REGINA - Kevin Glenn is looking forward to a quiet week away from football with his wife and two young kids. A visit to an amusement park might be the only excitement the 38-year-old quarterback sees during the Saskatchewan Roughriders' bye week.
He has earned every minute of the upcoming relaxation.
Glenn's veteran leadership willed the Riders to their first victory of the season on Saturday, a 37-20 triumph over the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Mosaic Stadium.
Glenn completed 32-of-43 pass attempts for 380 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for two more as the Riders improved to 1-2, the last team in the competitive West Division to crack the win column. Hamilton dropped to 0-2.
Hamilton held an early 7-2 lead after a Glenn pass was intercepted by Justin Rogers and returned 110 yards for a touchdown.
But Glenn responded in a big way and Riders outscored Hamilton 17-3 to close the first half with a 19-10 advantage.
Glenn's six-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession pushed the Riders in front 9-7. After the teams traded field goals, Glenn threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Bakari Grant.
Halftime didn't slow Glenn and Riders offence. On their first possession in the third quarter, Glenn marched the team 86 yards and capped the eight-play drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Duron Carter that made it 26-10.
"I think everyone understands the dynamics of our receiving corps,'' Glenn said. "The way our offence works, it can be any different receiver any night.''
Glenn's favourite target on Saturday was Naaman Roosevelt. The second-year Rider hauled in 10 passes for 167 yards, both game-highs.
Glenn completed passes to seven different receivers.
"We have a great offence. And we have a great quarterback in KG (Glenn) and he finds all of us,'' Roosevelt said. "We just have to get open for him.''
Zach Collaros and the Hamilton offence wasn't nearly as efficient. Hamilton's offence has mustered just one touchdown in the team's first two games of 2017.
"We're just not executing to a high enough level and it starts with the quarterback,'' he said. "I'm not playing well enough for us to win.
"I missed some throws in key situations that could have kept us on the field. That's on me. I just have to get better.''
Kept out of the end zone in their Week 1 loss to Toronto, Collaros finally guided the Tiger-Cats offence into the end zone when he threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Junior Collins late in the third quarter. That score brought Hamilton to within seven at 27-20.
Collaros completed 19-of-34 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown. Jalen Saunders led Hamilton with 78 receiving yards on six catches.
Again, Glenn had answers after Hamilton got close. The Riders outscored Hamilton 10-0 in the fourth quarter, with a field goal from Tyler Crapigna and Glenn's second rushing touchdown.
Hamilton defensive back Will Hill was ejected in the third quarter after he appeared to grab an official by his shirt. Hamilton was penalized 20 times for 187 yards.
"We have to re-evaluate everything, look at where we're playing guys, what we're doing, what we're asking them to do,'' Austin said. "It still comes down to players making plays on both sides of the ball, and we're not making good enough plays right now.''
The Riders have a bye in Week 4 before they travel to Calgary in Week 5. Hamilton, meanwhile, will host the B.C. Lions in Week 4.
POSTGAME COMMENTS FROM CHRIS JONES:
- When you do enough things right, you deserve to win. That's what's good. You walk off the field knowing you deserved to win the ball game.
- It's hard to win a pro football game and when you're struggling to get that win, to walk off the field with the win, it's a good feeling.
- I thought defensively we played pretty solid. I only called four different defenses and let them play fast and hard. It was a pretty easy game plan. The guys responded and played just a little bit smarter than we had been.
- Everybody that we send, it allowed Zach to single up on receivers so we put it on our front four to go get after the QB. We lost Mrabure so our tackles had to play the whole second half.
- Anytime you can get a first down rushing or get a manageable second down, it makes it a lot easier to call plays.
- It became musical chairs on the O-line with injuries and those guys did a good job but it was great to get Derek Dennis back in there.
- I'll grade the film on Sunday and probably take a few days off. I'll take my computer with me, but I'll go up to Northern Saskatchewan to see what's going on up there.
- There's no doubt, I felt the crowd tonight more than last week. It's kudos to the people that come out and support the football team. We've left them a little bit to be desired the past year and a bit so for them to keep showing up, it's a feather in our caps.
- Kevin Glenn's real quiet. Not a rah, rah guy. He's more like Calvillo and Ricky Ray. He won't say a ton, but he'll let his play do the talking.
- I'm happy for Tyler Crapigna, that he can come out and have a real solid game. With the exception of the two misses, he's kicked solid. Now he can go on the break and exhale.
- The players need to take a couple days off. We've been going at it pretty hard for 6, 8 weeks. Our strength coach has sent them info on everything they need to do while they're away. They're a character group and they know what they need to do
- We're just trying to score points, no matter how we get them. Duron Carter's shown that he can throw the football. He's shown it in practice, and we were just trying a different way to score points.