In the end, it was a 44-41 win for Ottawa. Ottawa moved to 2-0 to start the season. Saskatchewan dropped to 0-2.
But what a difference two months makes.
Since that game, the Riders have been rolling and Ottawa has rolling down the standings.
The loser that night has now won five of their last six and Cody Fajardo has established himself as the team’s number one quarterback.
The June 20th loss was Fajardo’s first start of the season replacing the injured Zach Collaros.
For Ottawa, somehow the season has gone south since they held off the Riders that night. Ottawa has lost six of their last seven games.
It’s gotten so bad in Ottawa they’ve reconfigured the offensive coaching staff by promoting veteran coach Joe Paopao to play caller.
The REDBLACKS offence scored 32 and 43 points in their first two games and the offence has been unable to contribute 20 points in any game since then.
People are already writing off Ottawa in the second meeting of these two teams in Regina.
There is no doubt the test will be massive but after showing the CFL they can score and pile up points and yards early in the season, you have to believe they have it in them to do it again.
The problem is they face the improving Roughriders.
Fajardo is getting handed keys to a truck, t-shirts are being made for him, and his jersey sales are going up by the win.
But it’s not only Fajardo’s play that needs to be noted, the Riders defence is finding their groove.
The hard hitting, ball hawking, and scoring defence has arrived after a slow start to the season. They were not happy with their game after Davis threw for over 300 yards in Week two and have given up only one other 300-yard game in their six games since.
So that’s what happened then and since. However, the future is much more important for these teams.
The Riders have climbed their way into the race for first in the division, while the REDBLACKS have stumbled their way in to a race just to make the playoffs.
Saturday provides a chance for Ottawa to regain their footing. Yes, the first priority is the offence to get going. There was much made of the playmakers that left Ottawa in the off-season and those losses have been noticeable lately.
Finding game breakers is what they need. It appears they’ve found a serviceable running back in John Crockett who has averaged 5.6 yards a carry.
But the play of their receivers has been inconsistent. Dominique Rhymes is their only receiver on pace for a 1,000 yard season and Brad Sinopoli has been unable to find any chemistry with his new quarterback.
Cody Fajardo and the Roughriders have trended upwards since their last meeting with Ottawa (The Canadian Press)