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Rider Camp Highlights: Another day ... another fight at camp

Nine players were released from the roster overnight, and there was noticeably more room on the turf.
All in all, it was a great day for football.

SASKATOON — A chill was in the air as players made their way onto the turf for Day 4 of Main Camp. 

Nine players were released from the roster overnight (see below), and there was noticeably more room on the turf.

The session began with the group breaking into individual positions for a gradual warm-up.

Next, it was into team groupings for a walk-through with a few new looks. 

On the field next was Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Farthing to lead the team warm-up. 

Following the warm-up, the groups broke down again into individual groups for skill instruction and practice.

Next, it was seven vs. seven receivers vs. defensive backs. Play-by-play:

  • Kian Schaeffer-Baker hauls in a pass over the middle from Trevor Harris
  • Harris then finds KeeSean Johnson on a postroute over the middle. 
  • Harris's next pass was a long out route complete to Shawn Bane Jr. 
  • A pump from Harris on the next rep saw him decide to check down to Frankie Hickson in the flat. 
  • Mason Fine in to Quarterback next. He has to settle for a throw underneath to Frankie Hickson. 
  • Fine, then finds Dhel Duncan-Busby on a quick dig route that is complete. 
  • Pipkin is in at quarterback next. His first pass is complete on the far side to Mitchell Picton, who finds a hole in the zone defence. 
  • Pipkin pass intended downfield for Geronimo Allison is intercepted by Rolan Milligan Jr. 
  • Shea Patterson comes onto the field next. His pass is on target but slips through the fingers of D'Sean Mimbs.
  • Patterson then finds Duncan-Busby on an in route for a nice completion.

Next up, it was into kick-cover, punt return blocking, and kick formation drills. 

Following the emphasis on special teams, it was time for the offence to go head-to-head with the defence. Rep breakdown:

  • Hand-off to AJ Oullette, who is able to get the edge and turn it up the field for a first down. 
  • Harris's pass attempt was batted down by Malik Carney.
  • Harris had a pass almost intercepted by Roan Milligan Jr., who stepped in front of Shawn Bane Jr. 
  • Harris checks down on the next pass to Oullette for a minimal gain. 
  • Harris passes to the far side, which is intended for Dohnte Meyers. Pass incomplete. 
  • Harris tosses to Frankie Hickson on the next play. He was strung out nicely by the defensive line. Not much room to run. 
  • The pass underneath is complete to D'Sean Mimbs. Christian Albright gets upfield to disrupt the play, though.
  • Jack Coan is in on offence. The first pass is downfield to Geronimo Allison, who makes a contested catch.
  • Thomas Bertrand-Hudon gets a carry next and breaks through the B gap on a excellent gain.
  • Mason Fine comes into the drill. He uses a half roll to the far side to complete his pass to Kian Schaeffer-Baker.
  • There was a delayed draw on the next play to Clint Ratkovich. He runs for a first down.
  • Frankie Hickson gets a hand-off from Shea Patterson on the next play. Also on the offensive line is newcomer Daniel Johnson, who is lined up in the left tackle spot. 
  • Patterson then finds Jerreth Sterns through a tight window over the middle for a first down. 
  • Pipkin comes into the huddle. The first play is a pass on the near side to Dehl Duncan-Busby. Nicholas Dheily provides good pressure on the play. 
  • Next play, Pipkin throws to the near side… The ball tips of fingers and goes into the arms of DaMarcus Fields for the interception. 

Next, it was time to trot out the field goal team. Laughter from 22 yards out is good. Back it up, and Lauther connects from 33 yards. Another try from 43 through the middle. Another attempt comes from 48 yards out, and Lauther puts it through, but Shawn Bane Jr. simulates a return out of the end zone. 

Rest the group, and Lauther attempts from 28 and is good once again. Move it back to the 38 on the far hash mark this time, and again, there are no troubles. There is lots of length, and it is right down the middle. 

Coach Mace then calls for a break and tells the players to put their pads on. 

When the break wrapped up, it was back to teams and walk thru drills. 

Following that session, the group broke down into another stretching session.

Next up, it was into individual positions for more work. 

Following that period, it was a hurry-up offence with Trevor Harris at the controls. In the first play, Harris passes to Dhonte Meyers. Then, it's a hand-off in the middle to AJ Oulette. Next, Oulette is open in the flat for a first down. The ball is spotted on the near hash, and Harris passes that way to Samuel Emiuls. Harris's pass is intended near side Meyers into triple-coverage. Coming away with the ball was Deontai Williams for the defence.

Lauther is on to attempt a 28-yard field goal, and it's good. 

The offence is then backed up to their own 50 to restart the drill. First, play Harris hands-off to Oullette. Oulette gets another carry, this time off of the right side for a couple of yards. On the next play Harris uses stop motion and again hands off the ball to Oullette. The next handoff goes to Frankie Hickson who gets the edge on the right side for a big gain. The next run is a hand-off to C.J. Avery. Following the play another fight then breaks out with Habakkuk Bladonado in the middle of the scrum with the offensive line. Coach Mace then steps in and instructs the players to the sidelines for some cardio, saying, "Penalties will kill us." The move draws a round of applause from the Rider faithful at Griffiths Stadium. 

Jack Coan comes into the backfield when play resumes. His first pass is a completion on the far side to Samuel Emilus. The net play is a hand-off to Thomas Bertrand-Hudon, who is stopped at the line. The volume noticeably turns up after the stop. Bertrand-Hudon gets another carry after multiple substitutions on both sides. Mason Fine is next at quarterback. His pass near-side is just out of Jake Parker's reach. Hand-off on the next play to Clint Rakovich, who cuts and finds a hole for a long run. The next play is a completed pass to Parker in the flat. 

After the pass, there was still a lot of talk between the offence and defence. The whistle sounded, and the players broke up into one-on-ones on the line of scrimmage while the receivers and DBs went seven-on-seven. 

After that period, the teams huddled together, and then it was back to special teams drills, where punt defence and punt coverage were the focal points. 

After those drills were complete, it was back into a team session. Offence vs. defence, the breakdown:

  • Trevor Harris starts. The first pass over the middle was completed to Shawn Bane Jr. 18 yards.
  • The next play starts with a stop motion from the offence. Harris finds AJ Oullette out of the backfield for close to a first down. 
  • A tough snap on the next play eludes Harris, but the defence is called offside. Reset. Hand the ball off to Frankie Hickson on the next play, who quickly gets up-field. 
  • Hickson gets another carry running behind Jemarcus Hardrick. Finally stopped by Jameer Thurman. 
  • Harris is rushed and caught in the pocket on the next play by Tre' Crawford.
  • Next, rep Harris can't find a receiver downfield and gets sacked again. 
  • Harris hands the ball off to Hickson on the next run and finds a hole on a delayed draw.
  • Shea Patterson comes into quarterback, and he finds Mitchell Picton 25 yards down the field for a completion.
  • Patterson throws a nice ball again to the far side, which is complete to D'Sean Mimbs. 
  • After those competitions, Jack Coan is in under centre. He runs out of time, and Baldonado is tracking him down. 
  • Coan fires a ball over the middle, complete to KeeSean Johnson for a first down. 
  • The next quarterback in is Mason Fine. With the pocket collapsing around him, he spots Geronimo Allison for a first down. 
  • The next pass is complete to Mitchell Picton on the far side of the field as he broke in from his wide-out spot. Fine finds him for the completion.
  • Pipken is in at quarterback and finds Geronimo Allison wide-open downfield for 45 yards. 
  • Pipken finds Samuel Emilus in traffic to haul in a nice pass. 

The session concluded with a cool down and players returned to the cold tubs and locker rooms. 


Today's Weather:

Another good-looking day from Mother Nature at training camp. Today's forecast is a mix of sun and cloud with a slight chance of showers this afternoon. Winds were out of the west at 20 km/h, and the temperature settled at around 18 degrees. All in all, it was a great day for football.

Not on the field:


National offensive lineman Ryan Berta

American defensive back Cole Coleman

American running back Jerrion Ealy

American defensive lineman Roman Harrison

American wide receiver Braydon Johnson

American defensive back Jamar Johnson

American linebacker Mark McLaurin

American wide receiver Kendall Watson


American offensive lineman D'Mitri Emmanuel


Break-out Play of the Day:

It was a two-for-one day, with Kian Schaeffer-Baker hauling in not one but two contested catches from Shea Patterson. The most impressive one saw Schaeffer-Baker highpoint the football on the reception and bring it down between a pair of defenders. 


The One to Watch:

The defensive line rebounded from a tough day on day three with a solid effort today. One of the drivers of that front seven is newcomer Diego Fagot. The Navy grad has brought consistency and energy to his reps and continues to show that today.