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Saskatchewan Roughriders rally to clip Edmonton Elks in regular-season opener



Saskatchewan Roughriders rally to clip Edmonton Elks in regular-season opener

EDMONTON — Corey Mace didn’t have to attend lengthy to choose up his first win as a CFL head coach.

Shawn Bane Jr. reeled in three landing passes because the Saskatchewan Roughriders got here from behind to spoil Edmonton’s Canadian Soccer League house opener, defeating the Elks 29-21 on Saturday.

“I’m making an attempt my finest to take all of it in,” stated Mace, following his first regular-season recreation as a head coach within the CFL, coming off serving as an assistant with the Toronto Argos.

“I’m extraordinarily happy with the blokes. To see when they’re put in conditions like this that they are going to discover a option to stick collectively to get issues finished. I’m more than happy with how they went on the market and completed the deal.”

Roughriders quarterback Trevor Harris regarded strong in his return from lacking the majority of final season with damage, going 22 for 31 for 305 yards.

“We made it quite a bit more durable on ourselves than we wanted to, but it surely was a mark of fine groups, discovering a option to win when it isn’t excellent. Our defence got here up with an enormous turnover once we wanted it and our offence was capable of have a significantly better fourth than any of the opposite ones. We got here by way of when it mattered most. I’m simply glad we had been capable of get it finished.”

Hergy Mayala had two touchdowns for the Elks who discovered themselves within the far too acquainted place of accepting a loss at house.

“If you end up up two touchdowns within the fourth quarter at house and principally penalize your self and switch the ball over and permit somebody to beat you right here at house, it’s powerful,” stated Elks head coach Chris Jones. “We’ve received to do a greater job of working the soccer and being efficient working the soccer. We weren’t capable of set up the run immediately.”

The Elks began the scoring on their first possession with a 17-yard subject objective from Boris Bede.

Saskatchewan responded proper again with a protracted drive capped off by Harris discovering a wide-open Bane Jr. for a 27-yard passing main.

After beginning the second quarter with a punt single, the Elks bookended the scoring with a landing coming with simply over a minute to play. Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who spent a season in america Soccer League after guiding the Toronto Argos to the 2022 Gray Cup championship, hit Mayala for a 22-yard passing strike ultimately zone to place Edmonton up 11-7.

Saskatchewan was threatening late within the opening half, however Harris was picked off on the Edmonton 17-yard line by Darrius Bratton.

The Riders received some extent again on a punt single of their very own with lower than 5 minutes to play within the third quarter.

Edmonton added to its lead late within the second after a protracted 52-yard passing play down the center from Bethel-Thompson to Dillon Mitchell arrange a six-yard passing TD to Mayala.

An interception by Edmonton’s Kai Grey would ultimately arrange a 30-yard subject objective by Bede early within the fourth quarter.

Saskatchewan rapidly responded, nonetheless, as Harris made a fairly passing play to Bane Jr. for a 40-yard landing with 11:28 to play within the closing body.

The Roughriders caught an enormous break lower than a minute later as Elks working again Kevin Brown fumbled the ball at his personal 16, recovered by Jameer Thurman. That gaffe would ultimately result in a one-yard TD plunge by A.J. Ouellette and a 22-21 Saskatchewan lead.

Bede tried a 48-yard subject objective to place his group again in entrance with lower than 5 minutes to play, however was vast and quick on the kick.

Edmonton was urgent and had moved the ball to midfield earlier than Bethel-Thompson fumbled, with Bryan Cox Jr. choosing it up for the Riders with 1:39 left on the clock.

That might result in one more passing main for Bane Jr., this one from 33 yards.

“I’m feeling blessed man,” stated Bane Jr., who ended up with 5 catches for 125 yards. “The fellows had been blocking up entrance, Trevor was capable of see it and I simply completed the performs. A recreation like this builds character. It feels good to be on the great facet of the sport. It’s solely one in every of many.”


The sport was moved up three hours to keep away from battle with Sport 1 of the Stanley Cup closing, with the Edmonton Oilers taking over the Florida Panthers. … Saskatchewan missed the playoffs final season with a 6-12 file, whereas the Elks completed in a tie for final within the league with Ottawa at 4-14. … The Elks are celebrating the seventy fifth anniversary of the Edmonton soccer franchise and had an enormous gala on Friday night time that featured a bevy of former gamers, together with a legendary listing of former quarterbacks equivalent to Warren Moon, Tom Wilkinson, Damon Allen, Tracy Ham, Matt Dunigan, Ricky Ray and Mike Reilly. … Longtime former gear supervisor Dwayne Mandrusiak was added to the EE’s Builders Wall in the course of the contest.


The Elks host the Montreal Alouettes on Friday, whereas the Roughriders stay on the street with a recreation in Hamilton subsequent Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed June 8, 2024.

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