WE'RE REALLY ROLLIN'
Rider fans are riding high after a huge 38-27 victory over the visiting Toronto Argonauts on Saturday.
For all the good things that happened -- the Duron Carter catch, Kevin Glenn with a squeaky clean 340 yard passing/4TD performance and Cameron Marshall’s 110 yards on the ground - the biggest may be seeing the Green and White put away a team.
It was a tight game heading into the fourth quarter with Toronto leading 24-20. But it came down to a pair of crucial drives.
The first was watching a bend-but-not-break Rider defensive stand on a 10-play Toronto drive that stalled at the five and ended up in a field goal to cut it to a three-point Rider lead.
The ensuing Rider series was a thing of beauty. It was seven plays covering 75-yards that was topped with a 14-yard Caleb Holly touchdown catch followed by a Naaman Roosevelt two-point conversion.
The key play was a big break for the Riders; Cameron Marshall fumbled at the Argo 14-yard line, but Derek Dennis was fortunate to cover up the loose football. Next play…Touchdown Riders.
To finally see the Riders step on an opponent’s throat. and mean it, is a huge step in this football team’s process of climbing out of their current position at the bottom of the West Division.
A win sure feels good, but wouldn’t it be nice to have that feeling a lot more, or not to feel SO GOOD after a win? It’s been a long time coming, but the fans are itching to jump on something big and the next five games will dictate whether the Riders can make headway in a difficult west division, or just give us more of what we have seen the last year and five games.
It begins this Saturday in Vancouver with the front end of a home and home set with the B.C. Lions. The back end of that series is the only home game in August (Sunday, August 13th at 6:00pm -- which feels oddly late for a Sunday game).
The Riders will have their second bye-week before heading to Edmonton and then finish the summer with the Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl.
If Saskatchewan can go 3-and-2 over this stretch, a playoff spot will become a distinct possibility. Anything less, and the second half grind will become that much more difficult.
OTHER WEEK 6 NOTES
- Hamilton is in rough shape. The game-winning drive last week by Mike Reilly and the Edmonton Eskimos took away any fire the Ti-Cats had left in them. It showed Saturday night in a crushing 60-1 defeat (doesn’t ‘1’ seem a lot worse than being shut out?) at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. The solitary Hamilton point coming off a punt single. Where do the Ti-Cats go from here? Who knows, but with their current residence being rock bottom it seems the only place to go is up.
What’s even scarier, Calgary is just starting to warm up.
- The “Game of the Week” saw Edmonton continue to overcome a spate of injuries and stay undefeated with their 37-26 home victory over a very game B.C. Lions. Edmonton’s walking wounded expanded, losing running back Travon Vann in the first quarter, punter/kicker Sean Whyte part way through the third quarter and then their long-snapper Ryan King in the fourth quarter. How much longer can Edmonton hold on to the top spot with so many injuries to key players?
- Finally, it looks like Winnipeg learned from their collapse a week ago in Vancouver. To see them score twice in less than a minute to knock off Montreal was breath taking to behold. It felt like the CFL of the 1990’s when no lead was safe and scoring came in bunches. This is a good Blue Bomber team that is continuing to improve.
FOOTBALL IS IN THE AIR
|Scott MacAuley at Thunder Camp courtesy Wanda Harron Photography|
Getting any sort of publicity outside of these two power house programs has been a problem for the CJFL. They took a step in the right direction last year, with a nod to the NFL Network’s “Top 100” players program, the CJFL had their second “Top 50” players to watch for 2017.
Thunder and Hilltop players were dotted across the list:
#4 (RB) Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette (Ranked 12th l/y)
#20 (OL) Logan Ferland
#22 (WR/K) Chris Calcutt (Ranked 19th l/y)
#49 (DB) Robbie Lowes
#2 (RB) Logan Fischer (Ranked 10th l/y)
#4 (DL) Cam Schnitzler
#16 (WR) Sam Mike
#29 (WR) Jason Price
The Hilltops and Thunder will kick off the season under the lights on Saturday, August 12th at Mosaic Stadium.
A CANADIAN TO WATCH IN THE NCAA
Brayden Lenius – WR
University of Washington
Hometown – North Vancouver, B.C.
Class – RS-Jr.
Brayden played in all 13 games in 2015 starting six of them for the Huskies and finishing the season with 26 catches for 363 yards and a touchdown. Because of a difficult 2016, Lenius ended up redshirting the full season and will begin his junior year fighting for a starting job catching balls from one of the top quarterbacks (in a QB heavy Pac-12), Jake Browning. His father, Troy Dickey played CFL and Arena League.
WHAT TO DO BETWEEN GAMES THIS WEEK
Enjoy the dog days of summer and hit the pool, patio, or cottage and read “Collision Low Crossers: Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football” By Nicholas Dawidoff.
It’s a bit of a dense read but it’s an enjoyable one. Dawidoff spends the 2011 season with the New York Jets. He becomes such a welcomed part of the Jets, it almost felt like he was one of the staff members. The narrative is fast-paced, entertaining and gives incredible insight behind the scenes of a professional football team.
(By RodPedersen.com Staff)