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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

RIDERS BACK TO WORK

The Saskatchewan Roughriders returned to the practice field on a windy, cool day Tuesday at Mosaic Stadium.  The Riders are coming off their fourth loss in a row, 53-7 at Hamilton on Saturday night.

Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant says it's not a game tape they can take a lot out of.

"It's one you just trash," Durant offered.  "I mean of course there's some learning things throughout the film but we'll bring that up the next time we play those guys.  As for now, it's time to trash it and get ready for Edmonton and a western battle.  It was one of those days."

Several Rider fans have mentioned that the team "wasn't ready to play" in Hamilton, falling down 13-0 after the first quarter and 27-4 at halftime.  However Head Coach & GM Chris Jones took umbrage with that notion.

"I've watched the effort," Jones snorted.  "I've watched it very closely in all three phases.  We played, probably, our best special teams game.  If they don't like it, they can go back and watch the film like I have.  The effort was there, even in the fourth quarter.  The score's not indicative of how hard we played.  Did we play smart at times?  No.  Did we play execution football?  No.  That's the way I'd answer that."

Fans are also concerned at the amount of change the roster has seen through the club's 1-7 start, including 10 changes from Week 9 to 10.  Four more transactions were announced on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately we can't help that (cornerback) Buddy Jackson got hurt so we had to put #45 Kacy Rodgers in the roster and then we've had some injuries on the offensive line and have got some players coming off of 6-Game that we were able to return," Jones answered.  "They were starters coming out of training camp for a reason.  They were the best guys and when we get those guys back, we have to insert them.  As for the cohesion, we're looking for that."

Jones noted that slotback Rob Bagg is "doubtful" for Friday's game at Edmonton after taking a hard hit against the Tiger-Cats.  Offensive tackle Xavier Fulton is scheduled to return from injury and he'll try it out in practice this week.  Newly-acquired defensive back Fred Bennett will be activated for Friday's game.

RP
@rodpedersen

WEEK 10 RIDER TRANSACTIONS

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the following roster moves on Tuesday:

SIGNED:

·       International defensive lineman Torrey Davis
·       National linebacker Bryn Roy

RELEASED:

·       National running back Dillon Campbell
·       International defensive back Major Culbert

WEEK 10 CFL TRENDS


STAMPEDERS #1: The Calgary Stampeders have stretched their unbeaten streak to seven games, but they'll have to handle a dangerous Hamilton Tiger-Cats squad this week if they want to keep it going.

On Sunday, Calgary (6-1-1) will host a Hamilton squad coming off a lopsided 53-7 home win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. What makes the Tiger-Cats especially dangerous now is they have their offensive leader back.

Zach Collaros was a one-man show against Saskatchewan. In just his second start since returning from a serious knee injury, Collaros completed 23-of-30 passes for 381 yards and five TDs as Hamilton (4-4) rolled up an impressive 509 yards offensively with seven different receivers catching passes.

Collaros was 24-of-40 for 331 yards with two TDs in his 2016 debut, a 45-38 road loss to B.C. He'd been out since suffering his knee injury last September against Edmonton.

Hamilton opened the season 3-3 under backup Jeremiah Masoli, who for the most part performed admirably outside of two lopsided losses to Winnipeg.

But the Ticats were cruising with an 8-3 record under Collaros last season before his injury. Collaros was leading the CFL in passing (3,376 yards), TDs (25) and passer rating (113.7) with an impressive 70.2 completion percentage.

He also guided Hamilton to the 2014 Grey Cup, where the Ticats lost 20-16 to Calgary.

The Stampeders are currently the class of the CFL, especially after their 37-9 road win Friday night over the B.C. Lions (5-3). Calgary not only extended its unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) but also improved to a stellar 6-1 within the West Division.

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, the 2014 Grey Cup MVP, was 28-of-38 passing for 340 yards and two TDs. Mitchell is the CFL's second-leading passer (2,534) behind Edmonton's Mike Reilly (2,843) and the two have both thrown a league-leading 14 TD passes.

But Collaros and Co. will try to solve a Calgary defence that's allowing a league-low 20.1 points per game. The unit held B.C. to just three field goals last week while recording three sacks and two forced fumbles.

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HARRIS RETURNS: Trevor Harris will be under centre Thursday when the Ottawa Redblacks face the B.C. Lions.

Harris suffered a right leg injury in Ottawa's 30-29 road loss to Saskatchewan on July 22. Veteran Henry Burris, the CFL's outstanding player last season, was pressed into action despite suffering a finger injury in the club's season-opening win over Edmonton.

The Redblacks (4-3-1) have dropped three of their last four yet still are atop the East Division.

Harris was the CFL's hottest quarterback prior to his injury with a completion average of 82 per cent. Harris, who threw a CFL-high 33 TD passes last season with Toronto, enters Thursday's contest with 1,499 yards passing and nine touchdowns with just one interception.

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SECOND TIME THE CHARM?: Chris Jones makes his second trip to Edmonton this season hoping to fare better than he did the first time around.

Edmonton earned a 39-36 overtime win over Saskatchewan on July 8, Jones' first appearance in the Alberta city since he was hired as the Riders head coach/GM. Jones served as the Eskimos head coach last season, leading the club to a Grey Cup championship.

But the Riders and Eskimos are currently on opposite ends of the spectrum. Saskatchewan (1-6) is coming off a lopsided 53-7 road loss to Hamilton on Saturday and has dropped four straight while Edmonton defeated Toronto 46-23 at BMO Field on Saturday also for its second consecutive victory.

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GREAT APPROACH: There's plenty to like about Mike Reilly.

The Edmonton Eskimos' star is not only one of the CFL's best quarterbacks but one of its toughest. But he's also a master of not taking himself too seriously.

Reilly opened Edmonton's 46-23 road win over Toronto on Saturday by throwing an interception that linebacker Keon Raymond returned 39 yards for the touchdown that stake the Argos to an 8-0 lead less than a minute in.

Reilly easily overcame the miscue, passing for 362 yards and three TDs but could only chuckle in explaining his opening pass.

"I threw a touchdown pass the first play of the game and that's generally a great omen,'' Reilly deadpanned. "Keon is a veteran guy, he jumped it and made a great play.

"It wasn't the greatest decision to throw but I'm not going to take anything away from him as well.''

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RAY BACK?: The expectation is the Toronto Argonauts will have veteran quarterback Ricky Ray back when they resume their CFL schedule Aug. 31 hosting B.C.

Ray has missed the last three games recovering from a sprained knee. But Toronto removed him from the six-game injured list last week before its 46-23 home loss to Edmonton.

Ray didn't dress for that contest but will now have more time to prepare to face the Lions. Toronto was 1-2 with youngster Logan Kilgore under centre.

Kilgore had consecutive 300-yard passing performances his first two games but just 41 yards and two interceptions versus Edmonton before being replaced by rookie Cody Fajardo in the third quarter. Kilgore threw nine interceptions in his three starts, including five in a 34-17 home loss to Winnipeg on Aug. 4.

(Canadian Press)

UNDER THE HELMET: NIC DEMSKI


#9 NIC DEMSKI

POSITION: Wide Receiver/Punt Returner
BORN: December 14, 1993, Winnipeg, MB
HT/WT: 6'0", 215 lbs
SCHOOL: University of Manitoba
YRS PRO: 2
TEAMS: Roughriders
NOTABLE: Riders 1st Rd Pick, #6 Overall, 2015 CFL Draft

FAVOURITE NFL TEAM: Los Angeles Rams
FAVOURITE ATHLETE: Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Westbrook, Neymar
FAVOURITE TYPE OF MUSIC:  Hip Hop
FAVOURITE ARTIST OR BAND: Future
LAST CONCERT ATTENDED: The Weeknd in Winnipeg
LAST MOVIE SEEN: Straight Outta Compton
FAVOURITE ALL-TIME MOVIE: Remember The Titans
FAVOURITE ACTOR OR ACTRESS: Leonardo DiCaprio
FAVOURITE TV SHOW: Family Guy
FAVOURITE RESTAURANT: The Keg
FAVOURITE MEAL TO ORDER: Chicken Wings
FAVOURITE MEAL TO MAKE: Baked Chicken, Rice & Vegetables
FAVOURITE VACATION SPOT: Cancun
HOBBIES/PASTIMES: Playing sports.
CELEBRITY CRUSH: Jessica Alba
YOUR MENTOR: Rob Bagg
COOLEST CELL PHONE CONTACT: Kendial Lawrence

Monday, August 22, 2016

PATS CAMP OPENS SATURDAY

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats will take to the ice in their first, on-ice, training camp session of the 2016-17 season on Saturday, August 27.  The team will hold practices and scrimmages throughout the weekend leading into the Blue and White game on Monday, August 29.

The opening weekend of training camp takes place at the Cooperators Arena.

Camp Schedule

Saturday August 27, 2016
- 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (Rookie – Team White vs Team Navy)*
- 11 – 11:45 a.m. (Main – Team Light Blue Practice)**
- 12:15 – 1 p.m. (Main – Team Red Practice)**
- 4 – 6 p.m. (Rookie – Team White vs Team Navy)*
- 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Main – Team Light Blue vs Team Red)**

Sunday August 28, 2016
- 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (Rookie – Team White vs Team Navy)*
- 11a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (Main – Team Red Practice)**
- 12:15 – 1 p.m. (Main – Team Light Blue Practice)**
- 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Rookie – Team White vs Team Navy)*
- 6:30 – 8:30p.m. (Main – Team Light Blue vs Team Red)**
*only rookies
**only veterans

Monday August 29, 2016
- 10 – 10:45 a.m. (Team Blue Pre-Game Skate)
- 11 – 11:45 a.m. (Team White Pre-Game Skate)
- 7 – 9 p.m. (Team Blue vs Team White)***
***$2 or non-perishable food item to watch game

PAT CANADIANS HOLD BLUE & WHITE GAME

The Regina Pat held their fall training camp this weekend – with 64 players competing hard to be part of the 2016 – 2017 Pat Canadians team.

The White team skated to an 8–5 victory at the C2 ReMax Arena at Cooperators Place.

Leading the way for Team White were Matthew Culling and Jacob Elik with two goals apiece, while Jordan Kazymyra had a goal and two assists. Single goal scorers were Tyler Lees, Jacob Belton and Preston Brodziak.  Carson Eskra had two assists.

Goaltenders Nathan Moore and Morgan Bogdan shared the win.

For Team Blue the goal scorers were Connor Tuffs with two goals and an assist, Reece Henry, Keigan Callander and Matthew Tress.  Lukas Sillinger tossed in a couple of assists.

The Pat Canadians now take a couple of weeks off ,while the players attend various WHL and SJHL camps prior to our practice sessions starting up in September.

The first Exhibition home game for the Regina Pat Canadians is Thursday, September 8th, versus the Notre Dame Hounds at 7:30 pm.

Exhibition game costs are $5.00 per person, come watch the young hockey players of Regina take on the reigning SMAAAHL champions.

(Courtesy John Smith)

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


10 MONDAY MORNING LATE HITS

1 - THERE ARE NO WORDS:  Two days later, there are still no positive words to describe Saturday's 53-7 Saskatchewan Roughriders loss at Hamilton which dropped the beleagured club's record to 1-7.  However there are some words.  Inexcusable, inexplicable and beyond disappointing all come to mind.  There really is no lipstick to put on that pig.

While watching the team's practice sessions leading up to the game, the thought echoed in my mind that "This offense wouldn't scare anybody right now".  They only mustered a pair of field goals and a punt single against the Ticats, but the defense let the club down too.

The "Us Against The World" theme of last week denigrated into "Us Against Ourselves" as the Rider playmakers failed to make plays and an array of penalties shot off just about every toe the club had.

After a display like that, it's tough to make the case that the football club is getting better.

A Rider fan who made the trip to Hamilton - Lane from Saskatoon - said to me in the Sheraton Hamilton before the game, "Watching this team in training camp, you'd never think they'd be 1-6".

It's true.  But the Riders were putting together a punishing ground attack at that time which included Xavier Fulton, Brendon Labatte, Dan Clark, Chris Best and Thaddeus Coleman on the offensive line with Matt Vonk and Andrew Jones as tightends and Curtis Steele in the backfield.

Right now, Fulton, Labatte, Clark, Best and Steele are all on the injured list with no sign of return.

If you got Chris Jones alone with no microphones or cameras around, he'd likely tell you that's the biggest reason for the club's first-half demise.  However he wants to build a culture of "No Excuses" and knows Rider fans won't accept anything less.

2 - THEM'S THE BREAKS:  Even when the Roughriders threatened to wake up early in Saturday's game, the CFL's Command Centre snatched momentum out of their hands.  With Saskatchewan trailing 10-0 late in the first quarter, rookie defensive back Justin Cox picked off Hamilton quarterback Zach Collaros at the Saskatchewan goal line and it could've been a big swing in the game.  However "upon review", rookie Rider cornerback Kacy Rodgers was called for Illegal Contact after tugging at a Ticats receiver's jersey far away from the play.  The Ticats retained possession and wound up with a field goal for a 13-0 lead.

Later in the game, in a similar situation, upon review, what appeared to be clear Pass Interference penalty in the endzone by a Ticats defender was deemed fair play by replay official Jake Ireland.

Riders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones was surprisingly calm about those situations when asked about it on 620 CKRM's postgame show.

"The CFL's put this new (P-I) rule in.  This is what they wanted," Jones responded.  "Sometimes they go your way but right now it seems nothing's going our way.  We have to keep grinding.  I know the hearts in the room and how much it means to them.  They know how much it means to the people of our province.  Eventually it'll fall in place.  We got a lotta young kids."

The same instances occurred the week before in the Riders' 19-10 home loss to Calgary.

Why even have referees if somebody's going to play God in the Command Centre in critical situations?

If you have to enforce these ridiculous rules, at least enforce them all the time.

Now with the NFL and CFB starting up, the CFL is in serious jeopardy of losing viewers and ticket-buyers.

3 - HURTING THE CFL:  Just putting this out there -- when the Saskatchewan Roughriders are hurting, so too is the entire Canadian Football League.

For instance, what if I said "Don't bother going to the game in Edmonton this Friday because the Riders are going to get smashed anyway."

10,000 Rider fans staying away from Commonwealth Stadium this week - at an average ticket price of $50 - would cost the Edmonton Eskimos $500,000.

(I'd never make that statement in the first place, particularly since the Esks have graciously provided my family four tickets for the game).

And how are ticket sales going for the 2016 Grey Cup in Toronto?

With an 0-9 start last season, Rider fans found other things to do with their money rather than going to the 2015 Grey Cup in Winnipeg.  The CFL and the Blue Bombers definitely felt the pinch.

Maybe some of the breaks should start going the Riders' way.

Post Cereal Curse? Burris & Willy benched
4 - RIDER BASHING:  Right now it's in fashion to kick the Saskatchewan Roughriders while they're down.  For the past few seasons - beginning at the tail end of the Decade of Decadence -  the Roughriders were becoming loathed by the rest of the CFL and now with the arrival of Chris Jones and his lengthy list of enemies, it's created the perfect storm.

Ticats defensive end John Chick alluded to the "circus in Riderville" when addressing reporters at his team's walk-through on Friday at Tim Hortons Field.  You can't blame John for still feeling jilted by Jones and Co. for his off-season, life-altering release and no one around here had a problem with his comments.  If the Riders had a do-over, they likely wouldn't have set Chick free in the first place but that's small consolation now.

Chick certainly had the last laugh Saturday night with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble.

TSN 1150 Hamilton radio host Jim Tatti said last week the Riders "should be embarrassed" by the litany of fines the club has received over the past few weeks.  It's a narrative we've heard from coast-to-coast lately and it will likely linger for awhile.

To me, the CFL has some fault in this for not disclosing all fines in its weekly news release of player discipline.  To date, the fines for the Rider intro violation in Calgary and Darian Durant's uniform violation still haven't been formally announced by the league.

If they want to keep these types of penalties under wraps, the CFL shouldn't be upset when teams or players disclose them themselves.  Calgary quarterback Bo-Levi Mitchell did just that last week, days before the CFL got around to announcing his fine for Tweeting about the Riders which put the spotlight on Roster-Gate.

5 - BREAKING NEWS:  The MMG is going on the 1-Game Injured List with a sprained thumb after blocking so many Twitter trolls from various CFL cities over the past week.  Hundreds of them.  The most wonderful feature in all of social media is Twitter's "BLOCK" option, where with a couple of quick taps on your Iphone, the hatred is silenced.

A lot of the vitriol the last few days has come from fans of other CFL teams - and even some fringe media types - for my prediction of the Roughriders to finish in first-place in the West Division this year.  HEY, do I need to remind people again that in 2001 when I predicted Saskatchewan would struggle to make the playoffs, I received a death threat?

Objectivity is not worth my life.

I'm a play-by-play guy who picked his own team to finish in first-place.  Wow.  Lock me up and throw away the key.

6 - WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?:  Those were the words of the immortal John Lynch on radio many times over the past number of decades when Canada's Team was struggling through spells like this.  Some Rider fans wrote into this blog over the weekend saying, "It's never been worse than this" but that's nonsense.  It's dubious to point out, but the club has been through far worse stretches.

When do you really ever know what's "rock bottom"?  How do you know how much stress is actually required to go on "stress leave"?

Saskatchewan is only three seasons removed from a Grey Cup championship whereas Ottawa (40 years), Winnipeg (26 years) and Hamilton (17 years) all are carrying far bigger bags of rocks.

However Saturday's lopsided loss in Hamilton was the worst blowout the Riders have absorbed since 2000.

And that 2000 season is coming up a lot recently.  There are certainly some parallels to 2016.  It was the first year of the Roy Shivers/Danny Barrett regime and the Riders - under Defensive Coordinator Gary Etcheverry - deployed 11 rookies on its starting defense.  It was nothing for the Riders to allow 50 points or more on a weekly basis.  It mattered little that prized free agent Rider quarterback Henry Burris - at the tender age of 25 - was putting up 40 points on offense.

It was a rebuild then just as it's a rebuild now, however we're now realizing why CFL coaches and GMs are loathe to use that term.  It means a lot of pain, and being able to do nothing about it other than exercising a great deal of patience.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders of 2000 finished at 5-12-1 and out of the playoffs.

That very same season Bill Belichick took over the New England Patriots and led them to a 5-11 record.  They too missed the playoffs.

So Rider fans, if history is any indication, we could very well be headed towards a five win season and that's exactly what Rider great Wayne Shaw predicted in training camp because there was simply too much turnover of the roster.

Whether the Riders make the playoffs or not this year is anybody's guess.

When asked in Saskatoon in June what it will take for this season to be a deemed a success, Roughrider President Craig Reynolds responded, "We gotta make the playoffs".

But if they don't, what will the consequences be?

Chris Jones isn't going anywhere and the man will be allowed to finish what he started even if the rebuild extends all through 2016 and beyond.

Although he's not any happier with 1-7 than you and me, Craig Reynolds isn't panicking.

Nor should you.

To quote the great Art Buchwald, "Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got."

7 - RAZZ MA TAZZ:  Much has been made about Lions linebacker Jason Arakgi setting a new CFL record for special teams tackles with his 185th Friday night verus Calgary, and deservedly so.  However Rider Hall of Famer Dan Rashovich has been getting somewhat worked up over the fact that if they had counted Special Teams tackles prior to 1991, he'd be the runaway winner atop the list.

"Razz" had 153 Special Teams tackles over the final nine of years of his 16-year career, however the league only kept track of that stat for half of his career.  As we all know, Dan battled significant injuries in the twilight of his career.  Being conservative and calculating at the same rate of tackles in his first (prime) seven seasons, he would have had an additional 119 tackles making his career total 272.  That's being conservative.  It's not a stretch to think that Dan could've achieved 300 ST tackles for his career.

That's a record that, if kept track of, likely never would be broken.

8 - SNOOP A LOOP:  A hearty congrats this morning to Calgary Colts coach Mathew "Snoop" Blokker who recorded his 100th career victory in Calgary's 36-17 victory over the Regina Thunder on Sunday.  The former longtime Vancouver Island Raiders head coach has a staff in Calgary which includes former CFL'ers Tim Kearse and Marvin Pope.

9 - FIRE THE CANNONS!:  Another key PFC note from the weekend is that Winnipeg Rifles running back Micheal Richott rushed for 358 yards on 33 carries on Saturday against the Edmonton Wildcats.  That puts him in the top five single game performances in PFC history. Ironically, it came against Edmonton and the Wildcats have four players in the top five.

10 - BUTLER'S:  The weeks of having a weekend day off are coming to an end due to the fact the CFL switches to Sunday games in the fall, however yesterday we were able to enjoy another glorious trip to Regina Beach.  We visited the BlueBird Cafe on Main Street, now in its 88th year.  However everyone refers to the place as Butler's Fish & Chips.  What's the reason for this?

Either way, I enjoyed the fish & chips even though it's the most calorie-rich meal you can order.

Why not live a little?  With the Riders at 1-7, some comfort food was in order.

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Congrats to Regina Pats great Jordan Eberle who proposed to Lauren Rodych on the weekend!

She said yes.

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THAT'S IT FOR TODAY! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO AT 4:00 PM
RP
@rodpedersen

Sunday, August 21, 2016

PFC FINAL: CALGARY COLTS 36 REGINA THUNDER 17

The Regina Thunder fell to 1-1 with a 36-17 PFC loss to the Colts in Calgary Sunday afternoon.

Xavier Ramsay led the Colts with 152 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Richard Sindani put up 124 yards receiving on 4 catches and scored a major. Defensively Colton Burr had two interceptions for Calgary.

The Colts led 16-0 early before a Kris Calcutt field goal got the Thunder on the board. Calgary scored again to make it 23-3 but Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette cut the lead to 10 with a touchdown of his own for Regina.

Two late field goals in the 2nd quarter from Kris Calcutt cut the Calgary lead to 23-16 at the half.

In the third quarter the Thunder thought they had the game-tieing touchdown on a beautiful catch by Levi Paul in the endzone but it was called back on a pass interference flag. In the end just one point was scored in the quarter on a missed Regina field goal.

In the fourth quarter the Colts sealed the win, outscoring Regina 13-0 to win 36-17. The Thunder turned the ball over four times in the contest.

Regina quarterback Sawyer Buettner was 20 of 32 passing for 226 yards and three interceptions. Running back Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette ran for 188 yards on 26 carries and scored the team's lone touchdown, he also caught three balls for 39 yards. Nathin Fortin led the club with 41 receiving yards.

With the win, Calgary improved to 2-0.

The Thunder are on the road again in Week 3 when they visit the Winnipeg Rifles (1-1) on Saturday.

(Courtesy Phil Andrews)

GAME RECAP: TIGER-CATS 53 ROUGHRIDERS 7


HAMILTON - Zach Collaros set a new career-high for touchdown passes in a single game on Saturday, but it was news to him.

Collaros threw for five touchdowns as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hammered the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders 53-7.

"Yeah, is it?'' said Collaros when told post-game about his performance. "Cool.''

The 27-year-old QB was making his return to Tim Hortons Field after almost a year off recovering from a knee injury. It was just the tonic the Ticats needed after playing the last four games on the road.

They snapped a two-game losing streak by steamrolling the Roughriders in front of 24,166 fans. Hamilton improves to 4-4 and Saskatchewan falls to 1-7. Hamilton hadn't played at home since July 7.

"Any time you win, it's fun no matter how you get it done,'' Collaros said after completing 23-of-30 pass attempts for 381 yards, the five TDs and zero interceptions.

"I thought we had a pretty good week of practice and we executed well in the three facets of the game. That's what it takes to win.''

Chad Owens scored two TDs for Hamilton. Andy Fantuz, Brandon Banks, Terrence Toliver and Luke Tasker each scored one.

Hamilton kicker Brett Maher was three for three on field-goal attempts, hitting from 22, 12 and 16 yards. Saskatchewan kicker Tyler Crapigna hit both attempts, from 43 and 24 yards.

Collaros had returned to action last week on the road against the B.C. Lions, but that ended in a dramatic 45-38 loss after the Ticats had fought back from a 20-point deficit to tie it at 38 late.

Collaros said he was starting to see the field a little more clearly in his second game back.

"I saw things, I guess, better tonight and guys made plays. I had all the time in the world up front.''

In all, there were six passing TDs (backup Jeremiah Masoli recorded one) to five different receivers.

It didn't start perfectly. Collaros missed his targets in the end zone on the first drive and they had to settle for a field goal. And the game's first TD was a bit of a fluke. The ball sailed through the arms of intended target Tasker, was tipped by Saskatchewan defender Kacy Rodgers, and landed in the arms of Fantuz who ran it in for a 39-yard score.

"I've never had anything like that,'' Collaros said. "I'm just living right, man, I guess.''

Not surprisingly, coach Kent Austin was happy with how things went on both sides of the ball.

"I'm just really proud of the guys, after a tough game last time (versus B.C.) and to come back and respond,'' he said. ``They got back to work.

"The defence did a really good job of getting us the ball, and we did a really good job offensively of putting the ball in the end zone.''

Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant entered the game without having thrown an interception in 321 pass attempts, a league record. He threw four in this game, ending the streak at 323. He was replaced in the fourth by Mitchell Gale, who fumbled and threw an interception.

And for the record, Hamilton defensive end John Chick (a former long-time Roughrider) sacked his good friend twice.

Hamilton took a 27-4 lead into halftime. That was the Ticats' first halftime lead since July 15 against Montreal when they led 5-4.

Roughrider head coach Chris Jones was gracious in defeat.

"You have to give them a lot of credit,'' he said. "That's a fine football team over there in all three phases of the game.''

And he kept things positive about his struggling squad.

"Those young men have heart and we won't quit,'' he said.

"We will look at the film. Work on things. They did some good things. When we look at the film, we will spot (them).''

Hamilton is on the road next week in Calgary while Saskatchewan is in Edmonton.

(Canadian Press)

CHRIS JONES POSTGAME NOTES/COMMENTS

- It was tough.  First half we killed ourselves with penalties.  11 I think.  We had some opportunitiies defensively but didn't come up with the plays.  If we did, it would've been a different half.  In the second half we turned it over.  Against a good team, that's not going to give you a good record.

- The CFL's put this new rule (PI) in.  This is what they wanted.  Sometimes they go your way.  Right now it seems nothing's going our way.  We have to keep grinding.  I know the hearts in the room and how much it means to them.  They know how much it means to the people of our province.  Eventually it'll fall in place.  We got a lotta young kids.

- The kids Ford, and Holley played well.  #30 ran tough and Holley, except for a drop, was solid.  We have to go back to the drawing board and see what we can learn going into next week.

- Zach did a real nice job moving around in the pocket.  We failed to run some of our things accurately and acutely.  If we had, we could've got him on the ground.  We have to go back and teach and coach it better, and maybe be able to execute it better.  On the flipside, with only 7 points, we have to look at what we can do better offensively.

- Next week with Edmonton, they're very solid and they're coming off a very big win today.  We have our work cut out for us.  We just have to go back to the grindstone.

RP
@rodpedersen

PFC PREVIEW: REGINA THUNDER AT CALGARY COLTS


PFC WEEK 2
WHO: Regina Thunder (1-0) at Calgary Colts (1-0)
WHEN: Sunday, August 21/2016, 1:00 pm
WHERE: McMahon Stadium
BROADCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-LD_N4lkfw
FORECAST: Sunny, 28 degrees Celsius

OVERVIEW: The Regina Thunder visit the Calgary Colts Sunday in a rematch of a 2015 PFC playoff semifinal. The Thunder are coming off a 15-6 win in Week 1 over the Edmonton Huskies while the Colts beat the Edmonton Wildcats 23-3. The Thunder won the lone regular season matchup in 2015, 30-20 in Calgary.

THUNDER OFFENSE - The Thunder scored 15 points in Week 1, the 4th-best in the opening week of play. QB Sawyer Buettner threw for 170 yards in the win, 6th-most in the PFC. Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette had 94 rushing yards, and leads the league with two touchdowns.  WR Kris Calcutt had 51 receiving yards which is good for 8th in the PFC. WR Kristiane Desautels is 10th with 46 yards.

COLTS OFFENSE - The Colts put up 23 points in Week 1, 2nd-most in the PFC. QB Bailey Wasdel has 199 yards passing, 2nd-most through one week. Dylan Minshull is tied for the league lead in rushing yards with 133 and has one touchdown.  Xavier Ramsay has 81 rush yards, 5th best in the PFC and also had 60 receving yards in week 1.  Dylan Schrot is 2nd in receiving yards with 77.

THUNDER DEFENCE - Regina gave up just 6 points in their first game, second only to the Colts. LB Matt Williams leads the PFC with 3.5 sacks and also has a fumble recovery. Polis Koko leads the league with two interceptions and also has three tackles. The Thunder have forced 4 turnovers, 2 interceptions, one fumble recovery and one on downs.

COLTS DEFENCE - The Colts gave up a league low 3 points in their opening game. Chris Schwarz leads the club with 5 tackles and also has a sack. Jordy Kibamba and Jayden Lawson also have 5 tackles. The Colts have forced 3 turnovers, 2 on interceptions and one on downs.

THUNDER SPECIAL TEAMS - Kristiane Desautels has 43 yards on punt returns, 3rd-best in the PFC, he also has 17 yards on kickoff returns. Kris Calcutt has punted 6 times for a 44.1 yard average and a long of 55. He is 0 of for 3 in kicking field goals.

COLTS SPECIAL TEAMS - Jesse Kuntz has 44 yards in kickoff returns and another 18 on punt returns. Stephen Fabian has punted 6 times for a 38 yard average and is oh for 2 kicking field goals.

Kickoff is at 1 PM Sunday at McMahon Stadium.

(Courtesy Phil Andrews)