Riders 35 - RedBlacks 32
There are 3 ways to do things: the easy way, the hard way, and the Rider way... which is a complicated, ridiculous, beyond hard way that takes years off my life. Good lord! What a roller coaster ride! I could have done with a wee bit less drama but I've learned this seasons that we just need to take the wins however they come.
It was set up to be the perfect weekend. All our western opponents had lost to East teams and all we had to do to capitalize was beat the worst team in the CFL. Well we tried really hard to screw that up. I mean you would have thought we were the team with one win at times early in that game. Had we lost the game, my blame would have been squarely on the secondary and our overall terrible pass coverage. Defense was bad. None of these receivers are all-stars or savvy veterans or particularly good but we made them look like offensive juggernauts. Receivers were wide open all over the field. It was painful to watch and surprising given the talent we have back there. Rod Williams was downright awful in the first half. Ottawa clued into the fact that Chad Kilogre is a massive liability in pass coverage and did a very good job of getting players lined up on him and taking advantage.
Fortunately, as they generally seem to do, the real defense showed up when it mattered most. Tearrius George was a terror out there and was really the catalyst for the defense. The league may be asking him to pee in a jar after that game given how enhanced his performance was. It was the defense that won us that overtime. Despite the RedBlacks getting the ball twice on the 35 they allowed 0 points in OT.... 0! The first 3 quarters sucked but at least they played their best ball when it mattered most.
Speaking of someone who may have been using performance enhancing drugs... how about Weston Dressler!?! The man pretty much but the team on his tiny back and willed us the victory. He was making contested catches, he was returning punts to the house, he was running over/through multiple defenders on route to the endzone on that one pass. He was something else! That said, I'm starting to wonder if he used his ample supplies of paninis, blizzards and car washes to buy off the refs. Both his punt return TDs this year have involved some pretty suspect non-calls in terms of penalties. Not that I'm complaining but still.
I thought Tino had a good game. Not a great game but at least he looked like a guy we belonged under centre at the pro level. He was quicker, more decisive, and most importantly more effective. Sure he had overthrows and misses and bad reads but he improved by leaps and bounds over last week and played at a level that if he keeps it up will allow us to win going forward. We needed a TD drive and 2 pt convert to end regulation and he delivered. He will need to keep improving as we will face far better defenses but he showed me enough to re-instil my confidence.
Ottawa threw everything they had at us including all kinds of special team trickery and even on a day where their offense was the best it looked all season, we still somehow found a way to win. It was uglier than the offspring of Henry Burris and a Hamilton cheerleader but it was also one of the most exciting finishes you will ever witness. Had they played like they did in the 4th quarter all game we would likely have won handily like we were supposed to but at least this team is mentally tough enough to hand in their and get a win despite many attempts to give it away.
- I love when Mosaic gets rocking like it did at the end of that game
- Found it odd that we abandoned the run in the 3rd quarter and most of the 4th. I realize we were behind but we completely went away from it.
- Brian Peters is lucky he blocked that kicked and redeemed his bad snaps that put us in that position.
- Given that our entire offense revolves around him, I was amazed at how often Dressler was wide open... I guess there is a reason the RedBlacks are last
- I have no clue how that first Milo FG managed to sneak over crossbar. There was not an inch to spare
- Really noticed Shomari Williams on kick covers. It was a refreshing surprise.
- At half time I was thinking we should maybe ask Szarka and Reaper to suit up. Based on Chamblin's half time interview, he might have been as well. (PS if you were at the game at have not seen that interview, you should. Here's the link)
- For those who were at the game, when they showed those fans with the Reaper sign with the green skeleton did anyone else notice that it clearly had a penis drawn on?
- I wonder what kind of odds i could have gotten if I had put money on the OT going: INT, missed FG, FG, blocked FG?
- Honestly had they ruled that the Ottawa guy had stepped out of bounds
before punting it out that would have been a fitting way for that game