They won! The Riders ACTUALLY won! I’m still in a bit of a state of shock. Seriously. Watching the last two minutes of the game, I think I came up with every possible horrible thing that could happen. Fumble returned for a TD. Interception. Blocked FG returned for TD. Wide field goal returned for TD. And on and on and on. My mind wouldn’t shut off. My real fear though, was that Ed Hervey was going to take a Jason Maas pass and never look back. I can’t believe that he didn’t get behind the Rider coverage at all. Kudos to Omar Morgan. I’m sure the guys are looking forward to next week’s game for revenge, and also to go back playing man-to-man. This zone defence was unbearable at times – particularly when the Eskies converted a number of 2nd and longs. Still got to work on those guys.
This was my first playoff game in BC. It’s weird watching a Rider game, wearing your Rider jersey and knowing that you’re in BC. Heather was out for the afternoon, so I watched it alone. It was a bit lonely, but she just doesn’t get the game. And I unfortunately get annoyed when someone is continually asking me, “What’s going on? What was that? Why can’t they do that?” But I did get annoyed when she showed me her new shoes as I was trying to watch the half-time analysis. I’ve got to relax.
14-6. Not a great victory in terms of point differential, or offensive output, but a huge victory psychologically. The Riders holding the Eskimos to no TDs should give them the Grey Cup. With Vaughn, Tucker, Hervey and Mitchell, their receiving corps is dynamite. I’m still shocked they weren’t able to light us up with the big play. Great job by the secondary. Mike Pringle was a non-factor. I’m still a little angry about that trapped ball he caught. “Campbell Football League” – maybe. Yeah defensive line, and special thanks for the 4 sacks. Well done.
Smilin’ Hank still made a few bad decisions. You’re supposed to TUCK the ball in when you run! A few errant throws into double coverage and just a weird over-the-middle lob to Corey Holmes. What was that about? But he connected when it counted. That last TD pass to KK – amazing! I thought he was going down for sure. The offensive line was fantastic. I’m also sure they’re happy that next week’s game is indoors – better footing. And the happiest man of all about better traction next week – Kenton Keith himself. The 34-yard 4th quarter run – did he have screw in his cleats or something? How was he able to cut like he did on that skating rink of a football field? Travis Moore – what a trooper. Dominguez – such a team leader. Jason French – Corey Grant should have replaced him for the rest of the game. There were 3 or 4 balls he should have caught, or made a more significant effort to catch. To me, he was the only disappointment, as well as Paul McCallum’s punting. And Corey Grant!? He is my hero. Corey Holmes was great when called upon, too. Karsten Bailey didn’t see the ball enough, unfortunately. But great job guys!
Now, I’m going to the game next week. I don’t care if I have to go by myself, though I’m not too keen on that prospect. Anybody want to go with me? I’ll buy your ticket if you buy your airfare! 😉 I’m so generous, aren’t I?
This is the time of year when I sure wish I was back home. The headlines will be screaming, “Riders Break Curse!” (though it’s not much of a curse, ala the Rex Sox), and the province will be painted Green and White. Darrell Davis and Rob Vanstone of the Leader-Post will write columns on how the Riders have matured that I won’t be able to read because canada.com requires money now for you to read those articles. How rude! And the BC spin machine here will be interviewing Wally Buono, Jason Clermont, Barrin Simpson, and Casey Printers everyday, looking for something to heat up the already heated rivalry between these teams. I can’t wait ’til next Sunday!
The BC Lions may think they have us beat. Heck, almost everyone else thinks they are. But Kenton Keith didn’t play in that last game, and the Riders weren’t hungry and angry for revenge like they are now. Watch out BC. The Riders are coming into town, and they’re not leaving without the championship.