The big story to start the season was a six-game winning streak, but the big story has now shifted to the untimely injuries.
With so many injuries to the offense, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have been unable to maintain their success and have now lost their last two games. This includes a 27-10 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos tonight.
The game was tough to watch, with the offense unable to move the ball at all and the defense tiring from being on the field for so long. Here is a quarter-by-quarter recap of the game.
The game started off slowly, which was to be expected after two weeks off for both teams. The Riders' first possession was a two-and-out, while Edmonton was forced into their own endzone, ultimately ending in a safety by kicker Noel Prefontaine.
The Riders strengthened their lead with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Crandell to Weston Dressler, and punter Jamie Boreham made it 10-0 on the following kickoff after kicking the football through the endzone.
The Eskimos got a quick touchdown on a broken play when running back A.J. Harris ran 37 yards into the endzone, going the exact opposite way he was supposed to. The Eskimos went into the second quarter only down by three.
The second quarter started off with a Lance Frazier interception off a Ricky Ray pass, but the Riders were unable to capitalize after Luca Congi missed a 49-yard field goal kicking into the wind.
The Eskimos were able to take the lead this quarter on the strength of an eight-yard touchdown catch by Kamau Peterson and nine-yard field goal from Noel Prefontaine.
The third quarter was relatively quiet as both offenses looked absolutely awful. The Riders got a scare as it looked like another important player, Maurice Lloyd, went down with a knee injury. Fortunately for the Riders, Lloyd came back three series later.
The Esks were able to get a 43-yard field goal from Prefontaine for the only scoring that happened in the quarter.
The fourth quarter has been very good for the Riders this year, but today that was not the case. The Eskimos got seven points off of two field goals and a single while the Riders were shut out. Edmonton was able to score 27 unanswered points after the Riders started the game off very promising.
Crandell played absolutely terrible, going 7-for-24 in pass attempts for only 134 yards and one touchdown. He had been replaced by Steve Jyles when the expected happened—Jyles was knocked out of the game in the last minute. This made him the third quarterback to be injured this year and he will likely have to join Darian Durant on the injured list.
Something must be done about this losing streak. Sure, Saskatchewan has a lot of injuries, but only Chick is expected back soon while Flick and Fantuz should be available later in the season. The Riders must go back to their winning ways so they give themselves a shot at a repeat once their star players come back.