Roughriders drop their fourth straight at home

Calgary defeats Saskatchewan 45-35
Reported by Jamie Nye
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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have dropped to a 1-6 record after their latest loss at home.

The Roughriders were dumped 45-35 by the Calgary Stampeders. The Roughriders are now 0-4 at home and continue to struggle to find their game.

The Stampeders rode a 31-14 half time lead and held on in the second half aided by a 117-yard interception return for a touchdown by Keon Raymond.

Roughriders Head Coach Greg Marshall says they are closing in on rock bottom and his assessment of the defense was blunt.

"Well let's see. We didn't tackle anybody, we didn't make plays when they threw it. Basically, they did whatever they wanted to do offensively."

The Stampeders were able to score four touchdowns and one field goal on their first seven possessions before the Roughriders started to dig in their heals, although it was too little too late.

Self critiquing

After the game Marshall addressed the team and gave them some homework.

"The first thing I asked them to do was to take a look in the mirror, as we all have to do, and be honest with yourself. Are you doing everything you need to do to be successful? This is a tough business. If you're not prepared to play each and every week to play at your top level then you're not going to be successful."

Marshall added he's getting the team prepared the way he believes will get the team ready to play but it hasn't transferred over to game time.

Linebacker Mike McCullough was left near speechless after the team's third straight loss.

"I've never seen it like this in my nine years here. It seems like we're shooting ourselves in the foot and we're not getting any of the bounces that we may have gotten in the past. We seem to play 30 minutes of football a game and that's not going to get it done."

Running back Hugh Charles had his own theory on what the team's missing.

"We don't have that one leader to really yell and scream to get us hyped. We have (Barrin Simpson) and he does his part. But we need more guys to be that leader and to get us motivated."

The key play

The one play that stood out as a reason for the loss was a 6-yard pass from Darian Durant to Efrem Hill that ended up in the arms of Keon Raymond. Raymond completed the play roughly 20 seconds later when he crossed the goal line after a 117-yard run.

The play was the fourth longest interception return in league history and made it a 38-14 game, rather than a 31-21 score if Hill would have been able to catch the touchdown toss.

"It was a rub play for the outside receiver and we didn't get the rub that we needed," explained quarterback Darian Durant.

Head Coach Greg Marshall added, "they had pretty tight coverage and Darian tried to squeeze it in and over threw it ... (Raymond) made a good play, he came off his man and caught the overthrow. After that it was a race and he won."

Building blocks

Charles was one of the players that gave the offense hope their woeful season may be slowing turning. Charles scored three touchdowns and had a combined 154 yards from scrimmage.

Receiver Efrem Hill was also a bright spot on offense with a career game, collecting 11 catches for 177-yards.

Edited by News Talk Radio's Jamie Nye.

This story was first reported on Aug. 12, 2011, at 10:36 p.m.