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Sunday, July 17, 2016

FOUR SEASONS RECAP: LIONS 40 RIDERS 27

Canadian Press

REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders may have lost much more than a football game on Saturday night.  The B.C. Lions walked out of Mosaic Stadium with a 40-27 victory but star Rider quarterback Darian Durant left the facility on crutches after suffering an ankle injury in the game's second quarter with Saskatchewan leading 10-7.

"He's hurt," Roughriders Head Coach and GM Chris Jones reported after the game in a news conference.  "His x-rays were negative, thank goodness.  We don't know exactly what it is, we just know it wasn't broken.  I'm hoping that (Sunday) morning the prognosis is good."

Durant was 7/10 for 104 yards and a touchdown in his 20 minutes of work while his replacement Mitchell Gale went 17/30 for 247 yards and a touchdown in relief.  However the Riders were unable to hold their 23-10 halftime lead and fell to a CFL-worst 0-3 with the loss.

Durant watches the second half
"We're just going to take it day-by-day," Durant told reporters after the game.  "What we do know is that it's not long-term and we're just going to go from there.  I know it wasn't my Achilles.  I know that feeling for sure.  I'm just glad that it's not a broken bone.  That was my biggest concern."

Lions defensive tackle Micha'el Brooks was responsible for the play which ended Durant's night and the quarterback was asked if the hit was intentional.

"I don't want to speak on someone's intentions because I don't know that," Durant offered.  "But to me it was borderline dirty.  I don't think he had to go low and do what he did but I'm not going to call him a dirty player or say it was a dirty play.  But I do think it could've been handled in a different way."

Jones was asked about the play of Brooks who was flagged twice for major fouls on Roughing the Passer, yet was able to stay in the game.

"I'll just let the League do the answering on that," Jones said.  "So you can call the Commissioner and ask him that question.  #90 (Brooks) tried to do a good job of pretending he didn't mean to hit Darian on that other one.  We've got to take a good look at that, I think, to make sure that we protect our quarterbacks.  They're too valuable to this league."

As for the Lions, quarterback Jonathan Jennings threw three second-half touchdowns and rallied the Lions from a 13-point halftime deficit, finishing the game 25-of-40 passing for 429 yards.

"Things were clicking for us, finally,'' Jennings said. "It was good to see the offence get on the same page. We came out in the second half and did some good things.''

The second-year player also had 30 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground in a game that saw B.C. improve to 3-1 and grab a share of first place in the West Division.

Saskatchewan led 23-10 at the half thanks to touchdown receptions from Bagg and Nic Demski and three field goals from Tyler Crapigna.

But the Lions got rolling late in the third quarter when Jennings hooked up with left tackle Jovan Olafioye on an eight-yard touchdown pass and catch on a trick play. On the next B.C. possession, Jennings dropped in a pretty 30-yard pass to Nick Moore, a score that put the Lions ahead 26-23 early in the fourth quarter.

Crapigna tied it up with his fourth field goal, but the Lions again had an answer. Jennings found a wide-open Shawn Gore for a 59-yard touchdown strike to put B.C. ahead for good with eight minutes remaining in the game. Anthony Allen added a touchdown along the ground to put it out of reach.

"We just had to take a deep breath and just having to anchor down and make some plays,'' said Lions receiver Manny Arceneaux, who had six catches for 83 yards. "It took every guy to look one another in the eye - quarterback, running back, receivers, linemen, everyone - and say to each other that we have to get the job done.

"The coaches just sat back and let us play. That's the trust that we have to earn. Let us be men, and they let us play tonight. They let us sort it out.''

In addition to Durant going down, the Riders also lost all-star left guard Brandon LaBatte with an undisclosed injury, as well as receiver Shamawd Chambers and cornerback Justin Cox. It is unknown whether any of those players will suit up next week.

"Injuries weren't why we lost the football game,'' Jones said. "It was a tough night, but we lost because we took too many penalties on special teams in the second half and then we had two coverage busts for touchdowns. Those were just the glaring mistakes.''

Gale, in relief of Durant, completed 17-of-30 pass attempts for 247 yards and one touchdown. Naaman Roosevelt was his favourite target, hauling in eight passes for 132 yards.

(With files from the Canadian Press/Craig Slater)

21 comments:

Evan Wiome said...

It is time for the narratives for the 2016 Saskatchewan Roughriders to change.

This team is NOT ahead of schedule in its rebuild.

This team is NOT better than the 2015 Roughriders.

The Riders were physically dominated in the second half. The bigger, stronger and more physical team beat the crap out of Riders.

The defence has given up 30+ in every game and now that the injuries have started to come, the lack of depth is apparent.

Total disappointment is best description for this team.

Heptiro said...

To 3rd and 1...see why I dislike Scruffy's forecast of the Riders laying on a "whuppin " and beating the Lions by double digits. It's okay to be optimistic but I have been a long time Rider Fan and I have seen expectations dashed time and again. How about taking off the green glasses and putting things into perspective. This is a new team which will take some time to come together. Injuries don't help. It wasn't the Offense without Durant it was the Defense who didn't play up to expectations. But they will learn from this and get better.
The Riders should have known that the Lions would be bringing heat to confuse the rookie QB. Maybe he just hasn't had enough practice time to read Blitz and to react. I might add I was very impressed the way Mitchell Gale responded. He needs some time with the receivers and the O.C. but I liked what I saw tonight.
Go Riders

Enigma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg Mikolas said...

Lawrence takes the ball and heads straight up - maybe no penalty.
Demski takes the ball and heads straight up - maybe no penalty.
Two drives starting from around our own 10 for Gale ...

Guys start getting hurt, the ratio needs to be maintained and guys are forced into playing that really aren't redy for that role on a consistent basis ... Jones won't make excuses because he is the Next Man Up and Let's Go kind of coach you need ... can't dwell on what if's and what is behind us ... move forward and execute. Ball Out RIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!

gman80 said...

It would seem like the perfect time for all Rider nation to start panicking and jumping off a bridge, "we're 0-3, oh no! The season is over! Chris Jones has failed! (That's the extreme overreaction) But let's not forget what we're dealing with here!! We have a defence that's basically still new, having only played it's third game together, still trying to figure stuff out, and it still shows!! 2 blown coverages leading to Touchdowns and mental mistakes on special teams.. Dumb penalties and unfortunate injuries(which did not help the offence(cough cough!) Darian Durant hurt again.. luckily though it doesn't sound as serious and hopefully not very long! It's been said a lot and I still believe it, Patience is needed as this team continues taking steps to getting over the hump to becoming a winner again! Chris Jones will continue to tinker with the roster, dealing with injuries and making sure the right players are playing and this Roughriders team will only get better and better and nobody can tell me otherwise.. stay the course, right the ship! GO RIDERS!

Anonymous said...

When Durant goes down so does our Defence. Does that make sense to you ? Not me. We scored 3 points in the 2nd half and BC piled up 30.
We have some good players out there but it will take a while before they are REALLY GOOD enough to play in this league.

Glenn said...

What I saw was a veteran team come back and beat an inexperienced team. The defence wore down , and the offence struggled with an inexperienced qb. I like how Gale throws the ball, and I suspect that there will be a better protection scheme after a full week of practise. This team is already better than last year's, however they have a ways to go yet.

Glenn

Anonymous said...

Heptiro, what was your prediction for the game? Vanstone also predicted a Rider win in his column as did many in the CKRM pick pool. These guy have a job to do, and they do it well. Go suck a lemon!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for Heptiro to criticize every one next week when they all take Ottawa. Anyone thinking the Riders beat Ottawa next week are delusional. Yes, that win might come by more than double digits as well. Trevor Harris will look at game film of that secondary and be drooling like young men at Craven this weekend.

Travis

Anonymous said...

Even if the Riders were healthy, which they are not (Best, Labatte, Durant, Clark, Chambers, etc) there was no way, no how that they were going to beat the Redblacks - nor is anyone else in the CFL. The team needs to work through this adversity and get healthy and come out on the other side a better team.

Trit

Anonymous said...

It is crazy to panic and say the season is over. However it is equally crazy to say don't worry because it's early and the offence and defense will get better as they play more together because that is true of every other team they play as well. They won't lose every game this year but they also will not be hosting a playoff game. Next year...

Anonymous said...

From some of the silly comments from fans after the game about Durant's injury you would think they were talking about Joe Namath or Bobby Orr with their glass knees!

Durant is a tough athlete who has had some bad luck recently, not unlike may other star football players past and present. The good news though is that he does not have any chronic physical injury of a wear and tear nature. He is simply human like all other CFL players playing a violent game.

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

The Riders sent Jennings packing after mini camp a couple of years ago, yes? Futility will always be in this organization's DNA.

Heptiro said...

I didn't predict a Lions win nor was I blinded by the "experts" who predicted a Rider blow out. I wanted a Rider win as much as any of us. However, seems if anyone dare point out that the Riders are a new team and still need to come together and learn to play as a team and learn to win we are told to "Go suck a lemon" As if we are traitors. This doesn't make me a lessor Fan perhaps more of a realist instead of a sheep.
When handed lemons you make lemonade.

Lyle Pederson said...

Of course it takes time. 70% new players! Even vet teams are not really ready at the start of regular season. In the 'olden days' before free agency moves and with 32 man roster they played 4 ex games. Often only 3-4 spots to fill. Today you have like 80 guys and 2 games to prepare. Of course you will have mistakes. Actually surprised not more. I see some real potential in that D. Some talent out there. (But may have been in the wrong place once or twice) We will be fine later this season.

Walt said...

I am a season ticket holder with a wife who does not go to the game or has interest in football, but she always asks when I come home after a game and walk through the door, "Did the Riders win"? "No" was my answer last night and then it struck me that it has been a very long time since I have been able to say "yes". I wonder what it will be like to finally report that yes, we won. I have a vague recollection of a time when the answer was almost always "yes".

tee-man said...

Hey! How is Nick Moore's knee doing??? lol

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Nick Moore's knee is fine since he played the rest of the game. Obviously you weren't watching close enough to notice.

eman said...

I know Rider fans don't really know him, but you have a guy named Armanti Edwards on your roster who should be your next QB. He's got a good arm, runs a 4.4 40 yrd dash, makes great decisions and most importantly is a flat out winner! The Carolina Panthers drafted him and tried to convert him from a QB to a WR because he wasn't the "proto" NFL QB. He's not a receiver! He's a natural born QB. I hope your coach figures this out.

Handy Andy said...

Disagree with anyone who thinks we're as bad as last year and that we're not ahead of schedule. This team is bigger, stronger, faster ... it takes time. Think, 12 new starters on defence ....

I hope there is supplemental discipline for Michael Brooks. What a disgrace. Wally's teams are always dirty. Think back to Rob Murphy's choke hold on John Chick in 2007 ...

Kim Murphy is my new favorite ref. Finally someone has the balls to stand up to Wally.

skeptic said...

Not according to Wally and TSN - his MRI looks bad :p