What a finish! A classic CFL nail-biter. Riders score a TD and give us only 38 seconds to work with. Turns out it was too much time. My Dad on the coach beside me thought they were finished. I know better; I've seen way too many last minute field goals that won close games.
Sad to see Stu Foord go down on a cheap, blind side hit on a special teams play. I thought plays like that would have a penalty called for hitting a "helpless player' or something like that. I hate seeing guys get that badly injured. When they splint a leg like that its probably a broken leg. Ugh. I hope he has a full recovery, and that he'll be able to walk normally.
Lots of good efforts today on offense, despite being shut down for the second ad third quarters. Nice call by Chapedelain, that draw play to Harris that extended a fourth quarter drive. Nobody fumbled or threw a pick. After struggling for much of the game Demarco was great when it counted the most, making key hook ups with Gore and Taylor on that last drive. When it meant the most the O-Line gave Demarco the time he needed. A pair of second half TD passes allowed BC to hang in there and have a chance to win. Moore, Gore and Taylor caught key passes and Chapedelain used depth (Gore, Brown) to get first downs on the ground when Harris was stopped. Harris had a tough day, but he made a couple of second half runs that helped extend drives. Let's hope Ianuzzi is okay after that hard hit near the sidelines.
If you like defense, this was your game. Stop after stop by both teams. I thought for the most part our defense was great today, partly spoiling Geroy's party by holding him to five receptions.They were alert and recovered two Durant fumbles, giving us 10 points off of turnovers. Time after time we stopped them short, batted passes down, made sure tackles and pressured Durant all day. I thought Marsh has another strong game, aw did Parks and Bell. I hope he's okay after going down late in the fourth quarter. The only complaint I have is penalties. Twice we went offside, one that extended the Riders' final drive that turned into a late TD. Another time we were called for roughing the passer which gave the Green guys another set of downs. On that one I thought the offensive lineman CLEARLY pushed Wilson into Durant. So why wasn't that a clip? How the hell is it a penalty when their guy shoves our guy into their QB? This offseason I hope the League Office does something to take away these cheap penalties.
Special teams were great at the end, the ice man Paul MacCallum coolly stroking a 42 yarder for a last play, BC road win. Harris had one or two good returns but was hemmed in his end most of the time. Our return teams took a couple of blocking fouls—again— and the punt cover team struggled to limit Jackson's returns.
Where else can we improve? Well, better protection would result in first down production. That would have given Demarco much more manageable situations on second down. Going to a six or seven man front sometimes, the way Toronto did yesterday in Calgary, would give give Demarco more time and help get Harris going. The secondary can catch it when its thrown right to them. We can run slide protection instead of going man for man along the O-line all game. We can block better up front, move a defensive tackle laterally to bust holes for our running backs. If the defence are keying in Harris, why not use him in the ride and decide? Make the defensive ends play the run and just flat out play their position more often. That would allow Demarco to run it a few times. Maybe Chappy doesn't want another QB hurt running the ball.
Can't wait for the rematch in BC on October 4th. I hope we can demonstrate the kind of support the Rider Faithful has shown this year. Prior to this game the attendance for the previous three games at Mosaic had averaged over 40,000. Impressive. I haven't seen the attendance for today's game, but I'm pretty sure they did it again. It continues to amaze me that a city a quarter the size of Greater Vancouver can consistently put more bums in the seats than BC's fans do. We need some of you guys who stay at home to get out there and show your support and rock that building, be the 13th man. Not just for playoffs.
BC is on the road again next week, playing a dismal Bomber team with little left to lose after losing a hear breaker on Sept. 20th. There summer is over and so is their season. We need to avoid a letdown, get a lead and keep it, take care of the ball, get a win and fly home satisfied. Joey Elliot should give us plenty of insider information about the Bombers' offensive schemes.
In the immortal words of Nuke Lalouch: Man, I love winning. Its like, better than losing!?
Dooger in Surrey :cowboy: