Roughriders struggles continue with 38-13 loss to Hamilton

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-8) grabbed the lead early and never looked back on Saturday as the Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-10) suffered their fifth straight loss, 38-13.

Tiger-Cats quarterback Matthew Shiltz came in relief of Bo-Levi Mitchell and led the Tiger-Cats with a pair of touchdowns.

Wide receiver Tim White had 128 yards receiving.

Running back James Butler had 105 rushing yards.

For Saskatchewan, RB Jamal Morrow had 120 rushing yards and a touchdown.

QB Jake Dolegala was 15/26 for 154 yards.

Game Recap

Saskatchewan’s defence created the first turnover of the game. C.J. Reavis knocked the ball loose from Ti-Cats RB Sean Thomas-Erlington’s grasp. Micah Johnson recovered the fumble for Saskatchewan.

The Roughriders couldn’t capitalize with points, with punter Adam Korsak pinning the Tiger-Cats at their ten-yard-line.

Hamilton quickly flipped the field with an 88-yard reception from Tim White. Omar Bayless opened the scoring on the next play with a yard touchdown reception.

On the next possession, the Roughriders defence was able to redeem themselves by forcing a safety. Mitchell was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, giving the green and white their first points of the game.

Saskatchewan began moving offensively to end the first quarter, but their momentum ended to start the second quarter. A rush attempt from Morrow was stopped by Tiger-Cats LB Jameer Thurman, resulting in a loss of yards.

Shiltz replaced Mitchell at quarterback and quickly led Hamilton on a scoring drive ended by Bayless recording his second touchdown catch.

Hamilton continued their offensive onslaught with a 79-yard drive on five plays, ending with an eight-yard touchdown from Thomas-Erlington.

The teams traded turnovers, but the Tiger-Cats added a field goal to extend their lead to 25-2.

Saskatchewan showed their first signs of life on offence on their final drive of the first half. Faced with another third-down gamble, Morrow broke through this time for a 32-yard touchdown.

Fittingly, the rushing touchdown came with 34 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

The kicking game provided all the points in the third quarter with Korsak adding another rouge. Marc Liegghio padded the Tiger-Cats lead, while Brett Lauther connected for a 42-yard field goal.

Liegghio opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with another field goal.

In his final series of the game, Dolegala, was sacked for the third time on the night, and in the process fumbled the ball, turning into another turnover for the Roughriders.

Mason Fine would replace Dolegala at quarterback.

The switch wouldn’t provide a spark as Fine threw an interception.

Kai Locksley added a late touchdown for Hamilton.

Post-Game Comments

Following the game, Head Coach Craig Dickenson was embarrassed with Saturday’s result.

“Probably the low point of my five years here, ” said Dickenson. “For some reason we just laid an egg, at the worst possible time, in front of our alumni, in front of George Reed’s family.”

Dickenson said the Roughriders lack of tackling and physicality is making it easy for their opponents.

“Teams are sensing that, it like’s blood in the water and they’re pouncing on it.”

The Riders Head Coach says the team’s lack of confidence is evident right now.

“We had a good week of practice, we had as much motivation as possibly can have, and we went out and couldn’t do a darn thing.”

Saskatchewan has now dropped their last five games, and Dickenson noted since their first loss, the Labour Day rematch in Winnipeg, the Roughriders defence hasn’t been the same.

“We went into that game and got blasted, I thought we could wash it and it just lingered, whatever they (Winnipeg) did that game, it seems like we haven’t been able to overcome that.”

Morrow said it was dejected Roughriders locker room after the game.

“Disappointed, disgusted, I don’t know I could keep going on and on.”

He added the Roughriders were not playing with any confidence which was disappointing on a night where they honoured George Reed and the 2013 Grey Cup championship team.

“We go out and play with no type of energy, no time of excitement and it’s really disappointing.”

With the loss, the Roughriders will now head into Calgary to meet the Stampeders on Friday. A win by the green and white and they would clinch a playoff spot. If the Stampeders get the win, than they are in control for the final playoff spot in the Western Division.

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