Roughriders final tune-up ends with a 28-16 win over the Blue Bombers

The Saskatchewan Roughriders did not register two points on Friday night, but there were a lot of positives in their 28-16 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

It was an impressive start for Trevor Harris in his only series of the night as he ended up going 4/4 for 72 passing yards and a touchdown. Harris first pass of the night was a quick completion to Wieneke that yielded a first down for Saskatchewan.

The first second down pass attempt from the Riders starting quarterback saw him step up from the pressure inside the pocket and delivered a pass to Shawn Bane Jr. who was able to scoop the ball from the turf and hang on for a first down.

Saskatchewan ended the opening drive with Derel Walker picking up his second reception of the night for a five-yard major.

The touchdown signaled the end of the night for Harris, paving the way for Mason Fine to take over at quarterback.

Like Harris, Fine was able to find the endzone with a five-yard toss to Kalija Lipscomb on a corner route to give Saskatchewan a 12-3 lead.

Fine ended his night 9/13 for 86 passing yards with a touchdown as he saw action in both the second and third quarters.

Winnipeg closed the gap to 21-16 before Jake Dolegala led the green and white down the field on a drive that was finished off by Shea Patterson with a quarterback sneak to give Saskatchewan a 28-16 advantage, that would prove to be the final score.

Patterson carried the ball eight times for 38 yards.

Dolegala was 5/6 for 49 yards, he also carried the ball three times for 23 rushing yards.

Brett Lauther got off to a slow start with a pair of missed converts and a missed field goal attempt, but he was able to rebound with three straight field goals (51,22,33).

Walker had a solid night with three catches, 45 receiving yards and a touchdown.

On the ground, Javian Hawkins led the way with ten carries and 42 rushing yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Roughriders pass rush registered three sacks, with Brian Cox Jr., Jerry Garner Jr. and Cody Roscoe each collecting one.

Linebacker Kolby Harvell-Peel had three defensive tackles.

Saskatchewan ends the preseason schedule with a pair of wins after they picked up the victory against BC last week.

After the game, head coach Craig Dickenson didn’t want to read too much into the Riders victory since Saskatchewan had more of a veteran presence on the field Friday night compared to Winnipeg, but he felt there were some good takeaways for the team.

“Be efficient on offence, be physical up-front on both sides of the ball and played a clean game, I felt we really were able to do all of that, so I was proud of the guys, I thought it was a good game. ”

Dickenson admitted that he originally wanted Harris to play longer than one possession but the Riders starting quarterback was able to accomplish everything he needed to do on Friday night in nine snaps.

“I just felt like that was everything I needed to see from him and we needed to make a decision on those other quarterbacks.”

Between Fine, Dolegala and Patterson, the Roughriders will keep two of three quarterbacks to sit behind Harris. Dickenson thinks the coaches and football operations staff are faced with a tough decision at the backup position and will spend some time deciding which players will fill out the quarterback room.

Walker agrees with the notion that the Riders will have to make a tough decision at quarterback with Fine, Dolegala and Patterson all making strong cases for the job.

“It’s going to be a tough decision for the guys in the front office but it’s always great to have that calibre of talent at quarterback because it pushes and makes everyone better. ”

Cox. Jr was happy with his efforts after the win in Winnipeg which included a sack.

“It’s just good being out there with the guys, running around out there, I know that it’s preseason and most of the stuff, the stats don’t count right now, but just looking forward to getting into the regular season and really putting everything on display and showing what I can do.”

The Roughriders will return to Saskatoon before they head back to Regina to begin the regular season. Saskatchewan opens up the regular season on Sunday, June 11 when they head to Edmonton and face the Elks.

Before they begin the season, the Roughriders will have to trim their roster from 75 players down to 46.

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