It wasn’t the start the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and their fans were hoping for.
Hamilton (0-1) could only muster 236 total yards on offence and committed five turnovers in the contest in which the Riders (1-0) turned into 13 points.
One of the few bright spots in the game for the Cats was a 71-yard touchdown toss from Dane Evans to Steven Dunbar Jr. that brought Hamilton to within two points of the Riders with about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.
But the Roughriders, who up until the fourth quarter relied on four field goals from kicker Brett Lauther for all their scoring, found the endzone twice in 28 seconds to put the game out of reach.
Riders QB Cody Fajardo completed 22 of 32 pass attempts for 311 yards, one touchdown pass and another TD run, and became only the seventh player in league history to win 22 of his first 30 starts.
It was a much different stat sheet for Ticats quarterback Dane Evans, who went 18-for-28 for 222 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and two fumbles.
Saskatchewan recorded eight sacks in the game while Hamilton could not get Fajardo to the ground all night in what was the team’s sixth consecutive loss at Mosaic Stadium.
The Tiger-Cats will next play June 18 in the Hall of Fame game against the Calgary Stampeders (1-0) at Tim Hortons Field.