CFL Pass

Cody Fajardo runs in winning TD as Roughriders beat Tiger-Cats

REGINA — Cody Fajardo ran in the winning touchdown with under a minute to play as the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24-19 on Thursday.

The Roughriders scored 11 points in the last 3:16 of the fourth quarter to come from behind for the win. Fajardo capped a five-play, 42-yard drive with a five-yard TD run with 44 seconds remaining.

Fajardo completed 25-of-31 passes for 313 yards, and had 56 more on the ground to lead the Roughriders (4-3) to their third win in a row.

His top target on the night was receiver Shaq Evans, who finished with seven catches for 160 yards. William Powell also ran in a TD while Gabriel Ferraro booted three field goals.

Dane Evans made his first start for Hamilton (5-2) at quarterback in place of the injured Jeremiah Masoli. He went 19 for 29 for 196 yards with one touchdown and an interception.

Hamilton announced this week that Masoli will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.

Saskatchewan has won four of five games since beginning the CFL season 0-2, including a Week 1 loss in Hamilton against the Ticats.

The Riders controlled the first half, totalling 280 yards of total offence while taking a 13-6 lead into the break.

Evans struggled to find a rhythm in the first half. The Ticats generated only 90 yards of total offence with Evans going 8 for 11 passing for 81 yards and one interception.

The game’s momentum changed in the second half as Evans, making just his second CFL start, went 13-of-18 passing for 115 yards and one touchdown. A 29-yard field goal by Lirim Hajrullahu, his fourth of the game, gave Hamilton a 19-13 lead with 7:38 remaining.

Under Fajardo’s direction, the Riders responded to the challenge with the late heroics.

Luke Tasker was Hamilton’s top receiver, catching five passes for 97 yards. Anthony Coombs had Hamilton’s lone touchdown, scoring on a 13-yard reception in the first quarter.