fourth quarter and did everything they could to give it away (did they take lessons from the Ti-Cats?). It will be interesting to see how this affects a team that was off to a pretty good start to the season.

- Finally, this is going to be a fun week in preparation for Saturday afternoon’s battle with Toronto at Mosaic Stadium. It marks the return of Corey Chamblin to Saskatchewan since being fired mid-way through the 2015 season and will be interesting if he will, or be allowed to, meet with the local media. It may be one of the few times a coordinator will have more requests than the head coach.

A Canadian To Watch In The NCAA In 2017

Neville Gallimore – DT
University of Oklahoma
6’2” 310lbs.
Hometown – St. Caatherine’s, Ont.
Class – RS-Soph.

As a redshirt freshman in 2016, Gallimore played in all 13 games, starting six for the Sooners. He finished the season with a sack and four tackles for loss. He will start at tackle in 2017 with the Sooners switching to a 4-3 defence. Gallimore is the second Canadian to play for the Sooners, following in the footsteps of current Rider offensive lineman, Josiah St. John.

What To Do Between Games This Week:

With the REDBLACKS in Toronto Monday night, and Montreal in Winnipeg on Thursday, there isn’t much time between games. So, it’s simple, go watch season two of Last Chance U on Netflix.

(Written by RodPedersen.com Staff)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

DAWGS SWEEP RED SOX


With their 10-5 victory over the Eastern Division-leading Regina Red Sox on Sunday at Currie Field, the Okotoks Dawgs are the first team to reach the 30-win mark in the WMBL.  Okotoks also finished their successful Saskatchewan road trip with a perfect 6-0 record.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 27-14 and are currently on a two-game losing streak.

Okotoks starter Chris Horvath, the Wayne State product, tossed six innings of six hit and two-run baseball to pick up his fourth win of the year.

Gilbert, Arizona native Dalton England took the loss for Regina and dropped his 2017 record to 2-3.

Offensively for the Dawgs outfielder Zach Hanna and catcher John Hawk each had four hits.

Kody Funderburk, the WMBL home run leader pounded his 13th dinger of the season, a three run shot in the top of the 9th inning to seal the game for Okotoks and Matt Lloyd extended his hitting streak to 21 games.

For the Red Sox Phil Langlois and Conner Reynolds were the bright spots on offense. Langlois, the Niagara University junior had two hits while Reynolds, who started at first base, finished with two hits and two RBI.

The Red Sox will look to get back to their winning ways Monday night as they travel to Swift Current for an important first place showdown with the 57’s.

(Outlaw Communications)

STAMPEDERS 27 ROUGHRIDERS 10


CALGARY - Jerome Messam had no doubt a breakout game was around the corner.

The Calgary Stampeders running back not only picked the perfect opportunity to crack the 100-yard mark for the first time this season, but also the perfect way to cap his big outing.

Messam's one-yard plunge late in the fourth quarter salted away a 27-10 victory for the Stampeders against the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday night.

Photo: Larry McDougal
"Something about that green. I see the green and I get mean. No, I'm joking,'' he said with a laugh.

"It's the icing on the cake for your hard work. I was grinding out there, getting yards and getting us in position to score and I was happy to get into the end zone.''

Messam finished the night with 135 rushing yards on 28 carries, by far his biggest game of the season.

His touchdown, the second of the season for last season's CFL rushing leader, was a perfect example of a squad nailing down a victory in emphatic fashion before the crowd of 30,274 at McMahon Stadium.

After staking a 17-point lead by halftime the Stampeders watched the Roughriders pull within a converted touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but immediately answered with a couple of scoring drives.

"Putting the hammer down at the end of the game, that's how you win,'' said Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. "When we're able to run the ball like that and you know we're going to run it, that's going to make us a pretty dangerous team.''

Through the first 30 minutes, the Stampeders (3-1-1) looked to be taking dangerous to a new level.

Not only were they clicking offensively, with Mitchell firing touchdown strikes to Marquay McDaniel - the 100th of Mitchell's career - and Lemar Durant, but were dominating defensively while keeping the visitors off the scoreboard.

Saskatchewan quarterback Kevin Glenn was sacked five times in the first half, three times by Charleston Hughes in his first game back after missing two outings due to injury and twice by James Vaughters.

Photo: David Boll
Glenn said his squad simply couldn't find any rhythm.

`"With a team like that, you can't come out slow like that,'' he said. "You can't have the type of first half we had and think you're gonna win the game.''

Briefly after the break, though, the Riders threatened to muster a comeback.

Cameron Marshall's five-yard touchdown run capped an 80-yard dive on the opening possession of the second half to put the Riders on the board - a drive in which Glenn became the seventh QB in league history to reach the 50,000 passing mark - and a Tyler Crapigna field goal made it a 17-10 affair.

But that was as close as the Riders could get.

"We got beat by the better football team,'' succinctly stated Riders head coach Chris Jones, whose squad falls to 1-3.

Not that the Stampeders were willing to put all that much stock in the victory.

"Just because you won doesn't mean you're playing great football,'' cautioned Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson. "We played better, though. We did. We win at home and that's the key.''

Calgary kicker Rene Paredes booted a pair of field goals, including a key 47-yarder midway through the fourth quarter, a sign his game is rounding into top form.

Mitchell finished the night for Calgary with 16-of-28 for 253 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, with McDaniel and Kamar Jorden both collecting 88 receiving yards.

Glenn completed 20-of-29 passes for 203 yards on a night he couldn't fully relish joining elite company of CFL history.

"It's tough to enjoy it because the bigger prize is the win,'' said Glenn who noted even one of the officials congratulated him during the game.

CHRIS JONES POSTGAME COMMENTS

- You have to give them all the credit in the world. They had a great game plan and put us behind the 8-ball early. Their offensive line was more physical than our defensive line. Anytime a guy runs for 135 on you, they've had a pretty good night.

- We're gonna look at the film and try to see exactly what it is. Like the Winnipeg game we played good early, had a spurt and then came back. Same thing tonight. We cut it to one score but we gave them some penalties, allowed them to score and got momentum.

- On injuries, we'll have to go wait and see. It'll take a a few days to assess I'm sure.

RB CAMERON MARSHALL

- I thought the way we came out in the second half, we played fast. That's how we're used to playing. We played well then, but there's a ton of things to improve on. You can't come out flat like we did and expect to win.

- We gotta go back and watch the film, see where we were missing up. There were some things they did that we didn't respond too well against. 

- We can't get too down on ourselves. We know who we have in this locker room. We gotta clean things up and come out and play Roughrider football.

DE WILLIE JEFFERSON

- Bo-Levi was just Bo-Levi. With where I lined up, we tried to get a little movement out of him. I was trying to be on him and make it a little bit more difficult.

- It was just us. We knew they'd try to run Messam. The D-line, we're trying to get off the ball and make them move but I don't really know. He just had a good game. There wasn't anything we were doing scheme-wise. We had him in the backfield but he broke tackles and made plays.

- My best advice that I can give my teammates is that we came here to win, and they beat us. Let that one go. I know that'll be hard because it was a big game but we'll have a big crowd behind us next week against Toronto. We know we can stop the run and play the pass. We can't get down ourselves, we have to get to the stadium, watch film and get prepared for Toronto.

(With files from the Canadian Press)

DAWGS BITE RED SOX 6-3


The Okotoks Dawgs scored runs in each of the first four innings on their way to a 6-3 win over the home town Regina Red Sox on Saturday night.

The loss snapped Regina’s five game home field winning streak. Even with the loss Regina remains one game ahead of Swift Current for first in the Eastern Division. For Okotoks they have a 7-game lead on second place Edmonton.

Liam Stroud had a magnificent outing for the Dawgs as he faced 19 batters. Stroud, a native of Maple Ridge, BC threw five innings for Okotoks allowing just one hit and three strike outs. The Dawgs bullpen picked up for Stroud and Tyler Burdett nailed down his 12th the save

Will Moore started for Regina and threw six complete innings. He was given the loss after allowing seven hits and five runs.

Dawgs outfielder Matt Lloyd extended his consecutive hitting streak to 20-games with two hits. Aderly Perez single shot home run added an insurance run in the fourth.

Phil Langlois had two hits and a walk for the Red Sox.

The second game of this two game series will be played Sunday at Currie Field. First pitch is at 2 pm.

(Outlaw Communications)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

DOUBLE Z AG SALES PREVIEW: ROUGHRIDERS AT STAMPEDERS


SASKATCHEWAN (1-2) AT CALGARY (2-1-1)
WHEN: Saturday, July 22/2017, 7:00 pm Sask Time
WHERE: McMahon Stadium Calgary
BROADCAST: TSN, 620 CKRM Network, Sirius/XM CH 167
FORECAST: Sunny, 28 degrees Celsius, 81 Fahrenheit
REFEREE: Dave Foxcroft

RIDERS: Road 0-1, Vs West 0-1
STAMPS: Home 1-0, Vs West 1-0

RIDERS OFFENSE: RUSH (6TH), PASS (2ND), OVERALL (1ST)
QB Kevin Glenn is 4th in CFL passing (1055 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs) ... WR Naaman Roosevelt is 8th in CFL receiving (285 yards, 1 TD) ... RB Cameron Marshall is 5th in CFL rushing (166 yards, 0 TDs) ... Riders are #2 in points scored and #3 in sacks allowed.

STAMPS OFFENSE: RUSH (7TH), PASS (3RD), OVERALL (2ND)
QB Bo-Levi Mitchell is 2nd in passing (1382 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INTs) ... WR Kamar Jorden is 3rd in receiving (380 yards, 4 TDs) ... RB Jerome Messam is 3rd in CFL rushing (188 yards, 1 TD) ... Stamps are #1 in points scored and #2 in sacks allowed.

RIDERS DEFENSE: RUSH (5TH), PASS (2ND), OVERALL (2ND)
DE Willie Jefferson leads the team in tackles (19), quarterback pressures (9) and sacks (2) ... CB Jovon Johnson leads in knockdowns (4) ... Riders are #5 in points allowed and #8 in sacks.

STAMPS DEFENSE: RUSH (8TH), PASS (6TH), OVERALL (6TH)
LB Alex Singleton leads in tackles (24) ... DT Micah Johnson leads in sacks (3) ... Three players are tied for the team INT lead (1) ... Stamps are #6 in points allowed and #2 in sacks.

RIDERS SPECIAL TEAMS: K Tyler Crapigna is 7th in FG percentage (81.8%) ... P Josh Bartel is 8th in punt average (42.1) ... Nic Demski leads in PR yards and Greg Morris leads in KR yards ... Glenn Love leads in the CFL in special teams tackles (8).

STAMPS SPECIAL TEAMS: K Rene Parades is 6th in field goal percentage (85.7%) ... P Rob Maver is 3rd in punting average (44.9) ... Tunde Adeleke leads in PR yards and T. Williams leads in KR yards ... William Langlais leads the team in special teams tackles (4).

NOTES: Calgary is a CFL-best +10 in turnover ratio while Saskatchewan is 8th at -2 ... The Riders are #3 in fewest penalties while the Stamps are #4 ... Calgary swept the season series last year ... The Stampeders vist Saskatchewan on Sunday, September 24 at 2:00 pm.

RP
@rodpedersen

RED SOX TAKE OVER FIRST PLACE, PLAY AT HOME SATURDAY

The battle for Eastern Division supremacy took place at Mitchell Field in Swift Current. The Red Sox and 57’s both came into the contest with identical records of 26-12. This one was worth the price of admission for the 671 in attendance as it took 12 innings to finally decide a winner.
 
Like any good heavyweight battle this was went back and forth. Swift Current struck first taking a six-run lead before the Red Sox bats got hot. Regina came back and these top teams headed to extra innings tied 8-8. The Queen City Kids grabbed sole possession of first place when they came up with a four run 12th inning for the win.

Aden Campbell smacked his seventh homerun of the season and added a double, three runs, two walks and two RBIs in the Red Sox come from behind victory. Catcher Antonio Torres chipped in with four hits including a double and two RBI.

Swift Current got home runs from Blake Adams, Bodie Cooper and Brett Esau. On this night, Adams also had four hits and two runs.

Regina sent left-handed Austin Alarid to the mound as their starter and went five innings. The Sox used five pitchers including eventual winner Kevin Borst who tossed the final 3.1 innings.

Bobby St. Pierre, the senior from Wayne State College got the start for Swift Current. After 5.2 innings St. Pierre gave way to the 57’s bullpen. Swift Current used six relief pitchers in the contest.
Aidan Goodall took the loss allowing four runs on three hits over 1.2 innings.

Regina now returns to Currie Field on Saturday to host the Western Division’s top team, the Okotok Dawgs. Game time is 7pm at Currie Field.

(Outlaw Communications)