TORONTO - Kory Sheets and Weston Dressler scored third-quarter touchdowns to power the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a decisive 36-10 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Monday.
Sheets's season-high 48-yard TD run at 9:29 put Saskatchewan ahead 29-10 and brought "Let's Go Riders," chants from the Saskatchewan faithful within the Rogers Centre gathering of 25,176.
Sheets also surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau on the play.
Darian Durant cemented the win at 11:25 with a 78-yard TD strike to Dressler, the Rider slotback's league-leading 10th touchdown catch this season.
After Dressler scored, the Saskatchewan fans erupted out into a "Let's Go Riders,'' chant again with their club comfortably ahead 36-10.
Saskatchewan (8-6) earned its fifth win in six games to move into a second-place tie with Calgary in the West Division. Durant finished 21-of-29 passing for 276 yards and a TD to improve to 6-2 versus Toronto and 3-1 at Rogers Centre.
Saskatchewan faces the fourth-place Edmonton Eskimos (6-8) on Saturday in an important West Division showdown.
Starter Jarious Jackson fell to 1-1 replacing injured Argos starter Ricky Ray (knee) after leading the squad past Winnipeg 29-10 on Sept. 29. Jackson finished 16-of-31 passing for 162 yards with a TD and interception before giving way to rookie Trevor Harris in the fourth. Toronto (7-7) was also minus running back Chad Kackert (ribs), with rookie Gerald Riggs Jr. starting in his place.
Their absence definitely showed as Toronto's offence was unable to muster any sort of consistency, forcing the defence to spend too much time on the field. It marked the third time this year the Argos have scored 10 or less points in a game.
Despite that, Toronto remains in contention for top spot in the East Division.
On Sunday, Toronto hosts Montreal (8-6) — which lost 27-22 to Winnipeg on Monday — in a crucial contest for both teams. Not only will the winner assume first place but also win the season series 2-1, which is important because in the event of a tie, the first tie-breaker is head-to-head record.
Drew Willy had Saskatchewan's other touchdown. Sandro DeAngelis booted three converts and five field goals.
Riggs Jr. scored Toronto's touchdown. Swayze Waters kicked a convert and field goal.
DeAngelis booted field goal of 12 and 48 yards in the final minute of the opening half to stake Saskatchewan to a 19-10 advantage, thanks in large part a stout Argos' defence.
Saskatchewan's Brandon West opened the game with an 81-yard kickoff return to the Toronto 23-yard line. The Riders settled for a field goal but blew a glorious scoring chance when Eddie Russ dropped a certain pick-six on the Argos' first offensive play.
Willy scored on a one-yard TD run at 6:00 of the first, which was set up by Taj Smith's 56-yard catch to the Toronto three-yard line. On the Argos' second possession, Jackson's pass went through Dontrelle Inman's hands to Mike Bradwell, who made the nine-yard catch. But Riggs was ruled to have fumbled following a seven-yard gain, which Saskatchewan's Tyron Brackenridge recovered.
The Argos managed just 19 net yards offensively in the first yet Riggs's five-yard TD catch at 4:39 of the second pulled them to within 13-10 before being outscored 23-0 from that point on.
NOTES — Receiver Brooks Foster, defensive back Tristan Jackson, offensive lineman Alex Krausnick-Groh and defensive lineman Keith Shologan didn't dress for Saskatchewan. Cornerback Ahmad Carroll, receiver Ken-Yon Rambo, defensive lineman Derrick Summers and offensive lineman Joel Reinders were Toronto's scratches. For Carroll, a former NFL first-round draft pick, it marks the second straight game he was a healthy scratch. . . . With Waters (thumb) unable to handle third-down snaps, backup linebacker Kyle Jones punted. He handled field goals and punts while at Bishop's. DeAngelis also assumed punting duties for the Riders after incumbent Chris Milo suffered an apparent ankle injury in the first half. . . . Brad Smith, the former Argos receiver who is now starring in "The Bachelor Canada," performed the ceremonial opening kickoff. . . . Willy played at Rogers Centre in the '09 International Bowl with the University of Buffalo, which lost 38-20 to UConn.