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Saskatchewan Roughriders pick up 29-21 win over Elks to open season



Quarterback Trevor Harris threw three touchdowns to Shawn Bane Jr. to propel Saskatchewan to victory within the opening week of the CFL season

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A large fourth quarter by the Saskatchewan Roughriders powered them to victory over the Edmonton Elks within the opening week of the CFL season.

Quarterback Trevor Harris threw three landing passes to Shawn Bane Jr., and operating again A.J. Ouellette scored his first main in inexperienced and white, because the Roughriders (1-0) gained 29-21 over the Elks (0-1) on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

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Saskatchewan trailed 11-7 on the half and 21-8 early within the fourth quarter, earlier than placing three touchdowns on the board to finish the comeback.

“It says quite a bit in regards to the group that we have now and the assumption that we have now,” stated Riders’ head coach Corey Mace, who picked up his first profession victory as a CFL head coach. “I used to be extraordinarily happy to see our guys band collectively and discover a solution to get it achieved, nevertheless that appeared, there was a whole lot of guys throughout the staff that needed to make large performs for us within the second half.”

Harris accomplished 22 of 31 passes for 305 yards on the day and whereas he had the three touchdowns, he additionally threw two interceptions. Within the first half, the 38-year-old quarterback additionally turned the nineteenth participant in CFL historical past to eclipse 30,000 profession passing yards.

“The mark of fine groups are groups that discover methods to win regardless of the circumstance is,” stated Harris, who was enjoying in his first common season sport since a knee harm in Week 6 of the 2023 season. “This staff is a staff of fellows that simply don’t flinch.

“It doesn’t matter what the scenario is, we’re going to maintain swinging. We’re going to maintain throwing and clearly it wasn’t our greatest effort right this moment, offensively we left quite a bit on the market on the sphere, so we’ve acquired quite a bit to wash up however the mark of these groups are those that may discover methods to win it doesn’t matter what.”

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Together with three touchdowns on 5 catches, Bane Jr. had 125 receiving yards to steer the staff in that class because the Riders put up 338 yards of web offence to Edmonton’s 349.

“In halftime, we type of simply settled down,” stated Bane Jr., who’s celebrating his twenty ninth birthday on Sunday. “Trev was clearly main the pack.

“He was poised and simply made the throws and I’m only a byproduct of that.”

Defensively, Rolan Milligan Jr. led the way in which for the Riders with 10 complete tackles and a move knockdown, whereas Bryan Cox Jr. and Jameer Thurman every had fumble recoveries. Linebacker C.J. Avery had an interception in his CFL debut whereas fellow first-year American DaMarcus Fields had six tackles and a sack.

Shawn Bane Jr.
The Edmonton Elks’ Kai Grey (5) battles the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Shawn Bane Jr. (15) throughout their CFL house opening sport at Commonwealth Stadium, in Edmonton Saturday June 8, 2024. Photograph by David Bloom /Postmedia

Scoring abstract

After the Elks opened the scoring with a subject purpose within the first quarter, Saskatchewan put up the primary landing of the sport as Harris put collectively a six-play, 70-yard drive capped off by a 27-yard strike to Bane Jr., which put Saskatchewan on prime 7-3 with the convert.

After the Riders conceded a single level on a punt return to make it 7-4, the Elks went again on prime with 1:06 left within the first half as quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson related with receiver Hergy Mayala for a 22-yard landing to make it 11-7 for the Elks.

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The Riders appeared to place collectively a drive within the remaining minute of the primary half, however Harris was intercepted by Elks’ defensive again Darrius Bratton to finish the half.

Within the second half, on the Riders eighth punt of the sport of their first 10 collection, Adam Korsak booted it 62-yards via the again of the top zone for the rouge to make it 11-8.

On Edmonton’s subsequent drive, Bethel-Thompson hit Eugene Lewis for a 52-yard achieve earlier than the quarterback related with Mayala for his second landing of the day to place Edmonton up 18-8 with the convert.

After Harris threw his second interception of the sport, the Elks tacked on a subject purpose to make it 21-8 early within the fourth quarter.

Harris then made up for the interception in his subsequent collection as he threw a 40-yard move to Bane Jr. for his second landing of the day to chop Edmonton’s result in 21-15 with the convert.

After Thurman recovered a fumble on Edmonton’s subsequent collection, Ouellette plowed into the top zone for his first landing as a Rider. With the convert, Saskatchewan went on prime 22-21 with simply over eight minutes to go.

With two minutes left within the sport and Edmonton driving the sphere, Cox Jr. stripped Bethel-Thompson after which recovered the unfastened ball.

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That turnover allowed improve their lead as Harris threw his third landing move to Bane Jr., this one for 33 yards, as Saskatchewan went on prime 29-21 with the convert.

After Avery intercepted Bethel-Thompson, Saskatchewan tried to place the sport away, however Ouellette fumbled the ball with 28 seconds left, permitting the Elks again within the sport.

Nevertheless, as time expired, Bethel-Thompson’s Hail Mary move to the top zone fell incomplete as Saskatchewan survived the late scare to choose up the victory.

Off the board

Within the first quarter, Elks’ returner Javon Leake had a 75-yard punt return landing, nevertheless it was referred to as again as a result of an unlawful block penalty.

Close to the top of the second quarter, Riders’ returner Mario Alford had a 91-yard punt return landing, nevertheless it was referred to as again as a result of a holding penalty. Alford additionally had a 32-yard punt return wiped off the board as a result of a holding penalty within the first quarter.

Mario Alford
Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Mario Alford (2) returns a punt towards the Edmonton Elks throughout CFL motion at Commonwealth Stadium, in Edmonton Saturday June 8, 2024. Photograph by David Bloom /Postmedia

Penalty issues

Together with the 2 particular groups holding penalties, the Riders have 4 extra infractions together with a 25-yard sport ejection penalty as proper guard Logan Ferland was given a tough play disqualification penalty with 5:53 left within the second quarter after placing Elks’ linebacker Leon O’Neal Jr. within the helmet after a play.

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Ryan Sceviour entered the sport at proper guard for the rest of the sport for Saskatchewan, who gave back-to-back sacks following Ferland’s ejection however didn’t permit any extra in the remainder of the sport.

Saskatchewan dedicated 5 complete infractions within the first half for 75 yards. Nevertheless, within the second half, the Inexperienced and White then had only one penalty with security Jayden Dalke speaking a 10-yard objectionable conduct penalty.

“It’s essentially the most irritating factor,” Mace stated of the penalties. “It’s type of placing a cloud over what’s occurring right here.

“We’ve simply acquired to be smarter. These are egocentric type of issues and never the great egocentric that we’re in search of, so it’ll be dealt with — I’ll maintain that in home — however we have now to be higher.”

Edmonton, in the meantime, had 11 penalties for 101 yards within the sport.

The Edmonton Elks' Kevin Brown (4) is tackled by the Saskatchewan Roughriders' Deontai Williams (24) during CFL action at Commonwealth Stadium, In Edmonton Saturday June 8, 2024.
The Edmonton Elks’ Kevin Brown (4) is tackled by the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Deontai Williams (24) throughout CFL motion at Commonwealth Stadium, in Edmonton Saturday June 8, 2024. Photograph by David Bloom /Postmedia

Subsequent up

The Roughriders will play their second straight highway sport in Week 2 as they are going to go to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-1) on June 16 (5 p.m., TSN).

The Ti-Cats misplaced 32-24 to the Calgary Stampeders of their opening sport of the season on Friday.

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