The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ recent dominance over the Edmonton Elks continued on Saturday.
Mitchell Picton’s touchdown reception in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference, as the Roughriders held their own in the Canadian Football League’s young season with a 26-16 win over the Elks, their sixth consecutive win over Edmonton.
“It was a tough game, we knew it was going to be tough,” said Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo, who threw for 247 yards.
“We knew they were going to be ready to play in their first home game, but we will never apologize for how we found a way to win. We found a way to score in the fourth quarter to win the football game and I feel like that’s what we’ve been doing the last two years.”
The Roughriders are 2-0 after also beating Hamilton in their first game.
The Elks fell to 0-2 after losing 59-15 in their first game to the BC Lions, and are now nine games without a win at home. Edmonton went 0-7 last season at Commonwealth Stadium.
“We didn’t play well enough defensively to win the football game, and we made enough mistakes in both the kicking game and offense that we didn’t allow ourselves to win the football game,” said head coach and coordinator Elks defensive end Chris Jones. “When you play like we play, you don’t deserve to win.
“We have to play sharper football. We are taking some steps, we have a good dressing room”.
Saskatchewan scored a 50-yard field goal by Brett Lauther on their opening drive.
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Edmonton came within a yard of offense in the first quarter.
There were no more touchdowns until midway through the second, when Lauther kicked an 18-yard field goal.
After Edmonton’s Matt Thomas recovered a fumble from a missed field goal at the Saskatchewan 23-yard line, quarterback Nick Arbuckle found Kenny Lawler for a five-yard touchdown pass to put the Elks up 7- 6 with three minutes remaining in the second frame.
Saskatchewan responded quickly with an unconverted touchdown of their own with less than a minute left in the first half, when Jamal Morrow scored on a 2-yard run.
The Elks opened the third quarter with a 12-yard field goal by Sergio Castillo, who then added a 30-yarder to close out the third.
Lauther put his team back in front with a 41-yard field goal five minutes into the fourth. Castillo made it 16-15 for Edmonton with a 37-yard shot midway through the fourth quarter.
The Roughriders responded quickly with Fajardo’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Picton, who also stumbled on the 2-point conversion.
“He had a good game,” Dickenson said of Picton, who caught four passes for 56 yards. “It was good to see him have some success. He has been polishing it for three or four years in a row.”
Saskatchewan looked to close out the game soon after after a forced fumble by AC Leonard, but Lauther missed a 44-yard field goal. However, he quickly got another chance and nailed it from 21 yards out.
However, there was some bad news for the Riders at the end, as veteran offensive lineman Dan Clark had to be carried off the field after suffering a lower-body injury.
Both teams are on the road next week, as the Riders head to Montreal on Thursday and the Elks are in Calgary on Saturday.
the canadian press