There were no network outages for the Riders on Friday night at Mosaic Stadium as they defeated the Ottawa Redblacks by a score of 28-13.
The win was Saskatchewan’s second solid victory in a row over a team they should beat quite easily, which is something they haven’t always had the easiest time doing. The Riders have had a tendency to make games far more interesting than they should be.
As usual, there’s plenty to talk about after this one, so here’s the good, the bad, and the dumb of the Riders’ fourth win of the season.
There was lots of good from Friday’s game, but was there any one thing that completely stood out? I’m not sure.
More or less, we saw the kind of game plan we should expect from the Riders in order for them to be successful.
Once again, it wasn’t the most explosive night from the offence, but the unit was efficient and they played their heavy style to a tee. Both running backs — Jamal Morrow and Frankie Hickson — ran the ball well, allowing the team to find their rhythm and get the offensive line moving forward rather than backward.
What the offence did do well this week, compared to last week against the Alouettes, was completing the big play.
Cody Fajardo and company took a few shots downfield last week but nothing really materialized. This week, Duke Williams, Morrow, Kian Schaffer-Baker, and Justin McInnis all completed receiving plays over 20 yards.
A complementary offence that uses the run to open up big plays — and big plays that open up the underneath stuff — could make the Riders a dangerous offence come November.
For a while, it was looking like I’d have to be nit-picky about something. The offence was a little sluggish at times, the special teams units probably gave up a few more yards than they’d like.
Then all hell broke loose and boy did things go downhill in a hurry.
Late in the fourth quarter, often-penalized defensive lineman Garret Marino delivered a low, dirty hit on Redblacks’ quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, knocking him out of the game. The penalty was bad enough.
For reference, here was the hit on Ottawa QB Jeremiah Masoli.
— Spring Football Zone (@SpringFBZone) July 9, 2022
Then Marino got up, celebrated, and flexed after a clear and obvious egregious penalty?
Naturally, that did not sit well with the Redblacks’ bench as a brawl between both teams nearly broke out.
Marino was rightfully kicked out of the game for the play and was assessed a 25-yard major foul.
Then, to make it even worse (if that’s possible), he held his helmet up in celebration as he left the field.
Just pure dumbass-ery.
The Riders had committed fewer than 20 yards in penalties through the first 53 minutes of the game. It could have been the Riders’ least-penalized game of the Craig Dickenson era.
Instead, we had probably the absolute worst moment of lack of discipline in the Dickenson era.
If the CFL doesn’t do the job for Dickenson, then it’s time for the coach to finally send a message about this kind of stuff. Marino should not be on the field for the Riders next week in Toronto, maybe even the week after if he does end up suspended.
Dickenson also foolishly kept Fajardo in the game after all of this. I didn’t expect Ottawa to retaliate but it certainly wasn’t a risk worth taking with the game out of reach.
We’ll end the look at this week’s game on a little more of a lighthearted note.
Sometimes, the dumb is a minor detail in a game. While we much prefer pure chaos around here, we appreciate the dumb in all of its forms.
In the third quarter, Redblacks’ offensive lineman Dino Boyd (great name) was called for procedure.
What’s so great about it? Well, head ref Andre Proulx — the league’s best official — was so on the call, that he actually missed grabbing his flag on the first attempt, throwing nothing.
Being the pro he is, Proulx easily got the flag out before any confusion about the play could happen.
Props to Proulx, the league’s best official. Yes, I’ve said it again and will keep saying it until you all believe me.