3 Key Points
- Mario Alford remains with Saskatchewan Roughriders following a one-year contract extension.
- Alford’s 2023 performance includes multiple records with second-highest punt return touchdowns in the CFL.
- In CFL history, Alford is one of the few to achieve a ‘Trifecta’ with touchdowns from kick, punt, and missed field goal returns in a single season.
Saskatchewan Roughriders Secure Alford for Another Season
REGINA – American receiver and return specialist Mario Alford will stay with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, as the team has secured his services with a one-year contract extension announced Thursday. Avoiding the free agency route, Alford chose to remain with the team for the 2023 season.
Alford’s Record-Breaking 2023 Season
Throughout the last season, Alford (5’9″, 182 lbs) delivered a sterling performance for the Roughriders. Playing in all 18 games, he returned 88 punts for 978 yards, showcasing his remarkable skills with a 107-yard touchdown in Week 16. His season was punctuated with three punt return touchdowns, which not only ranked him second in the league but also tied the Roughriders’ season record for punt returns.
All-Purpose Yardage Leader
Alford amassed an impressive 1,181 kickoff return yards, the third-highest in the team’s history, and closed the season with a total of 2,266 all-purpose yards. His consistent performance earned him a notable position as third in the league and a spot as a West Division All-Star. After his mid-season trade to Saskatchewan in 2022, Alford’s impact on the field was immediate, resulting in his recognition as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.
Mario Alford’s Mark on CFL History
During his time with the Roughriders, Alford achieved the ‘Trifecta’ – scoring touchdowns from a kick return, punt return, and missed field goal return in a single season. This accomplishment is a rare feat, making Alford the first Roughrider and only the fifth player in CFL history to achieve it.
Prior Accomplishments and Experience
Before joining the Roughriders, Alford contributed significantly to the Montreal Alouettes over two seasons, with standout performances that included 26 punt returns for 486 yards and three touchdowns. His career also included a stint with the Toronto Argonauts, where he made seven receptions for 57 yards, alongside notable kickoff returns. Alford continues to demonstrate his value as a dynamic player in the league.
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