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Roughriders end slump by edging Elks 34-23 in Edmonton – Edmonton


Having a respite will certainly serve Saskatchewan well.

Midfielder Cody Fajardo ran a few touches and passed for another as the Saskatchewan Roughriders emerged with a 34-23 CFL win over Edmonton Elks on Saturday.

Elks head coach Chris Jones said: “I think we played our best, but we weren’t very smart. “You have to do things the right way. You can’t miss the missions and penalties and expect to win the big ball games. “

“In the second half we took a couple of really big penalties and we had a turnover or so we couldn’t make the touchdown. We ended up shooting and then, unfortunately, we took the late penalties and we had to pay with a ball game. “

The Roughriders (5-4) lost three games in a row before having a week to say goodbye and return with a win over Edmonton.

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“Any win is a good win,” said Saskatchewan line-up Darnell Sankey. “We came out here and got the win on the road, which is an achievement.

“We understand that we cannot underestimate any team, especially now. We drew 4-4 and it was great to get the win. We know we are the better team and that’s why we came here and won. This definitely lifted our spirits.”

Fajardo feels like the break helped ease his injured knee, as he actually led his team in the rush yards on the night with 51.

“I took a few pictures on it and didn’t feel anything,” he said. “I was able to run pretty well and move around in my pocket.

“To be able to feel like myself again and get my legs back is going to make it a little easier for those ahead and make for some big plays. Right now I’m feeling pretty good. “

The Elks (2-7) have now lost 12 consecutive home games at Commonwealth Stadium, a disappointing run that stretches back to 12 October 2019.

After Saskatchewan scored a punt single in the opening game, Edmonton hit back with full-back Taylor Cornelius choosing to run on his own on a broken play for a 10-yard touchdown.

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Fajardo responded in kind towards the end of the opening round with a one-yard dash to put the Drivers back to the front.

Brett Lauther, the Roughriders’ striker, hit a shot from 34 yards to start the second game.

Edmonton looked ready to regain the lead, but Cornelius fumbled to clear the ball from Saskatchewan’s 5m50 line, while Rider Charleston Hughes recovered the ball.

The teams then exchanged goals on the field, with Elk Sergio Castillo taking one from 38 yards and Lauther making from 46.

The Elks took the lead when Cornelius himself took another ball into the bottom area, contesting the ball from 26 yards with 31 seconds left in the first half.

However, Saskatchewan will regain the lead before halftime in the next game when Mario Alford hits the ball 98 yards from the ball to give his team a 21-17 lead.

The halftime break was extended because of a nearby lightning strike.

Edmonton conceded another single, the only point in the third inning.

Castillo started the fourth half with a 44-yard goal, and added a 46-yard goal shortly after being intercepted by Nafees Lyon to give them a one-point advantage.

“I hit a block, but the boys were aggressive on the sideline and passed after that and we found a way to score two more touches after that,” Fajardo said. “It means a lot when you make a mistake and your teammates back you up.”

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The Riders regained the lead with four minutes left when Fajardo found Duke Williams in the bottom area with a 24-yard TD pass. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Edmonton attempted to switch, but Cornelius was picked out by Rolan Milligan, leading to a six-foot QB keeper for Fajardo to touch the ball.

Both teams will return to action next Friday when the Elks travel to Ottawa and the Roughriders host the BC Lions.

Canadian Press





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