Roughriders outlast Eskimos for win
The Saskatchewan Roughriders defense shut down the Edmonton Eskimos in a 17-1 win for the Riders.
Both offenses couldn't move the football as it was a day for the defenses until late in the game when the Riders ran away with it.
"We knew it was going to be a dog fight," said quarterback Darian Durant. "Hats off to our defense, they kept us in it."
With the game 7-1, Kory Sheets took off for a 34-yard touchdown with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter and solidify the Riders win.
Saskatchewan's defense was dominant from start to finish with six sacks on the night from six different players. The Riders also only allowed the Eskimos 137 yards of total offense in the game.
"I'm not trying to sound cocky or arrogant, I mean practice is harder than that," said defensive end Odell Willis.
The pass rush was something the Riders knew they would have to do better if they were going to have any success this year. So far, so good, with nine sacks through the first two games, however Head Coach Corey Chamblin says they will be pushed to do more.
"I told Hawk (Brent Hawkins), I think, on the fumble he got, he's like 'that's what you wanted.' I said 'no, I wanted to score'."
The Eskimos deployed both Steven Jyles and Kerry Joseph at quarterback as Jyles started both halves of football but ended up being yanked in the second and fourth quarters in favour of Joseph.
The Riders were able to get their offense a variety of ways, but Sheets was the only one to find the end zone.
"I felt some of us, mainly myself, was out there trying to do to much," said Sheets. "Once we buckled down, and went back to the basics and focused up, it pretty much opened up for us."
The rest of their points were off two Chris Milo field goals, two punt singles and a conceded safety.
The only point the Eskimos scored was a punt that went out the side of the end zone in the second quarter.
It wasn't all good news for the Riders tonight, offensive lineman Brandon LaBatte and receiver Sinorise Moss both left with injuries.
LaBatte did try to come back, but was eventually unable to.
"Didn't have the stability or the strength in it to be effective out there," said LaBatte.
LaBatte is hopeful that he will be able to play next week. There was no update on the condition of Moss.
The Riders improve to 2-0 on the season and face off against the B.C. Lions next week in a dual of the top two teams in the West Division.