Saturday, August 2, 2014

Riders win big at Ottawa

Ottawa, ON. -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders were on the road tonight to face expansion Ottawa and rode a 24 point first quarter to a 38-14 win over the Redblacks.

After holding Ottawa to a 2-and-out to start the game, the Riders took their opening possession and went 78 yards in 6 plays, with the score coming on a 25 yard pass from Darian Durant to a wide-open Brett Swain, waiting in the end zone. Chris Milo kicked the convert and Saskatchewan was up 7-0, 4:33 into the game. A Tristan Jackson interception on the next Redblacks possession, combined with a major foul for unnecessary roughness set the Roughriders up with a first down at the Ottawa 15. Saskatchewan would turn it into three points, as Milo booted a 15 yard field goal, putting the Riders up 10-0. A high throw by Henry Burris on the Redblacks' next turn with the ball, resulted in the ball bouncing off several players and into the arms of a Saskatchewan defender, giving them the ball at the Ottawa 44. Will Ford would finish off the short drive by bulling his way into the end zone from one yard out, for a 17-0 Rider lead, after the Milo convert. The score came with 4:37 left in the opening quarter. A 62 yard yard punt return by Jackson gave Saskatchewan a first down at the Redblacks 27. Durant found Rob Bagg for 26 yards down to the one, setting up another one yard plunge for Ford. Milo converted with 1:42 remaining in the first, giving the Roughriders a 24-0 lead.

Ottawa finally got a scoring opportunity, but a 31 yard field goal attempt by Brett Maher hit the right upright and dropped into the field of play, leaving the score at 24-0, just 38 seconds into the second quarter. Just about six minutes later, Maher attempted a 50 yard field goal. The ball just missed the outside of the right upright, where Jackson gathered it in and raced 111 yards for the touchdown, the Milo convert with 8:02 to play in the half, gave Saskatchewan a 31-0 lead. The ensuing kickoff by was downed in the end zone for an 82 yard single, giving the Riders a 32-0 lead, with 7:49 to play in quarter number two. A bit of trickery finally got the Redblacks on the board. On third and 3 from their own 53, backup quarterback Thomas DeMarco quick kicked, with the ball rolling into the end zone. Dobson Collins raced downfield and fell on the ball just before the end line, resulting in a 73 yard Redblacks touchdown, their first-ever home major. Maher kicked the convert with 4:46 to go 'til two-quarter time, making the score 32-7 in favor of the Riders.

Milo kicked a 34 yard field goal just past the midway point of the third quarter, extending the Saskatchewan lead to 35-7, with 6:36 to play.

In the fourth quarter, Milo came on to drill a 42 yard field goal with 7:49 left in the period, boosting the Roughrider lead to 38-7. DeMarco then came on at quarterback for Ottawa and immediately led the Redblacks to a touchdown, finding Jamill Smith in the right corner of the end zone from 7 yards out. Maher converted with 5:44 remaining, slicing the deficit to 38-14. That would be all the scoring on the night, as Saskatchewan took the 24 point victory.

For the Riders, Darian Durant was 19-of-25 passing for 294 yards and 1 touchdown. Tino Sunseri, in a mop-up role, was 0-for-1. Will Ford rushed 20 times for 74 yards and 2 touchdowns, Rob Bagg caught 6 passes for 123 yards, while Brett Swain caught 5 balls for 85 yards and a touchdown. Chris Milo was 3-of-3 on field goals, 4-of-4 on converts and had a kickoff single, Josh Bartel punted 7 times for a 41 yard average, Tristan Jackson had 5 tackles and a missed field goal return for a touchdown and Brian Peters was the leading tackler with 7, plus 1 special teams tackle plus an interception. For Ottawa, Henry Burris was 17-of-33 passing for 217 yards and 2 interceptions and in relief, Thomas DeMarco was 5-of-6 for 84 yards and a touchdown. Chevon Walker ran 12 times for 47 yards, Dobson Collins caught 4 passes for 68 yards, Jamill Smith caught 4 balls for 62 yards and a touchdown, Brett Maher was 0-for-4 on field goals, 2-of-2 on converts and punted 8 times for a 47.4 yard average, while DeMarco's one punt went 73 yards. Justin Capicciotti had 6 tackles and 1 sack. Saskatchewan took the ball away 3 times, the Redblacks took it away twice.

Next up for the 3-2 Roughriders is a game at the 5-1 Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday, August 7th. Game time in 8:30pm EDT. Catch all the action with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri on 620CKRM, the Rider Radio Network and The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on 1-4 Ottawa next plays on Saturday, August 9th at the 4-1 Calgary Stampeders.

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