Tale of two halves as Riders hang on to win season opener

Football is a 60 minute game. That is a lesson the Saskatchewan Roughriders came oh-so-close to learning in their season opener.

The Riders had a 32-9 lead at halftime, but they turned the game into a nail-biter as the B.C Lions came back only to see a potential game-winning drive snuffed out when A.C Leonard intercepted a Nathan Rourke pass to  preserve a 33-29 win.

Cody Fajardo’s 2021 debut was fantastic as the Riders quarterback completed his first 15 passes with two of those going for touchdowns.  He ended the night completing 28 of 35 passes for 230 yards. After the game, Fajardo admitted the team’s first game in over 600 days was a strange one.

” I don’t think I could have played that game in my head the way it went down.” Fajardo said. “The way we started and the way the second half went was something you don’t expect.  I just felt like I lost my rhythm, but I thought the guys did a great job. We found a way to win which builds character for us.”

Head Coach Craig Dickenson agreed that it was two different-looking football games.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to get through the game and have a few more than they did.” Dickenson said.

The Riders will take the next couple of days off and then get ready for a Week 2 encounter at home on August 14 against a Hamilton Tiger-Cats team that lost their season opener in Winnipeg.


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