Fans flock to Riders scrimmage

The Riders Green and White scrimmage was the closest the team will get to game action before the season opener. And it showed the Riders still have some work to do.

“Initially, I would say we need to get in better shape,” says Head Coach Craig Dickenson. “I think that was the one thing I noticed. We had a lot of guys that their tongues were dragging after one quarter.”

The team had planned to play four 10-minute quarters of offense versus defense. Officials, Maxtron operators and even Play92’s Mark Johnston were brought in to simulate home game conditions as best they could. But the team reduced the third quarter to just five minutes, and the final quarter to three minutes. A planned overtime shootout was abandoned altogether.

“Going back and forth and never getting a break was taking its toll,” says Dickenson. “I wasn’t surprised–I actually anticipated cutting it down. But I cut it down more than expected.”

Defenders intercepted three passes in the game and pressure from the defensive line was very noticeable. Rookie defensive tackle Garrett Marino was one who stood out.

“Garrett is a big, strong, physical football player. Jeremy (O’Day) has had his eye on him for a little while now. And he’s in the backfield all the time.”

All five quarterbacks got time under centre. Mason Fine led a long drive for a field-goal. And Paxton Lynch put together a nice drive in the second half. Ultimately the offensive units managed four field goals and punt single vs. the defensive units.

“I felt like we tried hard at times and we executed at times, but I thought when we got tired our execution suffered a little bit and I started seeing guys struggling to get lined up.”

The team will take the day off from practice tomorrow and return Monday. Dickenson says final cuts will be revealed on July 30th. So players have a full week of training camp to show they belong.

“And that’s what I told them in (the locker room),” says Dickenson. “‘If you felt like you didn’t play as well as you would have liked to have played, you still got a chance. Don’t lose hope, there’s still time.’”


Defensive back Jacob Janke suffered a knee injury during the scrimmage. Coach Dickenson says the team is worried that it’s a torn ACL and that he is “not optimistic”.

Receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert dressed and took warmups with the team, but didn’t play in the game. Coach Dickenson has said he expects Williams-Lambert to return from his hand injury (a cut), possibly on Monday.

Attendance for the scrimmage at Mosaic Stadium was reported at 2,882.

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