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Sports Saskatchewan Roughriders clinch first place in CFL West Division

20:42  03 november  2019
20:42  03 november  2019 Source:   leaderpost.com

Calgary Stampeders edge Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37-33 in pivotal division battle

  Calgary Stampeders edge Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37-33 in pivotal division battle CALGARY — The playoff race in the CFL's West Division is so tight, Stampeders defensive back Brandon Smith wanted to connect with fans in Calgary's last home game of the regular season just in case. Smith announced prior to Saturday's kickoff against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers he'll retire after 12 seasons and three Grey Cups with Calgary. The longest-serving active Stampeder was lauded at McMahon Stadium as he ran out of the tunnel.Whatever happens in the post-season, the 35-year-old from Oakland, Calif., can look back at Saturday's hard-fought 37-33 win over the Blue Bombers with satisfaction."I've been in Calgary my whole career.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are a professional Canadian football team based in Regina, Saskatchewan . The Roughriders play in the West Division of the Canadian Football League ( CFL ). The Roughriders were founded in 1910 as the Regina Rugby Club.

Starting quarterback Cody Fajardo was unable to play, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated Edmonton 23-13 on Saturday to finish 13-5 and Thanks to their 23-13 victory over visiting Edmonton, the Riders finished in first place in the CFL ’s West Division and will now host the West Final Nov.

a person in a green shirt: Isaac Harker celebrates after quarterbacking the Saskatchewan Roughriders to Saturday's 23-13 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos — a result that clinched first place in the West Division for Saskatchewan.© Brandon Harder Isaac Harker celebrates after quarterbacking the Saskatchewan Roughriders to Saturday's 23-13 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos — a result that clinched first place in the West Division for Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are officially the best in the West.

Saskatchewan clinched first place in the CFL’s West Division for the first time since 2009 on Saturday with a 23-13 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos before an announced crowd of 29,156 at Mosaic Stadium.

The Roughriders did it by overcoming various forms of adversity with a late-fourth-quarter uprising.

“I didn’t think we played very well,” said head coach Craig Dickenson. “Maybe we were a little tight. I think the guys knew the gravity of the game and how much it meant. But we found a way at the end.”

Eskimos activate Trevor Harris from 6-game injured list

  Eskimos activate Trevor Harris from 6-game injured list The Edmonton Eskimos have activated quarterback Trevor Harris from the six-game injured list. Harris has been on the shelf since Week 13 with an injury to his throwing arm. The Eskimos have gone 2-3 in their last five games. They sit fourth in the West Division with an 8-8 record and have clinched a playoff spot. A starter has yet to be named for Saturday's game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Harris was the league's leading passer at theHarris has been on the shelf since Week 13 with an injury to his throwing arm. The Eskimos have gone 2-3 in their last five games. They sit fourth in the West Division with an 8-8 record and have clinched a playoff spot.

TORONTO — The Saskatchewan Roughriders have clinched first place in the West division which means there is only one more piece of the playoff puzzle left to place. A Calgary win Saturday evening over the BC Lions will clinch second in the West and ensure that the Stampeders host Winnipeg next

The 2007 Saskatchewan Roughriders finished in 2nd place in the West Division with a 12–6 record, which was their highest finish since 1988 when they also finished 2nd. The Roughriders won their third Grey Cup championship after playing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the title.

Brett Lauther , who had an otherwise difficult day, kicked an 11-yard field goal with 13:30 remaining in the fourth quarter to snap a 13-13 tie.

On Edmonton’s next play from scrimmage, quarterback Troy Williams was intercepted by Cameron Judge , who ran 29 yards for a touchdown to effectively settle matters.

The Roughriders will now be idle until Nov. 17, when they play host to the West final for only the second time in a span of 43 seasons.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd:  Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo, left, was sidelined by injury during the team’s regular-season finale.© Brandon Harder Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo, left, was sidelined by injury during the team’s regular-season finale.

During that hiatus, questions will continue to swirl about the status of quarterback Cody Fajardo — the Roughriders’ most outstanding player in 2019 — who missed Saturday’s game with an oblique injury.

Lauther hits late field goal to lift Roughriders over Eskimos 27-24

  Lauther hits late field goal to lift Roughriders over Eskimos 27-24 EDMONTON — The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ hopes of hosting the Western final remain intact. Brett Lauther nailed a 43-yard field goal as time expired, and the Roughriders won their second game in a row and fourth out of the last five with a 27-24 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday. The Roughriders (12-5) have earned at least a home playoff date and still have hopes of hosting the Western final. They'll need to finish ahead of theBrett Lauther nailed a 43-yard field goal as time expired, and the Roughriders won their second game in a row and fourth out of the last five with a 27-24 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday.

The 2017 Saskatchewan Roughriders season was the 60th season for the team in the Canadian Football League . It was the club's 108th year overall, and its 102nd season of play. The Roughriders improved upon their 5–13 record from 2016 and clinched a playoff spot with a win over the Calgary

The 2008 Saskatchewan Roughriders finished in 2nd place in the West Division with a 12–6 record for the second consecutive year. It was their 51st season in the Canadian Football League . The Roughriders attempted to repeat as Grey Cup champions, but, due to an abundance of injuries

“I think he’ll be fine. I do,” Dickenson said. “I think he’s going to be all right but it’s one of those strange injuries. You just don’t know so we’ll just take it day by day.”

The Riders took a similar approach heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale. Although it appeared unlikely that he’d be able to start, they waited until the waning hours before kickoff to make the final call.

In the end, Dickenson said Fajardo was “not very close” to playing.

“I was hopeful; I really was,” the head coach continued. “This morning I came in early and visited with him and he just didn’t feel like he could be effective.”

Isaac Harker started in place of Fajardo, completing 23 of 28 passes for 213 yards. Harker became the first Roughrider since Rocky Butler, in 2002, to quarterback the team to victory as a first-year pro.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Harker prepared as if he’d be the starter and that’s how it played out.

Brandon Banks, Cody Fajardo and Dane Evans named CFL top performers

  Brandon Banks, Cody Fajardo and Dane Evans named CFL top performers TORONTO — Hamilton receiver Brandon Banks, Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans and Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo are the top performers for Week 20 of the CFL season. Banks complied a personal-best 201 receiving yards on 11 receptions and three touchdowns to lead the Ticats to a 38-26 road victory over Montreal on Saturday. He broke Luke Tasker's franchise record for catches in a season (104) with his fourth catch of the game, and now has a league-leading 112 receptions heading into the final week of the season.Banks provided a deadly target for Evans, who completed 80.6 per cent of his passes for 379 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.

The 2013 Saskatchewan Roughriders season was the 56th season for the team in the Canadian Football League . The Roughriders improved upon their 8–10 record from 2012 and made the playoffs for the second straight season, while hosting their first playoff game since 2010.

The 2001 Saskatchewan Roughriders finished in 4th place in the West Division with a 6–12 record and missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. None. Darren Davis, Running Back. Eddie Davis, Defensive Back. Andrew Greene, Offensive Guard. Omarr Morgan, Cornerback.

“The reality is we kinda knew that Cody wasn’t going to be able to go, based on his lack of participation late in the week,” Dickenson said. “I thought Isaac did everything we asked him to do and did a pretty good job. I think the guys believed in him and I don’t think (having to start a rookie QB) had anything to do with us not playing as well as we could have.

“Credit to Edmonton, too. They played really well. They didn’t even have all their starters out there but I thought the guys that did play played very well.”

Dickenson also said that Roughriders receiver Shaq Evans injured a toe on a long pass — a near-completion — early in the game.

Evans finished the season with 72 receptions for 1,334 yards.

“I just talked to him on the way in here,” Dickenson said. “He thinks he’ll be fine.”

a group of people playing football on a field:  Riders receiver Shaq Evans, 1, injured a toe on this near-reception in the first quarter.© Brandon Harder Riders receiver Shaq Evans, 1, injured a toe on this near-reception in the first quarter.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders will meet in the West semi-final on Nov. 10.

Saskatchewan’s 13-5 record is the team’s best since the CFL increased the number of games per team to 18, from 16, in 1986.

Cody Fajardo not playing; Isaac Harker to start at quarterback for Saskatchewan Roughriders

  Cody Fajardo not playing; Isaac Harker to start at quarterback for Saskatchewan Roughriders Cody Fajardo not playing; Isaac Harker to start at quarterback for Saskatchewan RoughridersCKRM’s Michael Ball reported the news to open the station’s pre-game show.

The Roughriders have reached 13 wins for only the third time in franchise history, despite starting the season at 1-3. Saskatchewan went 13-3 in 1969 and 14-2 the following year.

On Saturday, the Roughriders opened the scoring 6:08 into the first quarter when Lauther kicked a 49-yard field goal.

Later in the first frame, Nick Marshall intercepted Eskimos quarterback Logan Kilgore and returned the ball 35 yards to Edmonton’s 40-yard line. Five plays later, Marcus Thigpen rushed for a four-yard touchdown at 13:56. Lauther’s convert made it 10-0.

Edmonton, which had only four first downs and 61 yards of net offence, came alive offensively to begin the second half.

A trick play — a 45-yard pass from DaVaris Daniels to fellow receiver Tevaun Smith — put Edmonton on Saskatchewan’s 14-yard line. On the next play, Kilgore found a wide-open Smith for a major. The convert attempt was blocked.

Saskatchewan went ahead 12-6 when Eskimos punter Hugh O’Neill conceded a safety touch at 11:50 of the third quarter.

a group of people wearing costumes:  Roughriders running back William Powell, 29, eyes a pass during Saturday’s game against Edmonton.© Brandon Harder Roughriders running back William Powell, 29, eyes a pass during Saturday’s game against Edmonton.

To begin the next possession, the Roughriders botched an exchange on an attempted handoff from Harker to William Powell. The Eskimos pounced on the fumble and, four plays later, scored on a seven-yard pass from Kilgore to Kevin Elliott. Sean Whyte’s convert gave Edmonton a 13-12 lead at 14:23 of the third quarter.

Fajardo, Evans and Adams Jr. have all emerged as CFL stars this season

  Fajardo, Evans and Adams Jr. have all emerged as CFL stars this season Cody Fajardo, Dane Evans and Vernon Adams Jr. have made 2019 the year of the backup CFL quarterback. All three began the season as backups but when opportunity knocked, they answered the call and have become emerging CFL stars heading into the 2019 playoffs. "That's the beauty of sports, you don't really know what you have until these guys get an opportunity to show what they can do," said Khari Jones, the Montreal Alouettes' rookie head coachAll three began the season as backups but when opportunity knocked, they answered the call and have become emerging CFL stars heading into the 2019 playoffs.

The Roughriders tied the game 13-13 at 6:43 of the fourth quarter when Lauther missed a field-goal attempt from 32 yards away and settled for a single. That was Lauther’s fourth miss of the day.

Lauther made amends, though, with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter when he kicked a 12-yarder to put the Roughriders ahead 16-13.

“Ever since I started football in high school, I don’t think I’ve ever had a game like this,” Lauther said. “This one was obviously on me, for sure. I put us in a bad situation all night but luckily for me I have a great defence, a great offence, great coaches, great teammates around me to support me.”

The Riders drove 75 yards in eight plays before the decisive field goal. One of the key plays was a 29-yard pass from Harker to fellow rookie Justin McInnis, who was playing in place of Evans, on second-and-eight.

Just 17 seconds after Lauther’s 11-yard field goal, Judge stepped in front of a pass and took it the distance.

“I knew the out (route) was coming so I tried to bait him into the throw,” Judge explained. “I think I baited him a little too much because I don’t think I would have got there without the tip (at the line of scrimmage). All props to Charleston (Hughes) on that one for tipping that ball for me.”

a person wearing a helmet:  Linebacker Cameron Judge wears the Big Play Chain after returning an interception 29 yards for a Roughriders touchdown on Saturday.© Brandon Harder Linebacker Cameron Judge wears the Big Play Chain after returning an interception 29 yards for a Roughriders touchdown on Saturday.

The Roughriders also got a huge defensive performance from defensive end A.C. Leonard, who had two sacks — one of which forced a fumble that he recovered.

Saskatchewan held Edmonton to 197 yards of net offence. The Roughriders’ total of 270 yards was also modest.

“I don’t think we win that game without A.C. Leonard,” Judge said. “It just happened to be me catching a pick but I feel a lot of guys put it all on the line. It was a group effort to get this win.”

Now they’re headed to the West final.

“We’ve been working all year for this,” Judge added. “It’s nice to see it pay off getting this bye but there’s still a lot of work to be done. If we go out and lay down in the final, this is all for naught. We want to keep it going.”

EXTRA POINTS:Jon Ryan finished the season with an average of 48.9 yards per punt — a Roughriders record. Ken Clark set the previous mark of 47.4 in 1983 … The Riders’ previous 23-13 home-field victory over Edmonton was in the 1976 Western Conference final … The Riders’ Kyran Moore finished with 996 receiving yards. Naaman Roosevelt was 54 receiving yards shy of 1,000.

Trevor Harris big wildcard for Edmonton in East Division final versus Hamilton .
It's hard to forget the last time Trevor Harris faced the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Harris had a CFL playoff-record six touchdown passes in last year's East Division final. Of course, that was while he was a member of the Ottawa Redblacks, who secured a 46-27 victory before dropping a 27-16 decision to the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup. On Sunday, Harris will lead Edmonton into Tim Hortons Field for the East final against a Hamilton squad that posted a CFL-best 15-3 regular-season record. Included were two victories against the Eskimos that Harris missed due to injury. Edmonton is attempting to become the first crossover team to reach the Grey Cup.

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