Taylor made for a loss

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

REGINA -- The Renegades paid heavily for their numerous crimes yesterday.

They were guilty of objectionable conduct and pass interference and holding and offside and illegal formation ... and a lousy offence.

The price, ultimately, was a 36-22 pounding at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in front of 24,410 at Taylor Field.

"It seemed like every time we did something positive we took some type of penalty and we were left in a first and 20 (situation)," said Renegades coach Joe Paopao. "They connected on those and we didn't."

With their ninth defeat in their last 11 games, the Renegades blew a chance to move past the third-place Hamilton Ticats, who now have a game in hand and a one-point lead on the Renegades in the crawl for the final playoff spot in the East. But if the season were to end today, neither team would qualify for the post-season.

Instead, the Roughriders would get in via the crossover format, since even though they are in fourth place in the West they have a better record than both Hamilton and Ottawa.

Yesterday, Ottawa was penalized 18 times for 157 yards. Saskatchewan drew seven flags for 65 yards.

"We killed ourselves with penalties," said Renegades quarterback Kerry Joseph, who completed 18-of-29 passes for 193 yards, along with two costly interceptions. "And we didn't make the plays we had to make."

Yet at halftime, the Renegades were still very much in the game when the score was 15-15. Their two TDs to that point came courtesy of the defence and special teams. First, rookie Anthony Collier made his second big play in two games by sacking Saskatchewan QB Henry Burris and knocking the ball free for Reggie Givens to run 26 yards into the end zone. And then with time running down in the second quarter, Kyries Hebert burst threw to block a Paul McCallum punt. The ball popped into the arms of Gerald Vaughn, who ran it back 30 yards for the score.

The Ottawa offence didn't hit paydirt until Joseph found former Gee-Gees star David Azzi with a 16-yard TD toss with 2:58 left in the game.

PICK TURNS TIDE

The Renegades started the second half on the right foot, too, as Joseph ran the first snap 34 yards to the Saskatchewan 45. However, the very next play he was picked off -- a spectacular interception by Santino Hall -- and the momentum then turned decidedly in the home team's favour.

The Roughriders marched downfield for the go-ahead touchdown -- a drive that was aided by a questionable pass-interference call on Bo Rogers that was ignored by the official closest to the play.

"That was brutal," said Paopao. "I'm the first one to say if we're guilty of something, flag us, but that was terrible. Did it cost us the game? I'd like to think not."

No, their inability to sustain any type of drive did.

Offensively, the Renegades had 16 first downs (compared to Saskatchewan's 29) and 294 total net yards (compared to Saskatchewan's 439).

Asked what the problem with the offence was, a frustrated Joseph said: "I have my own opinion on that, but I'll keep it to myself."

And now, the Renegades have a bye week to lick their wounds. When they return, it will be against Saskatchewan at home Oct. 9. They have four games left, and now are in a position where they almost have to win every one of them to make the playoffs.


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