Saskatchewan Roughriders take 23-10 victory over Ottawa Redblacks to 3-0 record


Saskatchewan Roughriders wide receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker (89) is tackled by the Ottawa Redblacks in the first half of CFL football action in Regina on Saturday, August 21, 2021.

Kayle Neis / The Canadian Press

It wasn’t a work of art, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders did enough to clinch a 23-10 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks in the Canadian Football League on Saturday night.

With this victory, the Riders occupy the top of the West Division of the CFL with a 3-0 record on the cusp of a week off. The Redblacks drop to 1-1 with the loss.

Brett Lauther kicked five baskets and Cody Fajardo scored on a two-yard rush for the Riders. Bettor Jon Ryan hit a 55-yard punt for a single.

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The Riders’ defense, who entered the game with eight sacks in the league lead, collected six against the Redblacks. Jonathan Woodard, who had three sacks in last week’s win over Hamilton, and Garrett Marino each have two, AC Leonard and Micah Teitz each have one.

DeVonte Dedmon, on a three-yard rush, scored Ottawa‘s lone touchdown while Lewis Ward added a 33-yard field goal.

Saskatchewan scored the game’s first touchdown midway through the third quarter when Fajardo slipped to the right end for a two-yard major, making it 17-3 for the Riders.

The seven-play, 76-yard practice included a 30-yard reception from Brayden Lenius on the opener and a 19-yard reception from Paul McRoberts to move the ball to the Ottawa two-yard line. McRoberts caught the ball on the 16-yard line and missed a few Ottawa defensemen before being tackled.

The Redblacks returned to the game early in the fourth quarter when Dedmon, replacing injured Timothy Flowers, scored on a three-yard run. Two Rider penalties, one for roughness to the passer and another for unnecessary roughness, helped extend Ottawa’s scoring campaign.

Holding a 17-10 lead, the Riders responded to Ottawa’s touchdown with Lauther’s fourth field goal of the game, totaling 31 yards.

In the ensuing Ottawa possession, Ed Gainey intercepted a shot from deep down the sideline by Redblacks quarterback Matt Nichols, giving the ball to the Riders on the Ottawa 37-yard line. The interception set up a 31-yard field goal from Lauther.

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Nichols amassed 19 of 24 for 176 yards and the interception for Ottawa.

A rather pedestrian first half featured three goals from Lauther’s field and one goal from Ward’s field. It also featured a rare miss from Ward who entered the game as a career leader in field goal percentage – 97 of 105 (92.4 percent). Ward was wide on the left on a 52-yard attempt in the second quarter.

After Lauther and Ward traded field goalies in the first quarter, the Riders set up an eight-game practice at the end of the first quarter, taking a 6-3 lead on a 19-yard field goal from Lauther. .

The training featured a contested reception by Saskatchewan’s Lenius. He caught the ball on the sidelines, cradling it on his shoulder. As he fell out of bounds, Ottawa goalie Antoine Pruneau removed the ball from Lenius. Officials ruled the game caught, a decision challenged by Ottawa head coach Paul LaPolice. After consideration, the appeal was upheld and the Riders played two more games before Lauther’s placement.

In the last minute of half-time, Fajardo connected with Lenius for 10 yards and Kian Schaffer-Baker for 42 yards. Lauther then kicked a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the half to give the Riders a 9-3 lead.

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