Bad first quarter sinks Riders

Cody Fajardo can’t do it every week.

For the second straight game, Fajardo tried to engineer a game-winning drive as the clock wound down, but while successful in B.C last week, he couldn’t get it done this time as a 3rd down pass was intercepted by Jonathan Moxey at the Calgary 5 to preserve a 23-17 victory in a game Calgary led 14-0 after one quarter.

The last drive only occurred after a series of events that saw the Riders recover not one short kick but two.  Kian Schaeffer-Baker recovered an onside kick, but an illegal interference call would require a re-kick to which Brett  Lauther shrewdly collected his own kick, giving Saskatchewan a chance at an unlikely win.

When it was over, Fajardo voiced his frustration over the inability of his receivers to make contested catches.

“50-50 balls are our nemesis.  I watch everyone else throw these balls up and make catches, and I’m obviously a little frustrated right now, but it’s one of those things when I throw it up its either picked or an incompletion.” Fajardo said. “We have to work so hard for touchdowns because the deep ball isn’t there.  We have 10 play drives or 11 play drives and you see us stall out because its hard for us to maintain that every time.  That’s the frustrating thing about not connecting with deep balls down the field.   I have to play much better and I think our receivers fought really hard, but that’s the one weakness in our game is the 50-50 ball.  The guys are making good plays but we just can’t come down with those 50-50 balls and that’s a hard pill to swallow for me.

Head Coach Craig Dickenson agreed that the receivers do need to step up and make some plays, but added Fajardo needed to make some plays as well.  He felt the start needed to be better and had a blunt assessment as to how his team had played.

“The reality is we didn’t play well.” Dickenson said. “We had to start faster because we knew Calgary was going to come out with a lot of energy and a lot of emotion and then we just watched them score twice on us.”

The green-and-white are now 5-3 on the season while Calgary is 3-5. The two teams meet next Saturday in a 5 o’clock start at Mosaic Stadium.



More from 620 CKRM