Riders weather the storm in win over Elks

EDMONTON — In a game that saw multiple momentum swings and lead changes, the Saskatchewan Roughriders came out on top over the Edmonton Elks on Saturday night by a score of 34-23.

Seventeen points were scored in the final 45 seconds of the first half alone as the two teams swapped leads.

One of the biggest plays of the game and the one that regained the Riders’ advantage as they hit the locker rooms at halftime was a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Mario Alford.

» Box Score: Elks, Riders by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Saskatchewan at Edmonton
» Recap: Riders defeat Elks with late-game push


“It was just one of them plays, one of our favourite return plays and we executed it well and guys blocked well and I just made the right read and it ended up in a score,” Alford told 620 CKRM post-game.

“We’ve got some big games coming up these next couple weeks so we’re just going to work hard and grind in practice and just stay level headed,” he continued. “Don’t get too high, don’t get too low and come out, be ready.”

Alford, who is no stranger to the end zone with three career punt return TD’s got there for the first time on a kick return. He took three kickoff returns for 160 yards and had 32 yards on four punt returns on Saturday.

While gnarly weather caused an extended halftime break, Riders’ head coach Craig Dickenson was pleased with how his group stayed the course to win the game.

“Out of nowhere that wind and that storm started moving in so I felt like this was a perfect storm in a lot of ways for us to not play well and to not respond, but the guys just got their nose to the grindstone and they just pushed,” Dickenson said. “I felt like that fourth quarter they refused to get beat and I really give them a lot of credit. That was a gutsy, much needed, good win.”

The Riders will look to build off of this win as they host the BC Lions on Friday night in their Week 11 matchup.

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