Argos and Riders square off in Week 2 action

Jul 1, 2015 - 2:32 PM Regina, SK (Sports Network) - For the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the 2015 season might be over just as quickly as it began, with the news that starting quarterback Darian Durant has been lost for the rest of the campaign with a ruptured Achilles. Now the Riders see what they are made of as they entertain the Toronto Argonauts in Week 2 action at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Durant, who guided the Riders to the 2013 Grey Cup title on their home field, appeared in just 10 games a season ago due to injury, so this situation is nothing new for Saskatchewan by any means.

Last year the Riders had the weakest passing attack of any team in the league, registering only 3,521 yards while completing 56.8 percent of their attempts. The squad's 77.3 percent efficiency rating was the result of having just as many aerial touchdowns (18) as interceptions, while being the only team with less than 300 completions.

Saskatchewan was hoping to return to prominence with Durant back at the helm, but now the squad will have to resort to Plan B yet again and that means calling on Kevin Glenn to pick up the pieces.

After Durant completed 13-of-18 passes for 165 yards and two majors in a 30-26 home loss to Winnipeg to start the campaign, Glenn stepped in and converted 13-of-18 as well, but he generated just 120 yards and was intercepted once, without the benefit of a TD.

Jerome Messam scored on a 53-yard run in the third frame and finished with an impressive 75 yards on just four carries, while Anthony Allen was credited with 102 yards on 11 rushing attempts, one of those stretching for 47 yards.

Unfortunately, in addition to losing Durant the Riders also hurt themselves with 14 penalties for 105 yards.

While the Roughriders were losing their starting quarterback, the Argonauts were already kicking off the campaign with their star signal-caller watching from the sidelines. Ricky Ray, who threw for a league-high 4,595 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2014, has been placed on the injured list following off-season shoulder surgery, pushing a young Trevor Harris into action last week.

Even though he was filling rather big shoes, Harris did not disappoint as he guided the team to a 26-11 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos at SMS Equipment Stadium at Shell Place in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

In just his second CFL start, Harris, now in his fourth season, missed on only three of his 27 pass attempts, leading to 347 yards and three touchdowns. His 88.9 percent completion rate ranks as the second-best single-game effort in Toronto history and was more than enough to earn the quarterback recognition as one of the top CFL performers of the week.

In those two career starts, Harris has hit on 50-of-63 for 628 yards and five majors, against just a single interception.

Even though they ran just five more offensive plays than Edmonton, the Argos generated a hefty 484 yards of offense, compared to 259 for the visitors in the neutral-site affair. Luckily for the Argonauts, 19 penalties for a loss of 125 yards were not enough to keep the team out of the win column.

Chad Owens, still one of the most exciting players in the league, tied for the game high with seven receptions, leading to a game-best 99 yards, adding another 60 yards on five punt returns, although he was also charged with a lost fumble along the way.

The other fumble by the Argos was accredited to running back Brandon Whitaker who carried the ball 14 times for a game-high 117 yards to keep the Edmonton defense on its toes. Whitaker, in his first game for Toronto after signing as a free agent on June 21, had just one 100-yard game all of last season for Montreal.

The teams will meet once more during the regular season in Week 7, with Toronto playing host the second week of August.

Last season the Argos crushed Saskatchewan in the second week by a score of 48-15 at home, but the Riders returned the favor just three weeks later in similar fashion, 37-9.

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