Hewitt Commentary: Riders blast Argos in first home game of 2019 season
Saskatchewan Roughriders wide receiver Christion Jones (22) runs the ball as Toronto Argonauts linebacker Nelkas Kwemo (12) grabs onto his jersey during second half CFL football action in Regina on Monday, July 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Published Tuesday, July 2, 2019 8:06AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, July 2, 2019 10:19AM CST
A two-hour lightning delay did not dampen the spirits of the devoted fans who remained for the second half of the Riders’ home opener on Monday night.
That’s because the 1-2 Roughriders thoroughly entertained the faithful during a 32-7 drubbing of the 0-2 Toronto Argonauts.
The Riders were exciting to watch on offense, defense and special teams — and every fan got their money’s worth, even those who left during the long weather delay.
Rider QB Cody Fajardo threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns. No picks.
No, the 430 is not a typo, 98 of those yards came on a sensational pass and run TD to Kyran Moore that electrified both the crowd and team.
The Roughriders are starting to become Cody’s team now, you can see it and feel it.
The offensive line played very well as did the receivers.
How tough is Rider centre Dan Clark? He got rolled up on, was screaming, but somehow never missed a play. Former Saskatchewan Head Coach Rueben Berry used to call it Saskatchewan Tough.
That’s Dan Clark in a nutshell.
Rider running back William Powell made the most sensational 11-yard run I think I’ve ever seen.
Rider defensive coordinator Jason Shivers called a great game allowing his defensive players to get more pressure on the quarterback, in this case Argos James Franklin. Two picks were a result. Anytime you limit another CFL offense to only 7 points you are doing something right.
Argonaut left tackle William Campbell must have thought he was watching a horror movie, try as he might, he could not block Charleston Hughes.
The 35-year-old looked like a spring chicken out there, as if he was being shot out of a cannon, with two sacks - he could have had five.
Because Micah Johnson is being constantly double teamed, it’s opening things up for others.
Cameron Judge has 22 tackles already this year while Derrick Moncrief just seems to be everywhere - covering the field and making plays.
Anytime you win 32-7 you are pleased — the Rider players looked like they were having fun, they seemed happy, you could see them jelling as a team as the game progressed.
There are several other things I noticed Monday night.
Argo tackle William Campbell thought he was watching another horror story when he saw Gainer's new outfit.
Anytime Andre Proulx is not working as the game referee it’s a bonus.
Rider third string QB Bryan Bennett looked pretty good on special teams.
Towards the end of the long weather delay, Rider Head Coach Craig Dickenson came out solo to the team bench, to check equipment - he was given a big cheer from the 200 or so fans that were the first to come out from shelter.
For about 200 people it was loud.
Some of the entertainment on the big SaskTel MaxTron has really improved from a year ago.
Even though it is now in its third year, I’m still not taking the new stadium for granted.
Don Hewitt started covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders for CKCK-TV in 1979.