The Saskatchewan Roughriders clinched second place in the CFL Western Division with a 29-24 victory over the Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
The Riders will now host the Calgary Stampeders in the Western Division semifinal on November 28.
The Riders trailed 21-20 in the fourth quarter, but regained the lead when fullback Alexandre Dupuis scored on a four-yard pass from Cody Fajardo with 6:28 remaining in the game. It was the first career touchdown for the 31-year-old Dupuis, who is in his sixth season in the CFL.
The Elks cut the deficit to 26-24 on a 38-yard field goal by Sean Whyte with 3:12 remaining, but the Riders sealed the victory on a 27-yard field goal by Brett Lauther with 33 seconds left.
The Elks opened the scoring midway through the first quarter when Taylor Cornelius connected with Jalen Tolliver on a 24-yard pass. The touchdown came after Saskatchewan’s Jamal Morrow missed a punt, which the Elks recovered at the Riders’ 22-yard line.
Morrow immediately made up for his mistake by returning the 82-yard kickoff. It was the longest kicking return of the season for the Riders, and after an Edmonton penalty for a horse-neck tackle at Morrow, Saskatchewan started possession at the Elks’ eight-yard line.
After a short run by William Powell, Fajardo hit Kian Schaffer-Baker on a six-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7.
Fajardo followed with a 14-yard TD pass to Duke Williams early in the second quarter to increase Saskatchewan’s lead to 14-7. A safety by the Elks and a single by kicker Kaare Vedvik increased their lead to 17-7.
The Elks narrowed the gap to 17-14 late in the first half with Cornelius and Tanner Green combining on a five-yard touchdown pass. The scoring drive was eight plays and a Saskatchewan penalty with running back Walter Fletcher handling the ball in the first seven plays. He gained 41 yards on five carries and 15 yards on two receptions before Green scored the most.
In the third quarter, Lauther kicked a 22-yard field goal to give the Riders a 20-14 lead.
Edmonton regained the lead late in the third quarter when Tolliver caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Cornelius. The touchdown was set up two plays earlier when Tolliver caught a 30-yard pass on a play where the Riders appeared to have Cornelius trapped. The quarterback escaped the pressure and found Tolliver wide open on the floor.
Fajardo, who completed 12 of 16 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, finished 23 of 32 for 245 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
Williams had an impressive half, catching six passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. His longest reception of the half was 48 yards. He finished with eight receptions for 146 yards.
Cornelius completed 20 of 30 passes for 224 yards with three touchdowns and one interception after completing 12 of 18 for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
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Tolliver was Edmonton’s best receiver with five receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Fletcher added 88 rushing yards on 20 carries.
Pete Robertson and Deon Lacey had sacks for the Riders in the first half, while AC Leonard added his 10th sack of the season in the fourth quarter. Jay Dearborn came up with an interception on Edmonton’s last possession of the game.
Nafees Lyon had an interception for the Elks and Jake Ceresna had a sack.
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