Fajardo and Riders' offence sputter in 37-10 loss to Stampeders
Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo (7) is pulled down by Calgary Stampeders defensive end Chris Casher (96) during first half CFL action in Regina on Saturday, July 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith
Published Sunday, July 7, 2019 12:44PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, July 10, 2019 7:57AM CST
The Roughriders did not have an answer for the surging Stampeders as the Green and White were toppled 37-10 at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday night.
After two blazing weeks from the offence, quarterback Cody Fajardo came back to earth tossing two picks and managing just 89 yards through the air. The pivot said the pressure from the Calgary defence contributed to his rough night.
“[They] got me uncomfortable early,” said Fajardo. “A couple things went their way, they got some turnovers and anytime you turn the ball over the way we did tonight you’re going to lose football games.
Rider’s Coach Craig Dickenson said playing a physical game was a focus at practice this week, however his team did not live up to his expectations on either side of the ball.
“We certainly emphasized being physical all week and we didn’t come out very physical,” Dickenson told reporters after the game. “I know their message to their guys all week was run the football and be physical, and we just didn’t answer it.”
The mistakes piled up for the Riders in the second half.
The defence could not take advantage with the Stamps pinned down on their own 2 yard line, negating the field position just a play later on a 40 yard pass interference penalty on defensive back Solomon Means. The Stamps continued their drive down the field and eventually added a score through the air to Eric Rogers.
Fajardo’s struggles behind centre continued, eventually leading to him being replaced by Isaac Harker with 12 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. Fajardo took responsibility for the loss after the game, but Dickenson said no single person is to blame for the 27 point home loss.
“The reality is it’s a team game, this one is on all of us, coaches players, everybody. He didn’t play his best game and he knows it,” said Dickenson. “He’s a competitive kid, he wants to take responsibility for it, but the reality is it’s on all of us.”
The Riders inefficiency on the offensive side of the ball led to a productive game for the Stampeders defence. Defensive back Tre Robison recorded two interceptions, and took one to the house for six points to help seal the game.
Nick Arbuckle was able mange the Stampeders offense in Bo Levi Mitchell’s absence, keeping the ball moving and adding one score through the air. He had a noticeable connection with fellow second stringer Michael Klukas. The pair connected four times for 68 yards on the night.
Defensive back Derrick Moncrief attributes the loss to poor execution on that side of the ball, and for him the difference between the two squads on Saturday night was straight forward.
“We just tackle well didn’t tackle well, we didn’t play fundamental football. Those guys executed their plays better than us and they came out on top.”
Solomon Elimimian had a quiet night in his first game back and said the team still has lots of work to do to get the to their mid-season form.
“It’s still early in the season, there’s a lot of things we need to improve on, a lot of things that we will improve on,” said Elimimian. “I’m not panicking, I don’t think any of the guys are panicking.”
The Roughriders head into the bye week with a 1-3 record. The team will be back at Mosaic Stadium on July 20 for a contest against the BC Lions.