Rider Nation can now pencil in either November 11th or November 18th for their next home game.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders clinched a home playoff game with a 35-16 win over the B.C Lions in a game where the team used the same formula it has for much of the season en route to a 12-6 record as the defence led the way with Zack Evans and Ed Gainey registering the team’s 10th and 11th defensive touchdowns of the year. Evans’ came on a one-yard fumble recovery after Lions quarterback Travis Lulay was sacked in the third quarter while Gainey’s came on an interception return of 42 yards.
The victory came with a price though as quarterback Zach Collaros had to leave the game early in the second quarter after he took a ferocious helmet-to-helmet hit from Lions defensive end Odell Willis. While Collaros did stay in the game to finish the series—one capped off by a 7 yard Tre Mason touchdown run, he left the game after for what head coach Chris Jones said were precautionary reasons. After the game, Jones believed his quarterback would be fine.
“He took a good shot, it was a head to head shot so out of precautionary reasons our trainers thought it was best to take him out of the football game.” Jones said.
The same could not be said for Mason who left with a lower-body injury in the first half. Jones said after the game that his future didn’t look good.
Without Mason, Cameron Marshall stepped up and ran the ball 19 times for 134 yards.
With the team having the bye in the last week of the regular season, they must now wait to see if the Lions can beat the Stamps in Vancouver on November 3. If they can, the Riders will finish first and host the Western Final November 18. If Calgary wins, they will finish first meaning the Riders would play November 11 at home in the Western Semi-Final against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
- The 12 win season is the most the Riders have had since 2008 and are the most they have had in a season since winning 11 in the Grey Cup winning season of 2013
- Brett Lauther had four field goals on the night to give him 54 on the season. Lauther was 54 for 60 on the season giving him a percentage of .900. Dave Ridgway still has the club record at .906. Lauther would have had the record, but a 47 yard attempt hit the upright.
- The touchdown by Zach Evans was his 2nd career and first as a member of his hometown Riders
- The Lions only had 180 yards in net offence