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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

OUT OF THE TUNNEL

Piper Sports Photography

The great turnaround continues for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. For the third week in a row, they smashed a West Division foe, and this one was by far the sweetest.

To beat up on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 38-24 on Labour Day is one of the most satisfying things as a Rider fan. What was interesting was how they did it; with a quarterback that everyone wanted to throw on the scrap heap and a much-maligned secondary that was supposed to be the Achilles heel of the Rider defence.

Kevin Glenn had his best day in his third run with the Riders. The 386 yard, 3-touchdown day was even more impressive because he couldn’t rely on a solid run game. Other than the 48-yard run by Cameron Marshall late in the second quarter, Rider running backs had 13 carries for just a hair over two-yards per rush. So, it was all in the veteran pivot’s hands and Glenn delivered.

He relied on his three all-star receivers (Naaman Roosevelt, Duron Carter and Bakari Grant) who all surpassed the century mark receiving, and didn’t throw an interception in his 36 attempts. Finally, a shout-out to the Rider offensive unit for their protection of Glenn and their up-field blocking on the yards after the catch.

The Winnipeg offensive line had a great day protecting Matt Nicholls, on his 50 drop backs, he was only sacked once. This put a ton of pressure on a Rider secondary who had their third straight great game. Nicholls was picked twice (oh hey there, Ed Gainey with your 5th and 6th of the season) and had to look to his release valve, running back Andrew Harris, on a myriad of plays.

For the second straight week, the Riders also received major plays on special teams. Nic Demski’s 63-yard punt return to set up a Rob Bagg touchdown late in the first quarter and Spencer Moore’s fumble recovery late in the game to seal the win, went a long way to contribute to the victory.

The next game will be a completely different story. The Banjo Bowl/Labour Day rematch (depending on what side of the fence you are on), may be the most difficult game to win from the Rider side of things. A harsh crowd, an angry Bomber team looking for revenge and don’t forget, they are a pretty darn good football team.

The Rider defensive front will need a better game and to get to Nicholls, that will quiet the crowd and allow the secondary to fly around and continue to make plays. It will be interesting to see who will get the nod running the rock for the Riders as Cameron Marshall left Sunday's match with a leg injury and Kienan LaFrance took over.

If it’s LaFrance (with no other healthy American running back on the roster it probably will be), it will be the first opportunity for one of the major off-season free agent signings to get the starting nod. Add in the fact that he is a Canadian, and this will give the Riders some flexibility with the ratio everywhere else.

If this rivalry didn’t have enough heat right now, the shenanigans of Bomber fans may have added a little more fuel to the fire!

If you scroll down to the previous article, you can read the full post, but here’s the Cliff's Notes version:

Both events happened in the south endzone of Mosaic Stadium. Monday morning Duron Carter went to the Twitter-verse to say he was spit on by a Bomber fan and now can’t wait for the rematch this weekend. Then, the world’s greatest mascot, Gainer the Gopher almost had his head ripped off by a Bomber fan.

It will be a fun week leading up to the rematch.

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CFL Notebook

- A long-standing CFL cliché states that the season doesn’t really begin until Labour Day. If that’s the case, we are in for a dramatic run to the finish. In the West, Calgary is ready to wrap up the division, but behind them, just four points separates the four other teams. In the East, much of the same, but nowhere near the great records. Even though Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal have records below .500, just three points separates first and third place teams.

- This has been one of the best seasons the CFL has had in a long time. Great games on the field, tight races in both divisions, new commissioner Randy Ambrosie coming in and already making a positive difference, unbelievable catches and performances and finally, the CFL’s “Diversity is Strength” campaign. Then...this past week in Hamilton happened. A lot has been said about the TiCats hiring former Baylor head coach, Art Briles to their staff, so just one note:

To be that myopic to think that this would happen with barely a blip south of the border (or to underestimate the Canadian sports media as well) is unfathomable. Hamilton is a professional football team and to have zero perception of how incredibly terrible and toxic the Baylor football rape scandal is and the impact it had on the football landscape is incomprehensible.

The League and the TiCats have dealt with this lapse in judgement and let's hope this is the lone stain on an otherwise great season in the CFL.

- Finally, enough with the June Jones bringing his “run-and-shoot” offence to the Hamilton TiCats. CFL offences are already run-and-shoot offences. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

*Quarterback in the shotgun
*Single running back
*1-3 step drops by the quarterback
*At least two passing options when coming to the line of scrimmage
*Flood a zone to have more receivers than defensive backs
*If facing a deep/stretch zone coverage, dump underneath to the running back

These are the basics of almost every CFL offence but are also the pillars of the run-and-shoot offence. Tight ends and fullbacks are barely used in the CFL (but still in heavy rotation in the NFL and American college football) and the 12th-man is usually an inside receiver/5th. So just stop with the run-and-shoot in the CFL…please.

Canada West Diary

- Congrats to Saskatchewan Huskies head coach, Scott Flory on his first Canada West victory. His Huskies went on the road and knocked off the Manitoba Bisons 44-23. Kyle Siemens threw for 419-yards and four scores, Mitch Hillis caught eight balls for 119-yards and a touchdown while Colten Klassen ran for 139-yards.

- At Mosaic Stadium, defending Hec Creighton award winner, Noah Picton threw for 335-yards and two scores leading the Regina Rams over the UBC Thunderbirds 36-20. The Rams defence was impressive, holding Thunderbirds quarterback Michael O’Connor to 155 yards passing. Leading the way freshman linebacker Nick Cross had six solo tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss in his first Canada West game.

- The Calgary Dinos took the Canada West football version of the Battle of Alberta 55-26 over the Alberta Golden Bears. Dinos quarterback Adam Sinagra passed for over 400-yards and four touchdowns in the victory.

This week:

(Friday, September 8th)
Regina Rams at Calgary Dinos (5:30, McMahon Stadium)
Alberta Golden Bears at Saskatchewan Huskies (7:00pm, Griffiths Stadium)
(Saturday, September 9th)
Manitoba Bisons at UBC Thunderbirds (2:00pm, Thunderbird Stadium)

PFC Wrap

- After facing OFC teams last week, both the Regina Thunder and the Saskatoon Hilltops have the week off in preparation for the battle of Saskatchewan Saturday night, 7:00pm at SMF Field in Saskatoon.  It’s the lone game coming up this week in the PFC.

- The Winnipeg Rifles (3-1) handed the Calgary Colts (1-3) their third loss in a row with a 42-22 victory at IG Field.

- The Edmonton Huskies (4-0) remain undefeated shutting-out their cross-town rivals, Edmonton Wildcats (0-4) 33-0.

A Canadian To Watch In The NCAA
Amen Ogbongbemiga – LB
Oklahoma State University
6’0” 225lbs.
Hometown – Calgary, AB
Class – Rs-Fr.

The redshirt freshman saw his first action with the Cowboys this past weekend. Ogbongbemiga picked up three solo tackles in OSU’s win over Tulsa. He was one of the top recruited players in Canada in 2015 on the defensive side of the football. He older brother is Edmonton Eskimo, Alex Ogbongbemiga.

What To Do Between Games This Week
Over the past nine-weeks, Out of the Tunnel has given you something to do between games. With games on TV and those you can go watch (at all levels) there isn’t a day of the week that will go by without a game.

With that, good luck to 104 Saskatchewan high school football teams as they embark on another season. The bulk of the schedule on all fronts (6-man, 9-man, 12-man Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Regina leagues) starts this weekend.

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the follow up game next week!! I really hope that we don't embarrass ourselves OFF the field by fans retaliating to the drunken antics of a few Bomber fans. The men on the field can handle themselves.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Just let the kids play.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that the Gainer affair had its origin in a friendly bet among friends as to who could be the first Bomber fan in Winnipeg to have Gainer's head mounted on the wall in his man-cave. A trophy unlike any other!

I do hope that if the culprit is caught that they keep his name secret so as to protect him from any reprisals from our own prairie gopher mafia.

Anonymous said...

Kids? LOL. I imagine that makes Glenn smile

Anonymous said...

Anonymity, really?

Twits and twats need to be investigated, charged and outed publicly and shamed. You want to get drunk and be a moron and attempt to hurt someone, here is the cost. Your life isn't ruined because someone puts you picture up for everyone to see, it is ruined because of your dumbassed decisions.

Anyone who takes the issue into their own hands dealt with the same way.

Otherwise some other twit will attempt the same thing next week.

Anonymous said...

I agree! It was an act of assault and he should be identified!

Anonymous said...

This will be a bigger test than the EDM game. Always tough to win back to back games against a good team.

Anonymous said...

""Well said. Just let the men play.""

Anonymous said...

C'mon Praire Tooters (Riderville toothless fans), join in;

Oskee Wee Wee,
Oskee Waa Waa,
Holy MAKINAW!
Our Hamilton Tiger Cats 3 wins away from first place CFL East Division.
Hear the RoarrrRRRR!!!!

We're going to play in the 2017 Grey Cup game.
Wooo! Whooo!!!!! There's a party going on, and you're not invited tooters of riderville!

Anonymous said...

when does hunting season begin on birds??...my first two birds that I want are Boomer and Buzz...Bring on the Banjo Bowl !!!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the spirit in Old Oskee with his one win team!

Anonymous said...

Real men don't cry on twitter. Go get 'em boys!

Anonymous said...

I looked up the word imbecile in the dictionary. Low and behold, there was a dude singing the Osca wee wee song. Go figure!

Tweety with hipster glasses

Anonymous said...

Word on the street today is that the crown prosecutor looked at the evidence in the Gainer the Gopher assault case and decided not to proceed. A key part of her decision was the inability of the police to locate a qualified interpreter who can translate Gainer's high pitched squeals into English. Scruffy, a close friend and confidant of Gainer, was found not to be an adequate substitute to serve as an expert witness for speaking for Gainer.

Anonymous said...

Since when did the cfl announce an all star team in mid season those 3 recievers are far far from all stars MAYBE. Roosevelt if your lucky nobody else wanted carter or grant so they signed here

Anonymous said...

Roosevelt 4th Overall yardage, the 3 above him all East players. Grant 9th.

Carter leads the league in TD's, Roosevelt tied for 3rd, Grant for 6th.

No other team have the same kind of results from their receiving core so far. Not sure where you come from but that would put them as All-Stars or very much in the running for being named All-Stars.

Do you ever look into anything before spouting off?

Anonymous said...

You sir have no idea what your talking about. Nobody else wanted Carter? Are you nuts. Carters Agent had 5 teams very interested. Ironically 3 were Western teams. Don't make up crap like that. He's the best receiver in the league. Roosevelt is a super star. What dummies like you forget is some teams have played 10 games while the Riders sit at 9 games. Plus the Riders are just starting to come on. Sit back and watch fool!