Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Roughriders, LaFrance Hope to Make Playoff Push against Redblacks

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Roughriders, LaFrance Hope to Make Playoff Push against Redblacks

Article excerpt

LaFrance looks to keep grinding for Riders

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Kienan LaFrance has overcome injury, frustration and the possibility of losing playing time to a former NFL third-round pick to become the late-game workhorse for the resurgent Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Thanks to two recent, high-production fourth quarters, the third-year CFLer has helped power the Roughriders above .500 to an 8-6 record and into contention for a playoff spot at third place in the West division.

LaFrance and the Roughriders will look to ride that momentum into Friday's game against his former team, the Ottawa Redblacks (6-9), in Regina Friday night.

Two weeks ago, LaFrance and the Roughriders erased a 17-point deficit in Ottawa to beat the Redblacks 18-17. They followed that with another come-from-behind win against Toronto a week later, as LaFrance's fourth-quarter ball carrying set up Tyler Crapigna's winning field goal in a 27-24 victory.

"We've been playing some good ball lately, but I think that to win every game in the last quarter of the season, we need to look forward to be able to play well in all aspects," LaFrance said in anticipation of Friday's rematch with his former team.

The 2017 season has been one of progression for the Winnipeg-born rusher, who won the East Division championship and the Grey Cup with the Redblacks last year, gaining 230 yards over those two games.

A training camp leg injury kept the 26-year-old off the Riders' game-day roster for the first four games of the season. He had to wait until the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg on Sept. 9 to get the start at running back after teammate Cameron Marshall went down with an injury.

"No one wants to be injured. It was a little bit frustrating at the beginning," he said. "I had to get over it a couple of times. And as cliche as it sounds, it develops the person I am today as just being able to overcome that stuff. I've been playing for a few weeks now, and it didn't stop the flow for myself."

His perseverance and patience have paid off. The Riders' coaching staff chose Lafrance over newly signed former NFLer Trent Richardson to carry the load for his team in each of its last two fourth quarters. …

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