Lions 19 Roughriders 17
REGINA — Ryan Dinwiddie took a big step forward in assuring he will be Saskatchewan’s back-up quarterback this season in the Roughriders’ 19-17 pre-season loss to the B.C. Lions on Sunday.
Dinwiddie led Saskatchewan to both of its touchdowns while completing 13-of-19 passes for 141 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“It felt awesome,” said Dinwiddie, who came into the game late in the first quarter. “I thought I’d be a bit rustier but it felt good commanding the offence and running the show. I wasn’t happy with my game, but I thought I played okay.”
The third-year quarterback, who missed most of last season after being released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, came out firing during his first series late in the first quarter.
Down 10-0, Dinwiddie connected with Chris Getzlaf twice and Andy Fantuz before missing Prechae Rodriguez twice to set up a 45-yard field goal attempt, which was missed by Luca Congi.
After Saskatchewan’s defence stuffed B.C. quarterback Casey Printers on a third-and-inches gamble, Dinwiddie led the Riders to a four-play, 29-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a nine-yard pass to Jason Clermont.
During his next series, the Riders quarterback found Rob Bagg for a nine-yard scoring play that was highlighted by a crushing block by Getzlaf on Hamid Mahmoudi that sprung Bagg to the end zone.
Dinwiddie brought Saskatchewan inside B.C.’s 20-yard line again during Saskatchewan’s final drive of the half, but that ended after he was picked off by Tad Crawford at the eight-yard line.
B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay then led the Lions downfield and set up a 43-yard Paul McCallum field goal that cut Saskatchewan’s lead to 14-13 at halftime.
The first-year Rider said he will learn from his last drive to improve in next week’s pre-season game in Calgary.
“I just have to go out there and take care of the football a bit better,” said Dinwiddie. “Obviously next week we’re going to see some more coverages and see some more stars, so we just have to go out there and protect the football. We always say we want to end every drive with a kick here. I have to do better than that.”
Cole Berquist, who is also competing for the No. 2 position in Saskatchewan, completed 7-of-9 passes for 102 yards during his two series.