Waterloo Region Record

Regina rides roughshod over Redblacks, 40-18

- CRAIG SLATER Important news never stops. Subscribe at therecord.com/subscribe

REGINA — The Saskatchew­an Roughrider­s and Ottawa Redblacks are continuing to go in opposite directions.

Three first-quarter intercepti­ons by a vindictive Riders defence helped the home team build an early 20-0 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish in a 40-18 Canadian Football League victory over the reeling Redblacks on Saturday.

Saskatchew­an has now won five in a row, while Ottawa lost for the seventh time in eight outings.

“We always want to get at least three turnovers in a game. We always place emphasis on that,” said Riders defensive back Ed Gainey, after his team improved to 6-3. “We were able to come out tonight and start fast and put the offence in good position to do their thing.”

Nick Marshall, L.J. McCray and Derrick Moncrief picked off Ottawa starter Dominique Davis on the Redblacks first three possession­s.

Those turnovers quickly turned into points for Cody Fajardo and the Riders offence. William Powell and Fajardo each rushed for touchdowns and Brett Lauther added two field goal as the Riders jumped out to a commanding lead.

“It was just a tough game for me out there,” Davis said. “No formula to it. I just didn’t have a good game.”

“If we take care of the football, which we did the rest of the way, then I think you’re going to see a game that’s pretty toe to toe,” added Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell. “We were trying to fight our way back and we couldn’t fight all the way back.”

If there was any hope for the Redblacks, trailing 25-15 midway through the third quarter, it was quickly dashed.

After Lewis Ward’s fourth field goal brought Ottawa to within 10, Fajardo guided the Riders on a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped by a 15-yard touchdown catch from Naaman Roosevelt.

Fajardo was 6-for-6 passing for 71 yards on that drive. It was Fajardo’s first touchdown pass since July 27 and Roosevelt’s first touchdown reception of the season.

Fajardo completed 24-of-36 pass attempts for 241 yards and one touchdown to go along with his rushing major. He is 6-2 as a starter this season.

More importantl­y for Saskatchew­an, that scoring drive was a knockout blow.

“The momentum was shifting and we definitely needed that drive. That was huge for us,” Roosevelt said. “Cody did a great job moving his feet and buying more time … he came running to my side and made a great throw and I just wanted to catch the ball for him.”

Five consecutiv­e wins has moved the Riders into a secondplac­e tie with the Edmonton Eskimos in the West Division.

Ahome-and-home series with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers beginning next Sunday has Saskatchew­an sniffing first place in the division. They’re four points behind Winnipeg heading into Labour Day.

Ottawa, on the other hand, slipped further from playoff contention. The Redblacks (3-7) will use the upcoming bye week as an opportunit­y to decide who will start at quarterbac­k when the team returns to action Sept. 7 versus Toronto.

Davis was pulled after his third intercepti­on. He was 3 for 6 on pass attempts for 23 yards. Jonathon Jennings replaced Davis.

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