Monday, October 10, 2011

Punchless Riders lose at Edmonton 17-1

Edmonton, AB -- Try as they might, the suddenly inept Saskatchewan Roughriders' offense couldn't help a good defensive effort, resulting in the team's third straight loss, 17-1 to the Edmonton Eskimos, in front of 38,054 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta on Thanksgiving Monday across Canada.

After a scoreless first quarter, Edmonton got on the board three times in the second, first on a 42 yard field goal by Damon Duval with just 12 seconds gone in the second, then on a conceded safety touch by Rider punter Chris Milo with 11:25 to play 'til halftime, and also on a 51 yard run by Jerome Messam and convert by Duval with 3:25 left in the second. Saskatchewan quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie, starting his first game in three years, was mostly ineffective, completing 8-of-15 for 83 yards, while being intercepted three times, twice by former Rider Donovan Alexander, allowing Edmonton to build a 12-0 halftime lead.

Darian Durant, hobbled by an ankle injury came on in the second half, but fared no better than Dinwiddie at pivot. An aggressive pass rush forced numerous miss throws and combined with some drops at inopportune times, Saskatchewan from mounting a comeback. The only points in the second half came on a 18 yard field goal by Duval of Edmonton with 9:23 to go in the third, a 50 yard punt single by Chris Milo of the Riders  with 3:08 to go in the third, then a pair of Duval singles in the fourth, a 52 yard punt single with 3:37 gone and a 55 yard missed field goal single with 3:50 left, to make the Eskimos' winning margin 17-1.

For Edmonton, Ricky Ray was 17-for-26 passing for 197 yards, while being sacked 3 times. Kerry Joseph tossed 2 balls, completing 1 for 7 yards. Fred Stamps caught 7 balls for 68 yards, while Jerome Messam carried 20 times for 118 yards and the only touchdown of the day. Damon Duval had a punt single, a missed field goal single 2 field goals and 1 convert. For the Roughriders, Ryan Dinwiddie was 8-for-15 passing for 83 yards, 3 interceptions and 3 sacks and Darian Durant 7-for-24 passing for 62 yards. Weston Dressler caught 3 passes for 44 yards, Wes Cates rushed 8 times for 66 yards and Chris Milo punted 9 times for a 43.78 average with 1 single. Saskatchewan, which has scored just 9 points in their past three games, has now gone 222:12 without scoring an offensive touchdown.

The Eskimos had 15 first downs, 5 rushing and 10 passing. They had 131 yards rushing, 204 yards passing and 319 net yards. Edmonton committed 12 penalties for 83 yards and held the ball for 33:59, while not turning it over once. For the Riders, they had 15 first downs, 5 rushing, 7 passing and 3 by penalty. Saskatchewan rushed for 99 yards, passed for 145 and had 227 net yards. They were penalized 7 times for 55 yards, held the ball for 26:01 and turned it over 6 times, 3 by interception and 3 on downs.

With the loss, the Roughriders fall to 4-10 and have been eliminated from the West Division playoff chase. Their only hope for the post-season will be if the can catch Hamilton in the East and qualify as the cross-over team. The Eskimos improve to 8-6 and are in the three-way tie for first in the West with B.C. and Calgary. However by virtue of the head-to-head series, Edmonton sits first, B.C. second and Calgary third.

Next up for Saskatchewan, in a home match up with the B.C. Lions, on Sunday, October 16th, with kickoff set for 4:00pm EDT. The action comes your way on 620 CKRM and the Rider Radio Network, with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on The next game for the Eskimos is at home against East co-leading Winnipeg at 7:00pm EDT on Saturday, October 15th.

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