Saskatchewan Roughriders

Mike Saunders - Running Back - 1992-1994. 97-99 - Iowa

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The 1990s were a dark decade for the proud fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The club consistently posted a losing record, did not host a playoff game the entire decade and the incompetence on the field led to uncertainty off the field as the team teetered on the brink of insolvency.

 

On of the few bright spots over that period was running back Mike Saunders. Mike came to Saskatchewan in 1992 after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 10th round of the 1992 draft out of Iowa. The versatile back was also a great receiver and started out with Saskatchewan as a receiver. Over his career in Saskatchewan on a poor team he provided fans with a reason to watch.

 

By his third season he broke out with 1,205 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns in 1994. In 1996 Saunders would join the San Antonio Texans and the high-powered offence led by David Archer. Mike would have his best season as a professional with 1,005 yards rushing and over 700 yards receiving he would total 16

touchdowns (8 rushing, 8 receiving).

 

In 1996, after the American expansion failed Saunders spent time first with Montreal from the leagues dispersal draft then with Hamilton. In 1997, he started the season with Toronto as a receiver but by midseason he had returned to his favorite Canadian team in Saskatchewan. A storybook playoff run in 1997, featured Saunders along with quarterback Reggie Slack leading the team to the Grey Cup championship to face the mighty Toronto Argonauts. In what was a one-sided win for Toronto Saunders did contribute a terrific 5? yard touchdown reception.

 

Saunder would spend 2 more full seasons with Saskatchewan in 1998 and 99 before retiring. Mike Saunders was a terrific player and one of the few bright spots in a down decade for Saskatchewan football fans.

 

-- statistics --

 

 

Mike Saunders     Iowa
  Rushing      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1992 Ssk 21 54 2.6 17 0
1993 Ssk 135 683 5.1 52 4
1994 Ssk 234 1,205 5.1 49 8
1995 S.A. 206 1,030 5.0 45 8
1996 Mtl 33 154 4.7 15 1
Ham 48 198 4.1 20 2
1997 Tor 1 2 2.0 2 0
Ssk 131 586 4.5 36 5
1998 Ssk 160 897 5.6 46 5
1999 Ssk 191 971 5.1 34 6
Total 8 1,160 5,780 5.0 52 39

 

  Receiving      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1992 Ssk 20 314 15.7 91 2
1993 Ssk 58 612 10.6 43 1
1994 Ssk 55 613 11.1 32 7
1995 S.A. 47 708 15.1 60 8
1996 Mtl 8 75 9.4 16 0
Ham 24 274 11.4 50 2
1997 Tor 14 173 12.4 27 3
Ssk 11 121 11.0 24 0
1998 Ssk 59 670 11.4 57 6
1999 Ssk 36 348 9.7 35 4
Total 8 332 3,908 11.8 50 33