Mario Alford has become known in the CFL for his ability to break a return for a touchdown at any time. And he did just that on Saturday night.
Alford returned a punt 92 yards to the house for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their game against the Calgary Stampeders. The first quarter touchdown gave Saskatchewan a 7-0 lead at the time, but they would end up losing the game 33-31.
92-yard punt return touchdown for Mario Alford! pic.twitter.com/rbT5I7v3pk
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 16, 2023
This particular score was also one for the history books. Alford has now tied Corey Holmes for the franchise record for the most return touchdowns. Both players now have five, although it’s a pretty safe bet Alford will stand alone soon enough.
— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) July 15, 2023
Alford played for WVU for two seasons from 2013-14. As a wide receiver, he snatched 92 catches for 1,497 yards and 13 touchdowns in his collegiate career.
He was also used as a kick returner at WVU and had 972 return yards and two touchdowns on 37 kick returns, which puts him at a 26.3 yards per return average. Despite success with kickoff returns, Alford wasn’t used as a punt returner at WVU, only getting three such returns in his two-year career and lost a combined 13 yards on those returns.
Alford was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round with the 238th overall pick. He had a three-year NFL career prior to the CFL, splitting time with four different teams in the Bengals, New York Jets (practice squad) Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears (practice squad).
Mario Alford originally came to the CFL with the Argonauts in 2018, but only spent one year with the team. He then spent two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes before being traded to the Roughriders for a sixth round pick in the 2023 CFL Draft.
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