A lot of the talk in Riderville this week was about the big boys up front.
Saskatoon native Brett Boyko missed practice with a surprise illness, the possible return of Brendon LaBatte came up, and there was more discussion about who wasn’t going to play rather than who was.
But come game-time, the Riders’ offensive line stepped up, keeping quarterback Cody Fajardo upright and opening holes for running back William Powell against a solid Hamilton front-seven.
“I’m so proud of that offensive line, they did a tremendous job. (Andrew) Lauderdale came in, he didn’t know he was playing until like two days before the game,” Fajardo said.
Lauderdale was making his first career CFL start and was part of an O-line that only allowed two sacks and were the stars of the night according to their head coach.
“They got the game ball. We presented it to coach (Stephen) Sorrells, the O-line coach, but we wanted to honour every single guy in that front because Cody was pretty clean,” Craig Dickenson said.
“A couple of drives in the fourth quarter were awesome where we just went and marched it down. Whether we score or not, that’s chewing up clock and really flipped the field, so I was pleased with the O-line.”
Saskatchewan was able to pick up 80 of their 167 rushing yards in the fourth quarter to seal their 30-8 win over the Tiger-Cats.
The Riders’ QB noticed that the effort of the offensive line was contagious as the pass catchers got into the act as well.
“Our receivers did a great job of blocking downfield,” Fajardo said.
“Our offensive line obviously did an incredible job, but our receivers here they do an awesome job at taking pride in blocking down the field and give Willy P, our ninja running back, just a little bit of a crease to get what he can.”
Fajardo is a smart man, knowing to take care of those who take care of him, especially on the football field.
“I gotta get them some food or something nice because they kept me pretty clean all night.”
To the victors go the spoils and the Riders will try to keep their momentum going in Week 3 against Ottawa at Mosaic Stadium.