Tyler Crapigna prides himself in being clutch in big moments in the game – and he was exactly that in the Roughriders win against the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday night.
Crapigna nailed a 53 yard field goal with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter to give the Roughriders a 30-29 lead. With help from the defence, the Riders were able to keep it that way earning their first win of the season.
“What an example of a team win,” quarterback Mitchell Gale said after the game. “Special teams picked us up there late, defence picked us up, offence – we made big plays. I think the reason why we hear so much noise in that room is number one it was our first win, but we won it as a team.”
Gale himself looked good early on in the game, moving the ball efficiently down field to Ricky Collins before setting Crapigna up for his first of five field goals. In Gale’s first CFL start he threw for 354 yards and a touchdown.
Gale reserved comment on his play until he could review the tape, but his number one receiver, Naaman Roosevelt didn’t hold back his opinion.
“I think he did awesome,” said Roosevelt, who finished the game with 8 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown. “He did a good job of just calming us down and just having the confidence. We just see the confidence he has … and we just want to go out there and make plays for him.”
Head coach Chris Jones was a little more tempered in his assessment.
“He did all right … I thought it played better in the first half than the second half, but credit to him, he’s a real calm guy.” Jones said.
But one of the biggest plays of the game didn’t come on offence but on special teams. In the second quarter linebacker Otha Foster blocked a punt that was picked up by Tevaughn Campbell for a touchdown.
“I knew the kick was going to be blocked and I kind of peeled out,” Campbell explained. “I tapped it once, didn’t get it, I waited for it, picked it up and I saw gold so I went for it,”
Post-game the players all mentioned the same thing, and that was a commitment to the process taught to them by head coach Chris Jones. Gale said they were more than aware that there was an 0-3 record hanging over their head going into the game, so to finally win a game was exciting for all of them.
“I don’t think you can put words on that for a club that’s as hungry to win as we are,” Gale said.
And while the win might have been a bit sloppy, Jones said that’s not how they’ll look back on it.
“We did just what we needed to do to win the football game … all the teams I’ve ever coached for there’s been some games like this where it wasn’t pretty, but it was still a ‘W’,” he said. “Ten years from now we won’t remember all them bad plays we’ll just remember the kick.” Jones said.
The kick that put a team that had been flirting with the win column for weeks over the edge.
“Every week we’re building more and more character,” Crapigna said. This is the start of something good. Hopefully we can roll with this now.”
- Naaman Roosevelt had his third game with over 100 yards – Friday he had 182.
- Justin Cox lead the team in tackles with six.
- The Roughriders got to the Redblacks quarterback 4 times during the game. Justin Capicciotti had two sacks while A.C. Leonard and Corvey Irvin had one each.
- Regina native and Redblacks defensive linemen Zack Evans showed well in his return to his hometown sacking Mitchell Gale three times.
- Redblacks star quarterback Trevor Harris was knocked out of the game early and did not return. Brock Jensen took his place.
- Tyler Crapigna went 5 for 5 on field goals.