Defence dominates in storm-shortened affair as Riders tackle Alouettes

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes both had stingy defences in the first half of the Friday night double-header, not allowing any offensive touchdowns.

But it was Mother Nature who had the biggest stop of the night, ending the game three minutes shy of the fourth quarter: the first time in league history a game has been called due to weather.

A weather delay which eclipses an hour in a game past the midway point of the third quarter warrants a final score and a victor, per league rules.

In this case, it was the Riders topping the Als 17-10.

A pair of scoop and scores highlighted Saskatchewan’s defence on the night – no matter who was behind centre for Montreal.

The first came at the displeasure of Antonio Pipkin, starting for the injured Vernon Adams Jr. Pipkin took one of the biggest hits in recent memory from Derrick Moncrief and Earl Okine picked up the loose ball and scored the Riders’ first touchdown.

Then it happened again. Except it was Matthew Shiltz behind centre, who replaced Pipkin after he threw two (overturned) interceptions on one drive coming off the big hit. He didn’t see the field again. Shiltz was clocked by Cameron Judge and it was Charleston Hughes who grabbed the ball this time and scored.

The big highlight for the Als was Shakeir Ryan, who kept the Season of the Return rolling. The 23-year-old is on his third team in a year and a half and has only played in four games in that span, but he made some noise Friday night. The returner took the game’s opening punt 101 yards to the house and it was a quick Alouettes lead.

Otherwise it was a half to forget for them. It included the two turnovers, both a missed point after and field goal, on top of trailing 16-10 at the break.

Defences continued to put their stamps on the game, as neither Cody Fajardo or Shiltz could get points on the board in the third, trading empty drives before the game was called.

Cody Fajardo finished 15-for-21 with 166 yards and was sacked twice. Montreal had a league-worst five team sacks heading into the game.

Shiltz went 5-for-8 for 43 yards in limited action. Patrick Levels had a game-high six tackles for Montreal.

Saskatchewan rides into their bye week on a four-game win streak while Montreal faces Calgary in Week 10 trying to stop their two-game slide.

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