Cody Fajardo threw three TD passes and ran for another as the Saskatchewan Roughriders clinched a CFL playoff berth with a convincing 41-16 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday night.
Saskatchewan (9-4) earned its seventh straight victory over Toronto (2-11) and eighth in nine games overall. The Riders also improved to 5-0 coming off the bye the past two seasons and 6-2 this year against East Division rivals.
Fajardo was 23-of-27 passing for 278 yards while rushing 11 times for 80 yards as Saskatchewan secured a CFL playoff spot for a third consecutive year. And just for good measure, he found Emmanuel Arceneaux on a 55-yard touchdown pass with 6:39 to play to put the Riders ahead 34-10.
Toronto (2-11) lost for the fifth time in six games and dropped to just 1-6 at home this season. James Franklin, making just his second start of 2019, was 21-of-30 passing for 209 yards with a TD and two interceptions while being sacked six times.
Franklin gave the BMO Field gathering of 12,406 something to cheer about with a 15-yard TD pass to S.J. Green at 5:20 of the fourth that cut Saskatchewan’s lead to 27-10.
He added a one-yard TD run at 13:09 to cut Saskatchewan’s lead to 41-16.
Franklin started Toronto’s 32-7 road loss to Saskatchewan on July 1 but suffered a hamstring injury in that game. McLeod Bethel-Thompson took over under centre, posting a 2-8 record.
Fajardo had 430 yards passing with two TDs while running for another in the home win over Toronto. On Saturday night, he cemented the win for Saskatchewan with a touchdown pass, then run, in the third quarter.
Fajardo found Shaq Evans on an eight-yard strike just 4:28 into the frame after Nick Marshall recovered a Chris Rainey fumble at the Toronto 27-yard line. Then Fajardo capped a 66-yard, nine-play scoring march with an eight-yard touchdown run at 10:23 to give Saskatchewan a commanding 27-3 advantage.
Kyran Moore and Bryan Bennett scored Saskatchewan’s other touchdowns. Brett Lauther had two field goals and five converts.
Tyler Crapigna booted a field goal and convert for Toronto.
Lauther’s 39-yard field goal at 13:29 of the second earned Saskatchewan a 13-3 half-time advantage. It came after Fajardo found Moore on a 28-yard TD strike at 8:47.
Fajardo had a solid opening half, completing 13-of-16 passes for 148 yards and a TD while rushing six times for 35 yards. Franklin completed 9-of-13 attempts for 102 yards but also had an interception and was sacked three times.
Lauther opened the scoring with a 14-yard field goal at 6:47 to cap a 71-yard, 12-play march on the game’s first possession. Toronto countered with Crapigna’s 13-yard boot at 10:02 at the end of a 69-yard, seven play drive.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2019.