Realty One

Sunday, June 12, 2016

REGINA - The CFL pre-season schedule carries significant meaning to veteran players, too.

Just ask the handful of seasoned vets who stole the show from the eager-to-please newcomers and rookies on Saturday in the B.C. Lions' 28-16 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"Yeah, pre-season is an opportunity for the young guys to get out there, but it's just as important for us (veterans) to get some things ironed out,'' said Shawn Gore, who caught two passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. "We haven't played a football game in almost six months, so there are a lot of things we still need to do to get back on the same page.''

Gore, a seven-year veteran, found himself wide open on the Riders' goal line and hauled in a 24-yard pass from Jonathon Jennings for the game's first touchdown. Jeremiah Johnson tacked on a two-point convert to push B.C.'s lead to 11-6 late in the second quarter.

Jennings' night wrapped up with the second-year quarterback completing two of five attempts for a team-high 70 yards.

On the ensuing Saskatchewan possession, it was a Lions defensive stalwart, Ronnie Yell, who stepped up. He snagged an errant pass that was deflected at the line of scrimmage and raced 50 yards for the second B.C. touchdown of the first half.

Richie Leone kicked two first-half field goals and the Lions took an 18-6 advantage into halftime.

"You still have to approach these games as if it was the regular season,'' Gore said. "You need to get your mind right. You need to get back into your routine. You need to set yourself up in the right way because in two weeks time it's all real.''

After an extended halftime break in which the power was knocked out at the stadium for more than an hour, play resumed and the Lions added to their lead.

Travis Lulay, now in his eighth year in the CFL, played the entire second quarter for the Lions. He engineered a pair of drives that were capped with Leone field goals from 42 yards and 21 yards, respectively.

Lulay hooked up with receiver Brian Burnham on a long pass-and-run play for a touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty.

For the Riders, the Chris Jones era did not get off to a winning start. The Riders' new head coach and general manager joined the club in the off-season after he guided the Edmonton Eskimos to a Grey Cup championship in 2015.

He's faced with rebuilding a team that finished 3-15 last season, and one player to build around on defence is linebacker Greg Jones.

Jones made his presence felt for Saskatchewan on defence and on special teams. The former Toronto Argonaut will be a steadying influence on the Riders' defence, as the team will see an entirely new cast in its secondary. The front seven will see a handful of new faces well.

"When you don't approach these games the same as you would a regular season game, that's when bad things happen,'' Greg Jones said after he recorded three tackles and one quarterback knockdown. "It being my first time playing with this group of guys and in front of this coaching staff, I wanted to make sure I put on the best show I could today.

"You always have something to prove because it's a new year.''

Veteran receiver Clarence Denmark hauled in a 54-yard pass from quarterback Brett Smith for the Riders' only touchdown of the night. That scoring play came early in the fourth quarter, one that brought the Riders within eight at 24-16.

Saskatchewan's new head coach liked what he saw from his young team despite the loss. The obvious youth - eight of Saskatchewan's 14 defensive backs that dressed for Saturday's game are first-year pros - played well in Chris Jones's eyes.

"When I went around the room and asked the question if this was their first CFL game I think more than three quarters of the guys put their hands up,'' said Chris Jones.

"We're going to be a good football team. Don't get it twisted on that score tonight. They had five first downs in the half, so minus a play here or there, that's a pretty good game defensively.''

Tyler Crapinga converted two of his three field goal attempts on Saturday. He missed a 48-yard attempt.

Terrance Cobb led the Riders with 58 rushing yards on 10 carries.

The Lions will host the Calgary Stampeders on Friday in their second pre-season contest, while the Riders will travel to take on the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday.

(The Canadian Press/Craig Slater)

Jones after Saturday's game

- Unfortunately we have to do the deed in the morning - cut some guys and get down.  Once you start trimming your roster down, things start zoning in a little bit.  There's not so many people in the room.  All of a sudden the focus starts to get there a little more.

- It's never good when you lose a football game.  As far as evaluation's concerned, I'm certainly glad we were able to get the second half in and get enough plays to where we can evaluate some of the B and C group guys.

- I thought, when that power went out, and they said it was a transformer, my Dad's an electrician and I was like, 'Man, that might take awhile'.  Somebody had to work pretty hard to get that back up I'm sure.

- Neither one (QBs Brett Smith and B.J. Coleman) played very well.  Very disappointed.  They played a poor football game.  It's their first time in this offense and I fully expect them to come back with their nose to the grindstone and they'll play better next week.

- When you look at one bright spot offensively, Terrance Cobb looked like he knew what to do with the football.  He turned his headgear and shoulder pads north and south and he pushed the pile.  I thought that he looked like a pro running back.

- If you noticed what we did on offense, the first two series we left the A group OL and receivers and did the same thing with the next QB so we didn't get an unfair evaluation of one.  We tried to give them the same opportunity.

- You have some guys that you know that aren't going to figure into your plans unfortunately.  Some people are going to be able to play their way onto our football team and that's what I have to go hunt tonight; guys that played better than what they practiced.  You got guys that show up at practice and play great but then don't show up in games, and vice versa.

- I didn't think the delay was very difficult at all.  You don't really think about it but you've got a bunch of young players.  The other day I asked for a show of hands of who's a rookie in the CFL and it was about 3/4 of the team.  The good thing that we saw was you didn't see a lot of illegal procedures and time counts, and things of that nature.  That was encouraging.  But we can't hold, that type of thing, to put us in a hole.  It doesn't matter if it's Darian Durant or John Elway playing quarterback - if you start out 1st-and-20, you're probably not going to have a lot of successful drives.  Neither one of our QBs lit it up tonight but when it's 1st-and-20, it's tough.

- We'll evaluate how much Darian will play next week at a later time.  We got so much water under the bridge until that decision's gonna be made.  He's looked really good so far in scrimmage and practices.  He's looked very crisp, in great shape, and we just gotta continue to work offensively.

- We came out of the gate real strong, and Rob Bagg was a big part of that.  He's certainly a leader and the O-line guys in the middle are all leaders, and not to mention Darian.  It's a good group.  We're gonna be a good football team.  Don't let the score tonight get twisted.  You know they had five first downs in the first half.  Minus a play or two here or there, that's a pretty game defensively and offensively we're not always going to have three turnovers and five, six holds.  When we started cleaning that stuff up, we're going to be a good football team.

Passing - Brett Smith (106 yards)
Rushing - Terrance Cobb (58 yards)
Receiving - Clarence Denmark (66 yards)
Punting - Quinn Van Gylswyk (174 yards)
Tackles - Tyree Hollins, Samuel Eguavoen (3)
Sacks - Shawn Lemon, Tyree Hollins (1)
Forced Fumbles - Rollins Stallworth (1)
Knockdowns - Derrius Brooks, Tevaughn Campbell, Tyree Hollins, Markus White (1)


Anonymous said...

Can the Riders ever make it through a home game without the power going out. What a joke.

@mrt_man said...


Anonymous said...

So who was responsible for firing that confetti/streamer cannon into the power lines? Kids outside of the stadium or fans on the east side?

Anonymous said...

White at home? They think they are miami or Dallas?

Anonymous said...

I guess I don't qualify as a football fan because I don't watch the NFL.
But I am a Roughrider fan and boy was that a long off-season. Was it ever nice to watch my team again.
I see a lot of promise in our defense. Jones and Murphy recruited some guys that can actually tackle, that's something we never had last year.
What's with Brett Smith's happy feet? I think giving him any more reps is just a waste of time. Find someone else.


Anonymous said...

bc left 11 vets at home
riders do not even have 11 vets
imagine what the score would have been with the bc 11 vets where playing

Bert said...

Here's to hoping Durant can stay healthy.

keyrecpl said...

I tuned in a cfl game and got the Disney movie.... happy feet.

Anonymous said...

yes BC left 11 vets home but they also played with 2 starting QBs and we didn't. Our backup Qbs will not be here long if they continue to play like that. Pretty bad. Sims looks badly overweight and out of shape

Anonymous said...

i agree about Smith's feet he needs to calm down in the pocket before he throws and ya he should have that figured out by now. If he isn't comfortable now when is he going to be.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a 3-15 season to me.

Anonymous said...

Was Tino playing last night? Sure looked like it. Can't complete second down plays, holding then finally interceptions to throw the game away. Time to cut Tino and send Murphy on special assignment..............find a g d q b!

Anonymous said...

He won't calm down you either have it or you don't and he's a holdover from last year. When he was barking at Chamblin on the sideline he should have been dumped then, but people don't want to say they're wrong. He'll be dumped today is my guess. Jones/Murphy have a rebuild on their hands it'll take a season get their guys in and acclimated. You also have a starting QB who hasn't played in 2 years, so good luck on this. Also hat's off to the people who passed on Garth Brooks to sit in the cold, rain, and power delay. You're all real troopers ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the defensive coaches. The defence was actually tackling last night. They never did that last year, much improvement 👍👍👍

John Molson said...

New QB Sims has quite a little beer belly!

Anonymous said...

TSN and fans on here are saying Darian hasn't played in 2 years. I can excuse the fans on here as they hear Chris Shultz saying it on TSN
Darian played 10 games of an 18 game season in 2014. He had the Riders at 8 wins and 2 loses when he was hit with his arm extended.
Darian has missed 1 year and just under a half of 2014. He looked great in 2014. He was looking great in game 1 of 2015 when his freak injury happened and according to the coaches he looks sharp in practise. So I think Darian Durant is the least of our worries.
I do agree that our back ups look bad. I honestly thought Brett Smith was doing a rendition of River Dance several times. How can you throw the ball properly when your doing the nervous jig. Your feet are completely out of place. As well when BJ throws you can see the NFL or American football QB. He expects the receivers to be tacticians. I didn't see him drop the ball in there. The receivers had to go and get the ball. His INT's last night killed any possibility of the Riders making a game of it.
I admit I left at half time after waiting an hour. I thought it was going to be much longer to restore the power. It was some darn hoodlums that took the power out with their confetti canon. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't receive some sort of mischief charge.

SK fan

Anonymous said...

What time are the first cuts today?

Darcy said...

Once again a Brad Wall pregame commercial, once again a Riders loss

Anonymous said...

You should be charged with mischief for thinking Durant is the least of team worries and for leaving the game at half time if you were really in there (hear Chris Shultz on TSN). Roughriders need to find a new qb or two asap! The pieces of the team build will fall in place over time.

Riders 1st and 10 all the time!

Anonymous said...

You know I didn't target anybody specific with my comment. Then Mr Jack ass in the box has to jump up out of know where to criticize. It's called a PVR bud. yes I was one of maybe 12000 that made it. Not the announcement of 22000. That was tickets sold through season tickets and the sort. I watched the second half this morning on my PVR. Is that ok with you??? 75 minute half time is a little long for a preseason game. If you were there you would have seen a few thousand heading out after an hour. But I'm sure your trashing someone for leaving when you weren't even there.
Darian Durant is an excellent QB. He is the least of our worries right now. He's healthy and according to many at the training camp. Looks like he's in the best shape of his career. Why is it that 3 different GM's 3 different head Coaches all believe in Durant. It's because when he plays the Riders win!
You should be charged with stupidity thinking you know more than the last 3 GM's and Head Coaches.

3RD and 1
SK fan.

Anonymous said...

Rider's greatest QB, first name Ron, was a fellow with a bit of a beer belly ...

Simon said...

Starting defence, especially Shawn Lemon looked awesome, backups not so much. We held them to 5 first downs in first half. And as a long time minor referee I was disgusted with the refs. In that pick 6, I counted at least 3 illegal blocks which the ref was looking right at. I guess they were in pre season form too.

Anonymous said...

A grave mistake to put a season on one's shoulders (Durant) as witnessed in person with injuries the past year and a half, where did that put the team? Real fans don't walk, they endure to the last whistle. 3RD and 1, your a clown who assumes to know all.