George Alexander sports column  

George A Portrait thumbnailAnd the crowd goes wild! Yes, Riderville was jumping for joy after Tyler Crapigna canned a late game winning, 53 yard field to give Saskatchewan a narrow 30-29 victory over Ottawa just this past Friday. Winless no more, the Riders will look to make it two in row versus an equally inept, Montreal Alouettes this coming Friday in La Belle Province.

There’s even more good news on the Riders injury front as starting QB, Darian Durant is already back on the practice field. It seems Durant’s ankle may still be a little wonky so expect super sub Mitchell Gale to be starting under center. This is certainly no huge drop off as Gale has put up some good numbers in almost two full games with the Riders now.

The Riders offence is nothing to laugh about so far this season. Despite having the CFL’s worst ground game, the passing game is coming along quite nicely under strong play by the offensive line. Stud wide out, Naaman Roosevelt is turning into one the league’s best. Roosevelt, ranks fourth in CFL receiving yards. Eliminate short yardage running gaffes and the Riders “O” may be considered practically potent.

Saskatchewan’s defence on the other hand has been quite woeful by most accounts this season. The Riders rank near the bottom in most defensive categories. The defensive line is simply not getting enough pressure on opposing QB’s and the secondary has been torched on numerous occasions. Hopefully, things will tighten up starting this Friday in Montreal.

Special teams play has been super on the kicking side for the Riders. Tyler Crapigna has been nothing short of sensational. He tops the league in in the place kicking category. The Riders hope, Kendial Lawrence can pick up the pace in the return game.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders sit at 1-3 at the moment but things can change for the better real quick. Montreal will be tired and beatable coming off a short week loss to Toronto. Back to back games with Calgary in the following two weeks will be in the inevitable measuring stick for this new look CFL club.  There’s no doubt, optimism abounds in Riderville.

 

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