CFL: Roughriders End RedBlacks Season In Eastern Semi-Final

OTTAWA, ON – The Ottawa REDBLACKS’ 2017 season came to an end on Sunday afternoon at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who brought their A-game to TD Place and earned a 31-20 win in the East Division Semi-Final.

Riders running back Marcus Thigpen ran the show for Saskatchewan, racking up 169 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while veteran Saskatchewan quarterback Kevin Glenn threw for 252 yards and a touchdown.

Ottawa’s offence never quite found its rhythm on the afternoon; though Trevor Harris ended with 457 pass yards and a pair of touchdowns. He had a career-high 60 attempts on the afternoon connecting on 37 of them and was also picked twice on the day.

The visitors opened the scoring on a methodical six-play touchdown drive capped by a 29-yard touchdown connection from Glenn to Bakari Grant. Riders kicker Tyler Crapigna’s convert made it 7-0.

Harris and co. responded on the second play of their first offensive drive, as the REDBLACKS pivot bombed a 56-yard pass to Diontae Spencer for a major; Harris then lofted a successful two-point convert to Juron Criner.

The slugfest continued, as Glenn plunged in for a touchdown from the one-yard line; Crapigna’s convert gave the Riders a 14-8 lead.

A one-yard second-quarter touchdown on a Vernon Adams Jr. sneak and Crapigna’s subsequent convert sent the visitors to the locker room with a 21-8 lead.

Momentum then swung twice in the span of five third-quarter plays; REDBLACKS special-teamer Keelan Johnson forced a Rider fumble — recovered by teammate Serderius Bryant at the Sask. 22 — on a Christion Jones punt return. Ottawa could only manage a field goal, and the Riders’ first play on the following drive turned into a slicing, dicing 76-yard Thigpen touchdown.

Crapigna’s convert made it 28-11.

REDBLACKS kicker Brett Maher and Crapigna swapped field goals later in the third quarter.

An early-fourth-quarter interception from former REDBLACK Jovon Johnson deep inside the Saskatchewan half on a floated Harris pass sealed Sunday’s result.

Harris found Juron Criner for a garbage-time touchdown, but it proved to be much too late for Rick Campbell’s men, who were well-beaten on the afternoon by the red-hot Riders.

Saskatchewan will now advance to face the Toronto Argonauts in the East Division final next weekend.