Saturday, June 14, 2014

Riders hold off Ottawa in pre-season opener

The Saskatchewan Roughriders opened up pre-season action Saturday night against the Ottawa Redblacks at Mosaic Stadium in Regina and would come back from 10-0 down to win 21-17 in game number one of the pre-season for both teams.

Ottawa got on the board first, thanks in part to a long 76 yard punt return by Jamel Smith. Chevon Walker dove over from the 1 and Justin Palardy added the convert and the Redblacks were up 7-0 just 1:55 into the contest. Later in the quarter, Palardy nailed a 44 yard field goal at the 11:09 mark, putting Ottawa up 10-0. The Riders got 7 back on a 75 yard punt return by Marshay Green. The convert by Chris Milo was good and it was a 10-7 game with :50 to go in the opening quarter.

Thanks to a good mixture of passes and running plays, Saskatchewan put together a nice drive to take the lead. The 11 play, 98 yard drive culminated with an 18 yard Darian Durant to Brett Swain touchdown pass, that combined with Milo's convert, put the Roughriders on top 14-10, with 9:04 to play in the half.

In the third quarter, a big 38 yard run by Keith Toston and the right arm of Adam Weber led to a Saskatchewan touchdown to open up the second half. Weber found Swain for a 3 yard scoring strike with just over 4 minutes gone. John Mark added the convert and the Riders extended the lead to 21-10, with 4:38 gone in the third. The Redblacks responded on the next possession, starting at their 2, then finishing with a 60 yard touchdown pass from Thomas DeMarco to Travon Patterson. The Palardy convert was good and the deficit was cut to 21-17, with 1:55 to play in the period.

Two interceptions, one by Paul Woldu and one by Macho Harris helped keep Saskatchewan on top throughout the fourth quarter, enabling them to hold on for the 21-17 win.

For the Riders, Darian Durant was 7-of-8 passing for 76 yards and 1 touchdown, Adam Weber was 2-of-4 for 39 yards, a touchdown and a pick and Tino Sunseri was 2-of-4 for 16 yards. Keith Toston ran 3 times for 58 yards and Brett Swain caught 2 passes for 22 yards and 2 touchdowns. Josh Bartel punted 5 times for a 45 yard average, Marshay Green ran a punt back for a 75 yard touchdown. Mortty Ivy has 2 tackles, 2 special teams tackles and 1 sack. Ottawa's Thomas DeMarco was 4-of-7 passing for 97 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, Danny O'Brien was 5-of-14 for 57 yards and Henry Burris was 5-of-6 for 40 yards. Chevon Walker rushed 4 times for 16 yards and a touchdown and Travon Patterson caught 1 pass for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Coming up, the Riders will host the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday, June 20th, in the second and final pre-season game for both teams. Kickoff at Mosaic Stadium is set for 9:00pm EDT. Catch all the action on 620ckrm, the Rider Radio Network and, with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri calling the plays. There is no tv. Ottawa plays next plays at Montreal on Friday, June 20th.

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