Give the Calgary Stampeders an inch and they’ll take a mile.
That was a lesson learned the hard way the last time the Saskatchewan Roughriders played the Stampeders.
Those little mistakes, according to defensive back Jovon Johnson, were also evident two weeks ago against Edmonton so they’ve been front and centre as the Riders prepare to face the undefeated Stamps again.
“We just got to be disciplined, just make sure we pay attention to details and are where we’re supposed to be,” Johnson said.
The Riders know how costly it can be to them when they don’t. They gave up 24 points in the first quarter the last time the Stamps were in town – a deficit that despite strong play in the other three quarters was too big to overcome.
“We had some penalties, a couple turnovers and they got a big punt return for a touchdown so it just kind of put us behind the eight ball way too soon in the game,” Johnson explained. “But the good thing is we showed promise. We fought back and got it within a touchdown and that just goes to show that if we don’t give them 24 points in the first quarter we got a chance to win.”
The Roughriders held the Stampeders off entirely in the second quarter and allowed them just ten more points in the second half. The final score was 34-22.
“We know that we’re that close to beating them. If you take away the first quarter of that last game it looks like a completely different game,” Johnson said.
“We just got to make sure we play more plays than them and make a lot less mistakes then we did the first time we played them and we’ll be fine.”
A sentiment echoed by head coach Chris Jones, who said they’re working on the little things, but really they aren’t so little.
“There are no little things, the little things that you’re speaking of end up being big things because that’s what end up costing you football games. So we’ve got to do a good job of hanging on to the football, securing the football,” Jones said, adding there aren’t too many secrets between these two teams given it’s been less than a month since they played each other last.
“It’s not like they’re going to completely change their offence because they played us (three) week ago. You got certain plays that you run and guess what, you’re going to run those week in and week out.”
“You’re going to have little wrinkles here and there,” he added. “You just got to weather the wrinkles.
Game time is at 5 p.m. Sunday evening at Mosaic Stadium. The Green Zone pre-game show begins at 3 p.m.
Riders depth vs. Calgary pic.twitter.com/ccXcCtornS
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) August 18, 2018
What’s the roster going to look like tomorrow vs. the Riders?
Take a look at our position chart ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/UDtjgwxiDh
— Calgary Stampeders (@calstampeders) August 18, 2018