Hamilton, ON. -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders hit the road Sunday, playing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. And perhaps, with a new quarterback at the helm, it wasn't surprising that the Saskatchewan offence struggled, failing to reach the end zone, in a 28-3 loss to the Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.
Hamilton took the opening kickoff out to their own 37, from where they gained a couple of first downs, moving the ball to the Rider 50, where the drive bogged down. Justin Medlock would come on and boot a 50 yard field goal, putting the Tiger-Cats on top 3-0, 3:38 into the contest. Much like their first possession, Hamilton would start at their own 37 on their secon turn with the ball, eventually getting a 51 yard Medlock field goal with 7:49 left in the first, putting the Ti-Cats up 6-0. On their second possession, Saskatchewan would scrimmage from their own 35. They would move the ball to the Hamilton 36. From there, Tino Sunseri would overthrow Weston Dressler. Courtney Stephen would intercept and the Rider drive would be snuffed out.
The Tabbies would start their next drive at the Saskatchewan 44, after a shanked Chris Milo punt near the end of the first quarter. Luke Tasker would take a flip pass from Zach Collaros and go the final 14 yards for the game's first major. Medlock would convert and Hamilton was up 13-0, 1:28 into the second. Saskatchewan would get on the board late in the second, as Milo kicked a 10 yard field goal with 2:59 left in the half, making it a 13-3 game in favor of the Ti-Cats.
After holding the Roughriders to a 2 and out to start the second half, Hamilton would start their first possession of the second half at the Saskatchewan 53. A Rickey Foley sack back to centrefield hampered the drive and Medlock would bounce a 43 yard field goal attempt off the top of the left upright. After holding the Riders to a two and out deep in their own territory, Terrell Sinkfield would take a punt near midfield, sprint up the middle then cut outside, going 57 yards for a touchdown. Medlock converted, putting the Tiger-Cats up 20-3, with 7:24 remaining in the third. Hamilton continued to gain big yards with the ball, mainly on the ground. However, a deflected pass was intercepted by Derek Walker to kill the drive at the Saskatchewan 12.
The Riders continued to struggle on offence in the fourth quarter. However, the Ti-cats continued to make big plays, adding a late touchdown on an 20 yard pass from Collaros to Tasker. The Medlock convert with 3:28 remaining, upped the Hamilton lead to 27-3. Medlock would add a 57 yard punt single with 1:30 to play, increasing the Ti-Cat lead to 28-3, which ended up being the final score.
For Hamilton, Zach Collaros was 29-of-36 passing for 287 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, while rushing for a team-high 49 yards on 7 carries. Andy Fantuz caught 11 passes for 108 yards and Luke Tasker caught 3 balls for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns. Justin Medlock was 2-of-3 on field goals, 3-of-3 on converts, had a punt single and punted 7 times for a 40.7 yard average. Tim Sinkfield had a big day, returning 12 punts for 151 yards and a touchdown. The Ti-Cat defence was led by Taylor Reed, who had 6 tackles, a special teams tackle and a sack. For Saskatchewan, which saw their seven game win streak come to an end, Tino Sunseri was 9-of-21 passing for 88 yards and an interception. Anthony Allen was the leading rusher, carrying the ball 10 times for 68 yards. Allen was also the leading receiver, catching 6 balls for 44 yards. Chris Milo was 1-of-1 on field goals, while punting 12 times for a 41.6 yard average. And on defence, Brian Peters was the leader, with 8 tackles, 1 special teams tackle and a sack, while Macho Harris had 8 tackles and a sack and Derek Walker had an interception. Hamilton had 287 yards passing and 119 yards rushing for 406 yards total offence, while the Riders had 100 yards passing, 101 yards rushing and 201 yards total offence. Each team had 7 penalties, 44 yards for the Tiger-Cats and 50 yards for Saskatchewan. Each team turned the ball over once on an interception and Hamilton won time of possession, 32:13 to 27:47.
Next up for the 8-3 Riders is a home game against the 1-9 Ottawa Redblacks on Sunday, September 14th. Kickoff is set for 4:00pm EDT. Catch all the action with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri on 620 CKRM, the Rider radio network and 620ckrm.com. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on ESPN3.com. The Tiger-Cats next play at home against Edmonton on Sunday, September 21st.