Shoulda, coulda, woulda… it seems that it’s usually one or two plays that make the difference when the Riders lose. This game against Deadmonton was another example. The defense gave up a long TD with just over a minute to play, putting the Eskischmoes ahead 31-27. Saskatchewan responded by driving methodically down the field and with no time left on the clock, Durant unfurled a pass towards the end zone. It was as if the world stopped for a split second, holding its breath while the ball was in the air. Everything was in slow motion.
The ball hit the turf between a wide open Weston Dressler and a well covered Chris Getzlaf. Had we not taken a ‘no yards’ penalty one series earlier, as Edmonton was conceding a single point in that very same end zone, we would have been in a position to kick a field goal, tie the game and continue the contest in overtime.
Edmonton started the game on a roll, unveiling a brand new offense that was put in place by their brand new offensive coordinator. Our defense had never seen that offense before and gave up three straight very long, time consuming drives as they tried to figure out what Edmonton was doing. Ricky Ray, Edmonton’s quarterback completed 16 straight passes in the first half, and was a big part of the reason the schmoes put up 21 points on those first three drives.
Edmonton was poised to score from Saskatchewan’s two yard line on their forth possession when their running back fumbled and Omar Morgan, our cornerback returned it for a 108 yard touchdown. It was the longest fumble return in CFL history. Morgan would later go on to give up the big touchdown later in the game.
In the meantime, our offense was pretty stout. We moved the ball consistently, and played well enough to win. Durant in his 15th start is showing all the signs of developing into a great quarterback. I am still optimistic about this team’s future and I stand by my prediction of Saskatchewan meeting Hamilton in the Grey Cup.
We play Edmonton again next weekend.