Brandon Bridge shines as QB

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - MUR­RAY MCCORMICK mm­c­cormick@post­media.com twit­ter.com/mur­raylp


HAMIL­TON “Air Canada” fi­nally took flight for the Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers.

The owner of that nick­name, Brandon Bridge, started at quar­ter­back Friday when vet­eran Kevin Glenn was scratched due to a bruised right hand. Bridge then led the Rid­ers to a 27-19 vic­tory over the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hor­tons Field.

Glenn suf­fered the in­jury in the third quar­ter of the Rid­ers’ 48-28 loss to the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers on Sept. 9.

Bridge, who hails from nearby Mis­sis­sauga, Ont., com­pleted 21 of 31 pass at­tempts for 231 yards and three touch­downs in his first start for Saskatchewan.

Bridge, 25, was the first Cana­dian-born quar­ter­back to start for the Rid­ers since Van­cou­ver’s Eric Guthrie in 1977. With Guthrie at quar­ter­back, the Rid­ers de­feated the Tiger-Cats 38-28 at Tay­lor Field.

Friday’s game was Bridge’s sec­ond-ever CFL start. He started Nov. 8, 2015 with the Mon­treal Alou­ettes over the vis­it­ing Roughrid­ers. The Rid­ers pre­vailed 30-24 in over­time.

On Friday, Saskatchewan’s de­fence did its part to help out Bridge, forc­ing five Hamil­ton turnovers and the Rid­ers scor­ing 17 points off the turnovers.

Saskatchewan de­fen­sive back Ed Gainey recorded two picks and has eight in­ter­cep­tions in the last five games.

Naa­man Roo­sevelt (22 yards), Bakari Grant (nine yards) and Devon Bai­ley (nine yards) all scored touch­downs for the Rid­ers, who im­proved to 6-5. The Tiger-Cats fell to 2-9.

The Rid­ers opened the scor­ing at 11:54 of the first quar­ter on a 15yard field goal by Tyler Crapigna to grab a 3-0 lead.

Saskatchewan was in po­si­tion to score a touch­down af­ter Mike Edem re­cov­ered a fum­ble on Hamil­ton’s five-yard line. Hamil­ton re­ceiver Mike Jones lost the ball af­ter a hard tackle by Saskatchewan’s Jeff Hecht.

Short-yardage quar­ter­back Ver­non Adams Jr. was be­hind cen­tre for the next two plays, but ac­tu­ally lost two yards be­fore Crapigna kicked the field goal.

In the sec­ond quar­ter, Bridge led the Rid­ers on a six-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a touch­down strike to Bai­ley to give the Rid­ers a 9-0 lead. Crapigna’s con­vert put the Rid­ers ahead 10-0 at 3:03 of the sec­ond quar­ter. Bridge com­pleted five of six passes dur­ing the drive.

Saskatchewan’s Kacy Rodgers II forced Hamil­ton’s sec­ond fum­ble of the first half, which was re­cov­ered by Tobi Antigha on the Tiger-Cats’ 31.

Four plays later, Bridge found Bakari Grant in the end zone for a nine-yard touch­down pass. The Rid­ers led 17-0 af­ter Crapigna’s con­vert at 6:16 of the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Tiger-Cats fi­nally got on the score­board when Jeremiah Ma­soli con­nected with Jalen Saun­ders on a 36-yard touch­down strike. Ser­gio Castillo’s con­vert re­duced Saskatchewan’s lead to 17-7 at 9:57 of the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Rid­ers an­swered Hamil­ton’s touch­down with a 42-yard field goal by Crapigna at 13:14 of the sec­ond quar­ter and led 20-7.

The Tiger-Cats closed out the scor­ing in the first half with a 19yard field goal by Castillo at 14:52. The Rid­ers led 20-10 at the end of the first half.

The Tiger-Cats com­mit­ted their third turnover of the game in the third quar­ter when Gainey stepped in front of a Ma­soli pass at­tempt.

Three plays later, Bridge con­nected with Roo­sevelt on a 23yard touch­down pass. A suc­cess­ful con­vert by Crapigna gave the Rid­ers a 27-10 lead at 5:35 of the third quar­ter.

A 51-yard field goal by Castillo at 10:23 of the third quar­ter re­duced Saskatchewan’s lead to 27-13.

Just 28 sec­onds into the fourth quar­ter, Castillo hit on a 37-yard field goal. Castillo con­nected on a 19-yard field goal at 12:08 of the fourth quar­ter. The Rid­ers led 2719 af­ter Castillo’s field goal.

The Rid­ers with­stood a late charge by the Tiger-Cats in the fourth quar­ter when Ma­soli’s last­gasp at­tempt at a touch­down was in­com­plete.

The next game for the Rid­ers is Sept. 24 when they play host to the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers.


Rid­ers de­fen­sive tackle Makana Henry was fined an undis­closed amount by the CFL on Friday for a lead­ing with the crown of his hel­met on a hit on quar­ter­back Dan LeFevour in the loss to the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers … Rid­ers have outscored their op­po­si­tion 63-10 in the first quar­ter of their last five games … Duron Carter had a streak of six con­sec­u­tive games with a touch­down re­cep­tion snapped on Friday af­ter in­jur­ing an an­kle in the first quar­ter. Carter had tied the Saskatchewan record of six games with a touch­down re­cep­tion shared by Hugh Camp­bell and We­ston Dressler. Carter suf­fered an an­kle in­jury early in the first quar­ter.


Devon Bai­ley, right, cel­e­brates the Roughrid­ers’ first touch­down Friday against the host Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats with team­mate Bakari Grant.

The Tiger-Cats’ Luke Tasker makes a catch as the Roughrid­ers’ Crez­don But­ler closes in on him Friday night at Tim Hor­tons Field in Hamil­ton.


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