Ricardo Louis has been working for over five years to find the end zone for his first career professional touchdown.
It finally happened with the Roughriders in Saskatchewan’s Week 8 win over the B.C. Lions. The play had been discussed multiple times by offensive coordinator Jason Maas, quarterback Cody Fajardo and Louis while watching film of the opposing defence.
“Me and Cody talked about that play right before the game. He called me over to the locker, he’s like: ‘Look, we were watching the film and this is going to be there.’ I ran it the way he told me to run it and it happened just the way we saw it on film,” Louis said.
“The post ball that we threw, I talked about it probably five times and then showed him on tape: ‘If we get this coverage and this play is called, you’re getting a touchdown.’ We manifested that throughout the week,” Fajardo said.
With the Riders trailing 17-12 in the third quarter, on second-and-six, Fajardo in rhythm let go a perfectly placed football to Louis for a 23-yard touchdown. That put Saskie ahead 18-17 and helped the green and white win the game 31-24.
“When I threw it and he scored, the crowd erupted and I thought I through a pick. Rider fans are incredible and they travel really well,” Fajardo said.
“It was a great feeling, it was an amazing feeling, those are the feelings that we chase as players,” Louis said.
During his first three CFL games, Louis saw 11 targets, but caught just four balls for 48 yards, partially due to some drops. He didn’t even catch a pass in the Roughriders Week 7 win versus the Toronto Argonauts. The way he handled the zero in the reception column was noticed by his QB.
“He didn’t have a catch last week and he did not complain one time. He never was pouting in the locker room or anything, he just stayed encouraging, stayed positive and that’s what happens when you’re patient,” Fajardo said.
“It was a matter of getting myself back being used to those moments, being in big games and making plays to help our team win. That’s been my main goal, be there for Cody, make plays for him to build confidence,” Louis said.
Saskatchewan’s football operations department and coaching staff kept the faith in Louis because he was consistently making standout plays in practice. Head coach Craig Dickenson believed it was just a matter of time before the play-making transferred into games.
“We knew he had it in him, he just needed to get some confidence,” Dickenson said.
Louis looks to follow his best performance in Canada by becoming a mainstay in the Riders line-up.