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Roughriders Recap: Saskatchewan 25, Winnipeg 12

What a wonderful time of year it is, with the first game of the preseason now complete between the Roughriders and Blue Bombers, there will be CFL football all the way until late November.

The Green and White started their 2024 campaign on a very positive note, defeating the Bombers 25-12 Monday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium. You never want to overreact to pre-season football, but you would rather the team look good than bad, and the Riders looked great.

Patterson Pushing For Playing Time

The quarterback who played the most and looked the best was second-year man Shea Patterson. The 27-year-old didn’t throw an incompletion, finishing the day 3/3 for 52 yards and a touchdown.

He showcased an ability to move around in the pocket, escaping pressure and making a nice sidearm completion for a first down. The Toldeo, Ohio native also showed he can read the blitz, throwing a strike to Ajou Ajou for a touchdown while he was under diress. The former Michigan Wolverine numbers who have looked much better if it wasn’t for an Ajou offside, as he connected with KeeSean Johnson on a picture perfect deep-ball.

Patterson was mainly used as the short-yardage quarterback last season, but he looked comfortable doing more than that in this game and has been getting rave reviews out of training camp.

The Ajou Show

The best receiver for the Green and White was none other than seventh-round rookie Ajou Ajou. The 22-year-old caught four balls for 62 yards and the aforementioned touchdown, where he celebrated ten yards outside of the endzone.

Ajou and Patterson seemed to develop a rhythm, and if performances continue like this throughout camp (Ajou has been getting great reviews as well) you’ll be seeing a lot more dancing from the Brooks, Alberta native.

Picks A Plenty

The defence as a whole looked fantastic, but American rookie linebackers Diego Fagot and Zakoby McClain stood out. Both men were physical, fast, looked massive out there (Fagot is six-foot-three, 240 pounds, McClain is six-foot-three, 230 pounds) and both snagged interceptions. The 24-year-old McClain had the ball thrown right to him, while the 26-year-old Fagot made a nice read and contorted his body for the interception.

Both linebackers are pushing for playing time as spots are up for grabs in the back seven.

Dominant D-Line

The most impressive position group was the defensive line and it wasn’t even close. The unit as a whole allowed under 50 rushing yards and had all three Winnipeg quarterbacks running for their lives.

Lake Korte-Moore, Habakkuk Baldonado, Miles Brown, and Tre’ Crawford all registered sacks, while R.J. McIntosh, Caleb Sanders, Sidney Houston Jr, and Malik Carney all made an impact.

Lauther Error

It’s preseason for everyone including kickers as it wasn’t Brett Lauther’s best performance. It was an uncharacteristic shaky performance from the Truro, Nova Scotia native, only going 3/5 on field goal attempts and shanking an extra point.

There isn’t another kicker on the roster so Saskatchewan still has the utmost confidence in the 33-year-old (as they should).

Saskatchewan will wrap up their preseason on Saturday, May 25 in Edmonton, before opening the official 2024 campaign two weeks later once again in Edmonton on Saturday, June 8.

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Coty Wiles
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