REGINA — Macho Harris tied a Saskatchewan record with three interceptions in a game — bringing one back for a touchdown — as the Roughriders beat the visiting Montreal Alouettes 33-21 to earn only their second victory of the season.
Jerome Messam rattled off 111 rushing yards and scored one TD for Saskatchewan (2-11), which kept its slim playoff hopes alive. The Alouettes (5-7) failed to keep pace in a tight East Division in front of 30,843 fans at Mosaic Stadium.
Harris picked off Alouettes quarterback Jonathan Crompton on the first drive of the game at the Riders 46-yard line and brought it back 26 yards. On the next play, Kevin Glenn hit Rob Bagg for a 38-yard TD strike. Paul McCallum missed the convert wide right.
Following a Montreal single on the next drive, Glenn went deep again, hooking up with Naaman Roosevelt for 49 yards — leading to a 24-yard McCallum field goal at 7:17 of the first quarter to increase the lead to 9-1. Roosevelt (three catches for 68 yards) and Bagg (three catches for 63 yards) led all Riders receivers.
Harris's second interception of the game with 1:16 left in the first half led to a 14-yard McCallum field goal, giving Saskatchewan a 15-1 lead at half.
After going eight for 18 with 97 yards and two interceptions, Crompton was pulled to start the second half in favour of Rakeem Cato.
The change didn't help Montreal, as Cato tossed up an interception at 4:37 in the third quarter to Harris, who returned his third pick of the game 50 yards for a TD — putting the game out of reach. Cato finished 14 for 21 with 170 yards with one touchdown and a pair of picks.
S.J. Green (four catches for 78 yards) and Brandon Rutley (16 carries for 73 yards) led the Alouettes on offence.
NOTES: Several players have recorded three interceptions in a game for Saskatchewan. Most recently, former Rider safety James Patrick achieved the feat in an Aug. 28, 2010 bout against the Edmonton Eskimos. Glenn threw for 212 yards in the game to extend his streak to six consecutive games of 200-plus yards passing. Alouettes defensive lineman John Bowman recorded two sacks in the game, giving him 92 for his career. He ranks No. 1 among active players and No. 12 in CFL history, five behind Mike Walker (96).
Jonathan Hamelin, The Canadian Press