Jones keeps Roughrid­ers’ quar­ter­back carousel spin­ning

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - SPORTS - MUR­RAY MCCORMICK

Chris Jones has a rhyme and rea­son for his han­dling of the Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers’ quar­ter­backs.

All three of the Rid­ers’ quar­ter­backs saw ac­tion in Fri­day’s 37-12 CFL win over the Mon­treal Alou­ettes. Kevin Glenn started be­fore twice be­ing re­placed by Bran­don Bridge. Short-yardage spe­cial­ist Ver­non Adams, who is third on the depth chart, also took rep­e­ti­tions be­hind cen­tre.

Jones, who didn’t give the quar­ter­backs ad­vance no­tice of his plans, made the switches with an eye to­ward the play­offs and build­ing depth for the fu­ture.

“You have to be ready for what­ever,’’ Jones said after Fri­day’s game. “You never know when your op­por­tu­ni­ties are go­ing to come. Just when you think you have things fig­ured out, you don’t — as a coach or as a player. I had it in my mind how I was go­ing to do it (Fri­day) and that’s what we did.’’

Jones, as per usual, didn’t leave room for spec­u­la­tion re­gard­ing the Rid­ers’ start­ing quar­ter­back.

“Kevin Glenn is our starter and it’s a pretty sim­ple process,’’ Jones said. “We have three pretty good quar­ter­backs and I’m con­fi­dent in all three of them run­ning dif­fer­ent pack­ages.”

On Fri­day, Glenn led the Rid­ers to a 14-0 lead be­fore be­ing re­placed by Bridge on the first pos­ses­sion of the sec­ond quar­ter. Glenn thought he was done for the day when Bridge took over.

“When you go up 14-0 and he does that, I’ve been around long enough to de­ci­pher through things,’’ Glenn said. “That’s what I thought, but he never said any­thing.’’

Glenn played in the first and third quar­ters, com­plet­ing seven of 14 passes for 104 yards and touch­down passes to Chad Owens and Caleb Hol­ley. Bridge con­nected on 10 of 15 pass at­tempts for 124 yards and an in­ter­cep­tion while see­ing ac­tion in the sec­ond and fourth quar­ters. Adams didn’t at­tempt a pass, but rushed twice for 14 yards.

“The coach makes those de­ci­sions and I had no clue,’’ Glenn said. “As play­ers, you go with what the coach calls. He makes the de­ci­sion and that’s what you have to go with.’’

Glenn led the Rid­ers to three con­verted touch­downs and a field goal. Adams guided them to a con­verted touch­down. The Rid­ers had two field goals with Bridge in the game, al­though he had a touch­down pass wiped out when Bakari Grant pre­ma­turely cel­e­brated and was stripped of the ball at the one-yard line.

There were more than the quar­ter­backs in­volved in Fri­day’s win. Trent Richard­son led the Rid­ers with 20 car­ries for 127 yards and two touch­downs in his fourth CFL game. Chad Owens had nine re­cep­tions for 114 yards and a touch­down in just his sec­ond game with the Rid­ers.

De­fen­sive half­back Crez­don Butler led the de­fence with five de­fen­sive tack­les and two sacks. Corner­back Kacy Rodgers II had two knock­downs after be­ing side­lined by in­jury for the pre­vi­ous two con­tests.

Plus, Ed Gainey reg­is­tered his league­lead­ing 10th in­ter­cep­tion while play­ing for a de­fence that kept Mon­treal of­f­guard.

“We don’t pi­geon-hole our­selves into we’re go­ing to do this or do that (de­fen­sively),’’ Jones said. “We just see where the op­por­tu­ni­ties lie and take ad­van­tage of them.’’

Saskatchewan, which has al­ready qual­i­fied for the play­offs, will meet the vis­it­ing Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos on Nov. 4 in the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale for both teams.

Ed­mon­ton can fin­ish any­where from sec­ond to fourth in the West Di­vi­sion, whereas Saskatchewan can place third or fourth.

The Win­nipeg Blue Bombers can clinch sec­ond place in the West, and home-field ad­van­tage for a di­vi­sional semi-fi­nal, by de­feat­ing the host Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers on Fri­day.

If Win­nipeg wins, the Roughrid­ers and Eski­mos will be play­ing for third place on Satur­day.

In the event of a Win­nipeg loss or tie, Ed­mon­ton can claim sec­ond by de­feat­ing Saskatchewan. An Eski­mos loss in Regina would put Saskatchewan in third and Ed­mon­ton in fourth.

The fourth-place team in the West will cross over to the East Di­vi­sion and play ei­ther the Toronto Arg­onauts or Ot­tawa Red­blacks in the first round.

“I would much rather stay (in the West) and not travel out East for a long time,” Rid­ers de­fen­sive back Jovon John­son said.

“The way we’re play­ing right now, it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter which way we go. East or West, we will be a tough team to beat.’’

MICHAEL BELL / REGINA LEADER-POST

Saskatchewan quar­ter­back Kevin Glenn de­liv­ers a pass dur­ing Fri­day’s 37-12 win over the Mon­treal Alou­ettes.

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