July 4, 2024

Shea Patterson earns first win as a starter as Riders improve to 4-0

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are off to a 4-0 start for the first time since their championship season of 2013.

The latest victory — the third nail-biter of the young season — came at the expense of the Toronto Argonauts, who fell 30-23 at Mosaic Stadium on Thursday night.

Saskatchewan has won its first four games for only the fifth time in the post-Second World War era. The Roughriders were 4-0 in 1969 and 1970, 5-0 in 2013 and 6-0 in 2008.

In the latter year, Ken Miller became the first first-year Roughriders Head Coach to go 4-0. Corey Mace is now the second.

“I’m really proud of the entire team,” Mace said. “A lot of people had to step up.”

That includes cornerback Marcus Sayles, whose 54-yard interception-return touchdown at 8:34 of the fourth quarter snapped a 20-20 tie.

“We’re trying to make a statement this year,” Sayles said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

The Roughriders prevailed with quarterback Shea Patterson making his first CFL start. Patterson threw his first CFL touchdown pass — a 34-yarder to Samuel Emilus — and ran for a nine-yard score.

“There were a lot of emotions going into it, a lot of emotions through it, and a lot of emotions coming out of it,” Patterson said. “I’m just very excited and happy.

“I’m fortunate enough to be part of such a great team. We’ve got a lot of good men in that locker room. I think that was a testament to how we handled adversity today.”

Saskatchewan also created adversity for the Argonauts by forcing five turnovers, including four interceptions. The Green and White, which did not turn over the football on Thursday, now has a plus-10 turnover ratio after four games.

“It’s a team sport,” Mace said. “Everybody just knew that we had to rally. It was going to be a tough game and you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you. Defensively, I thought we did that, and I thought we did that in other aspects of the game.”

Brett Lauther kicked three field goals and three converts.

Rolan Milligan Jr. had two interceptions — his first multi-pick game since joining the Roughriders late in the 2021 season. His season total of three interceptions is already a career high.

“It’s about making plays,” Milligan Jr. said. “Everybody’s making plays when they’re coming to them. Nobody’s trying to do too much. Nobody’s trying to be the overachiever. We’re just making the plays that we’re supposed to make.”


Middle linebacker Jameer Thurman registered his fourth takeaway in as many games as the Roughriders.

On Thursday, Thurman had his league-leading third fumble recovery.

He also has an interception return — for a touchdown — this season.

Thurman added eight defensive tackles, including two for a loss, on Thursday.


• Saskatchewan’s A.J. Ouellette reached and exceeded the career milestone of 2,000 rushing yards along the ground. A 67-yard showing gave him 2,011. He signed with the Roughriders as a free agent in February after spending this first four CFL seasons with Toronto.

• Justin Herdman-Reed had three special teams tackles for Saskatchewan on Thursday.

• Milligan Jr. had the 122nd multi-interception game in Roughriders history.

• Saskatchewan has forced five turnovers in back-to-back games. The 10 forced turnovers are the Roughriders’ most over two games since 2022, when the Green and White forced five turnovers in each of the first two contests.

• The four interceptions were the most by Saskatchewan in a game since the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers were picked off five times on Sept. 8, 2018.

• Saskatchewan has an interception-return TD in back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 1 and 2 of the 2018 season.


The Roughriders are to return to action July 13 against the host B.C. Lions.



Tor — TD Grant 84 punt return (two-point convert attempt failed) 11:58

Korsak’s 54-yard punt was fielded by Grant and taken the distance

Sask — FG Lauther 48 10:55

Avery forced fumble and Thurman recovery gave Saskatchewan possession on Toronto’s 47


Tor — FG Hajrullahu 48

Dukes to Bailey for 18 yards on second-and-10 was a key play

Sask — TD Emilus 34 pass from Patterson (Lauther convert) 9:20

Roughriders marched 94 yards in eight plays before Emilus eluded three would-be tacklers en route to the end zone


Sask — FG Lauther 28 10:50

46-yard kickoff return by Alford was followed by six-play, 36-yard march

Sask — FG Hajrullahu40 7:49

Sayles had two pass knockdowns on Argos’ possession

Sask — TD Patterson 9 run (Lauther convert) 13:39

Roughriders marched 45 yards in five plays after interception by Milligan Jr.


Tor — TD Carey 3 run (Dukes pass to Bailey for two-point convert) 4:29

Argos moved 74 yards in 12 plays

Sask — TD Sayles 54 interception return (Lauther convert) 8:34

Pick-six was Sayles’ first in 86 CFL regular-season games

Sask — FG Lauther 11 11:47

Milligan Jr.’s second interception gave Saskatchewan a first down on Toronto’s 11-yard line

Toronto — FG Hajrullahu 42 13:04

Argos moved 35 yards in six plays to make it a one-possession game