AL1: Introducing the Roughrider Write Up
The Lang & LeBlanc Podcast is now bringing you written content. One weekly article we're launching today is the “Roughrider Write Up.”
LLP's Avery LeBlanc highlights the green and white, week in and week out.
Keep an eye out for more weekly columns by the LLP, which will be released Monday's and Thursday's.
Week 9: SK @ CGY
Were you screaming at your TV Friday night?
Were you still holding out hopes of a win?
Regardless of how you were feeling, you probably weren't alone, in the Riders' frustrating 23-17 loss to Calgary — the first of three straight games for the team against our rival to the west.
The first quarter was the first point where Rider Nation was steaming mad. And I was too.
With the offence unable to produce any points, the defence with a number of avoidable penalties, Bo Levi Mitchell was back and better than ever with two touchdown passes. This left the Saskie faithful ready to tune out by the half.
"Onside kicks can be an adventure, and that showed in this game."
However, in the second quarter, the Riders finally managed to get some points on the board with two field goals. Brett Lauther, what a beauty — we'll get to him more in a bit.
Calgary responded with three points of their own to make it a 17 - 6 game at the half. The first half ended with two failed deep ball attempts from the Riders. In my eyes — and I'm sure I wasn't alone in this — it was looking like Calgary would win.
Rolling into the third, it seemed like both defences made adjustments to slow down the opposing offences — it also slowed the excitement level at McMahon. It was relatively low scoring with only a field goal from Calgary and a rouge from Saskatchewan (might I add, it was damn close to being a 1-yard spot off the foot of Regina's own, Jon Ryan).
At this point, the Roughriders are due for a touchdown, down 20 - 7. Due may not be the BEST way of describing it, but you get the gist.
No touchdown? Rider Nation may start to tune out.
Luckily, the Riders finally found their groove late in the game.
The fourth quarter had a similar feel to last week against the BC Lions. Following a well overdue deep ball to new fan-favourite, Kian Schaffer-Baker — nicknamed Shake & Bake in Riderville — Powell pounded the ball in for a four-yard touchdown to make it a 20 - 14 game.
As they would, Calgary responded with a field goal to increase the lead by three.
With 2:36 remaining, Saskatchewan was looking for any points they could get, settling for a field goal with just 106 seconds left in the game.
It's here where the fans that stuck around maybe felt like they would be rewarded for their loyalty.
Onside kicks can be an adventure, and that showed in this game.
After one failed attempt (a penalty negated it), shades of Pat McAfee were presented by Lauther with an onside kick recovered by himself at their own 45-yard line. The Riders got down to the Calgary 41 with three yards to go for a first down until Calgary got to Fajardo. This made it 3rd and ten with 33 seconds left — still some hope, right?
After a timeout, Saskatchewan decided to go for a touchdown to seal the game. They could have followed a game plan similar to last week that got them a win.
But ... Fajardo’s pass was ultimately picked off. Calgary ran out the clock to give Saskatchewan their third loss of the season, the Stamps' third win.
This may have left Saskatchewan fans a look at the other side, compared to last week's last-second win. However, the Riders really lost this game in the first quarter:
Penalties on defence.
Not riding the momentum.
A weak offence out the gate.
That's a hat trick of struggles that eventually led to another added in the L column.
The Riders have been able to beat teams that were on a downward trend on a regular basis this season. Not this week.
The lesser team came out on top. Moving forward, all Rider fans can do is hope that the team has a lot more success with the deep ball. And, of course, eliminate the dumb penalties.
Next week, the Stamps make their way to Mosaic.
What team will we see show up?
Hopefully, one looking to salvage the season series with the Stamps. Remember, the playoffs aren't too far away.
... And we still have to get past Winnipeg.
LISTEN TO THE ROUGHRIDER CORNER WEEKLY ON THE LLP.
EP40: RIDER CORNER BEGINS AT 48:27
AUTHOR: Avery LeBlanc
Avery LeBlanc is a creator, producer, and host of The Lang & LeBlanc Podcast. Born and raised on a farm near Wakaw, Saskatchewan, Avery is the morning on-air host with FOX FM in Yorkton.