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Sunday, November 12, 2017

RIDERS OFF TO TORONTO!


OTTAWA - Marcus Thigpen still has plenty of juice left in his 31-year-old legs.

Thigpen ran for 169 yards and a key TD to lead Saskatchewan to a record-setting 31-20 East Division semifinal win over the Ottawa Redblacks on Sunday before a TD Stadium sellout of 24,107. Thigpen joined the Roughriders in September after being out of football for roughly two years and started with both Marshall Cameron and Trent Richardson on the injured list.

"I felt like I stopped playing too early and felt like I still had a lot left in the tank,'' said Thigpen after the game, donning a T-shirt with the Superman logo. "I was still running track with my high school coach and I knew I still had the speed.

"I stayed in the weight room, I knew I had the size and strength. I just felt like I missed it and wanted to come back.''

So the five-foot-nine, 195-pound Thigpen, a Detroit native, reached out to Riders' starter Kevin Glenn, who also hails from Detroit, via Instagram. Glenn relayed that message to Chris Jones, the Riders head coach/GM, and the rest, as they say, is history.

"We're both from Detroit so we've always kept in touch,'' Glenn said. "He mentioned he was trying to get back into the game and I went to coach Jones and he was like, 'Right now, get him on the phone.'

"I've got to get a percentage from (Thigpen) now since he's back.''

But Thigpen has his own repayment in mind: Helping Glenn, a 15-year CFL veteran, win his first Grey Cup championship. Saskatchewan will face the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday in the East Division final with the winner advancing to the championship game.

However, history isn't on the Riders' side. They'll try to become the first crossover team to reach the Grey Cup since the rule was adopted in 1996.

"I know it's never been done before ... but anything is possible,'' Thigpen said. "I've never won a championship in football in my life and I want it as bad as (Glenn) does.

"That's one of our motivations ... he deserves it.''

Jones was surprised when Glenn told him about Thigpen's desire to resume playing.

"Well we didn't actually know he was interested,'' Jones said. "KG came in and said he'd reached out to him and I'm like, 'You've got to be kidding me?'

"So we brought him in and it wasn't long until we could say he still had some juice.''

Saskatchewan and Ottawa combined for three touchdowns on the game's first three possessions. That set CFL playoff records for fastest two TDs (four minutes seven seconds); fastest three touchdowns (5:54); and first time the opening three possessions resulted in a touchdown.

Thigpen punched Saskatchewan's ticket to the East final with a 75-yard TD run in the third quarter. It came immediately after Ottawa settled for Brett Maher's 22-yard field goal that cut the Riders' lead to 21-11 following a fumble recovery at the Roughriders' 19-yard line.

"It was an inside zone play and I kind of just crossed the line to the left and saw there was nothing there,'' Thigpen said. "I bounced back and the hole was right there.

"I saw daylight and knew I still have a little juice in these legs left so I just ran as fast as I could and got the score.''

Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell wasn't surprised by Thigpen's performance.

"He's a real good player, explosive,'' he said. "The thing with that guy is if you give him space he's fast so he can turn that good play into a huge play as you saw in the game.''

Glenn finished 18-of-28 passing for 252 yards and a TD in his 12th career playoff start. He also had a one-yard scoring run.

"The biggest thing was we did what we wanted to do, which was come out and start fast,'' Glenn said. "Just making it a game where we don't worry about Ottawa's defence or anything, just make sure we're doing what we're supposed to do.

"To be on the verge of doing that (reaching Grey Cup as crossover team) and making history is exciting. We've got to enjoy this one and then put it to bed and get into our books and film on Toronto. We've got a tough task.''

Ottawa's Trevor Harris, is his first career playoff start, was 37-of-60 passing for 457 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Diontae Spencer had eight catches for 142 yards (both game highs) and a touchdown.

But Ottawa killed itself with two key turnovers: Samuel Eguavoen's interception to halt a potential scoring drive at the Riders' 10-yard line in the first and Ryan Lindley losing a fumble in the second at the Redblacks 37-yard line.

"We turned the ball over twice on their side of the field which was killer,'' Campbell said. "But there was still a lot of opportunities to overcome that.

"We never found a way to make key plays in big moments of the game. They made plays today, we didn't. That's the bottom line.''

Vernon Adams Jr. and Bakari Grant had Saskatchewan's other touchdowns. Tyler Crapigna added the converts and a field goal.

Juron Criner scored Ottawa's other touchdown while adding a two-point convert. Maher booted two field goals.

(The Canadian Press)

POSTGAME COMMENTS FROM CHRIS JONES

- I'm proud for the guys. They've worked so hard to get to this point. Early in the year we weren't the most fun team to watch but they hung together. It's a high character group. It's fun watching it all come together now. They play for one another now. Football matters to 'em.

- The OL gave KG a long time today and he moved around well. Plus, when you give Thiggy a lot of speed, he's hard to stop. They had a hard time with our skilled players today.

- Spencer had two big plays today but Kacey bounced back. They tried him later and he dropped a pick. Give Rick Campbell and his staff all the credit in the world. They've built it from the ground up but we were the better football team tonight.

- You do a lot of background on players and you have to give our personnel people credit. They do a lot of work to check on these players and guys like Thigpen have kept themselves in great shape even though they weren't in football.

- No injuries today, thank goodness.

RP
@rodpedersen

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kacey Rodgers is brutal. He cannot cover anyone.

Anonymous said...

Refs are sure in favor of the riders...how blind can they be.

Anonymous said...

Saskatchewan Roughriders win thia game.
Watch ESPN 2

Digby & Dockby Granger
Spearfish South Dakota USA

Anonymous said...

Kacy Rodgers couldn't cover running molasses on a cold Saskatchewan day

Anonymous said...

Sad to see all the empty seats, what’s with that, these teams that only support a winner is why the cfl can’t raise attendance. You need to support your team.

Anonymous said...

Ridders got lucky.........look at how many grey cup banners had compared to the measly 4 that the sliders have in over 100 yrs in a 8 or 9 team league.........anyhoo, iron man Mike Reilly and the #1 power ranked team is a-gonna win it ALL this yr. and you can take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

1. The Riders never got lucky as it was a blowout. The game wasn't close.
2. The past has absolutely nothing to do with this team but nice try though.
3. If you wanna talk smart then do it talking about the now and not the past....Idiot!

Lee said...

What took so loHA Hang to put in Brandon cut Glen fire Jones HA Ha

lee said...

Empty seats u fool are not for sale only there for the Grey Cup, get back in your moms basement

Anonymous said...

Good thing flannel is good at soaking up tears

Anonymous said...

Best thing to happen to the Riders run game (and team) since The Great Kory Sheets: MARCUS THIGPEN!

A Grey Cup in 2017 is possible.

Anonymous said...

I agree on the Kacey Rodgers comment. The guy is way to slow. He is our weakest link in the def back field. Plus, our safteys, whoever they put out there is never in the play. The safety should be in lots of those deep plays but I never see the riders safety doing anything.

Anonymous said...

Great game plan,, Great character win. They started fast and built it from there. They have exceeded my expectations that I had for them this year.. WE NOW HAVE A FOOTBALL TEAM TO BE PROUD OF!!! Polkabill from the Peg

Morgan said...

Whatever helps you sleep at night bud... Classic angry albertan. Always mad when Saskatchewan has success. Gotta try to rehash the past and make themselves feel better. What a pathetic waste of life you are.

Anonymous said...

one game at a time boyz....don't get cocky, fans as well, don't get cocky. Set up a good game plan for Ray and Wilder now and work hard this week...one game at a time. go riders.

Anonymous said...

Glenn was clearly a Redblack killer this season, but Bridge is the guy that can take out the Argos and survive their very effective defensive line. Wilder & Ray are a formidable tandem and it will be a real battle.

OldBaldGuy said...

Cue the trolls. Riders won right from the starting gate. As an old philosopher said..." Shut...Your...Mouths!"

Anonymous said...

Grey Cup 2017,

One down... two to go! Go Roughriders!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the "old" guys Glenn, Thigpen, and Johnson have a great game. Add Owens selfless pitch to Jones and you can see the value of veteran savvy.
LF

Dave said...

Really? Why?

Anonymous said...

Ottawa did not deserve the win but Sask better realize they won't get such a slow response from Bear Woods and company...Sask I am not a fan of you but I will give you the due respect of winning this game, you were the better team.

Anonymous said...

Why do Rider fans feel compelled to call everyone names? Your team won and still you have to be rude, classless name callers.

Willie said...

This team has changed since Chad Owens has become available after a long bout with an injury. He has given the whole team a lift with his great catches and plays and I believe this team can go to the Grey Cup and possibly win it all. They have a deadly receiving core and are getting better all the time on the ground. Beware "The Big Green Machine " is coming to see you soon. Go Riders.

Anonymous said...

Hey Polkabill you said it. This is great fun. Love this team. Fun to watch again!
Bart

Anonymous said...

Suck it jealous fans from other teams...I'm looking at you Schmos fan!!


Ha ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

I hope y’all are watching and enjoying the #1 power ranked team along with the #1 ranked quarterback Mike Reilly destroy the blue bummers. Ain’t NO way your sliders gonna beat this team IF and I mean IF the sliders make it to the grey cup Book it!!!

Anonymous said...

Great team win, O line delivered protection for Glenn and opened holes for Thigpen. One of the better games by the officials this season.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are still a few seats available for the final in Toronto. If there are, I hope like heck that Sask Rider fans with time and money can fly out there and cheer our men on to victory. A strong showing on the road by Rider Nation is our tradition.

Anonymous said...

Great to have a team to cheer for going into finals weekend. It's been a while.

Rod - if you have a contact at CFL.ca (and Riderville.ca) can you inform them that the posted game time of GMT +7 is Indonesian time. GMT from -3.5 to -8 are the Canadian time zones.

So - is the Rider game next weekend at 12 noon Regina time again?

Thanks
Terry from Saskatoon (in Arizona)!

Anonymous said...

Us Eskimos fans got nothing to be jealous about. Our team is/will be running roughshod over all other teams throughout the playoffs. If anything, you guys are jealous you don’t have a #1 ranked quarterback like Mike Reilly. Instead you have a guy with 2 first names Kevin and Glenn who I agree played well enough today not to get himself pulled from the game. It’s you slider fans who freak out whenever another team’s fans post on here and y’all call us names. As your own HC Chris Jones says. “Win with some class!!”

Anonymous said...

If you're not jealous then why are you on here.

Jealous of our organization.
Jealous of our fan support.
Jealous of Chris Jones.

It's ok bud. You got the Oilers lol

Anonymous said...

The only name calling I see is the nameless chicken shit Eskimo fan who can't even find his own teams blog

Anonymous said...

Sliders Guy = A real Zero!! Kinda like his beloved Mike Reilly and the Eskimos.

Go Riders!

Alan Holcomb said...

Same time as today’s game Terry

Alan Holcomb said...

Same time as today.

Lewis Grant said...

1. Ed Gainey must be the most relieved guy at the Riders win. He had one dropped INT that cost us 3 points and another that nearly cost us 7 point.

2. I thought the D played very well, especially in making tackles - excellent job of taking Ottawa players down at the point of contact.

3. KG looked pretty good out there. The O line did a good job of giving him time, even without LaBatte.

4. Thigpen!!! That TD run was a thing of beauty - pure speed!

This team is capable of beating Toronto, but containing Ray and Wilder will be a big task. But I'll admit, at the start of the year I would never have predicted playoffs, let alone a victory. Credit to Jones where due.

Anonymous said...

I think the TSN graphic said 12 eastern, 9 PTS, which is 11AM in Regina.

Anonymous said...

Rider fans should have no problem getting tickets to east final. The stadium will be half empty anyway as about 90% of Toronto has no idea there is even a football game coming up.Pathetic

Anonymous said...

Thigpen is a very special athlete. Guys like that don't come around very often. Thank god he's stayed in contact with KG over the years. He's was truly the X factor in this game

Anonymous said...

What is to be jealous of? Name 5 or 4 lol.

Anonymous said...

Edmonton....Calgary will make you wish you had never gotten so lucky to get this far. The way the Riders played today indicated that NO ONE would have beaten them. Not even the little YELLOW BASTARD ESKIMOS.

Anonymous said...

Y'all gotta come to Stamps land and win and that ain't happening. Bo says No Way!!!

Anonymous said...

>> Riders got Luck << same idiot posting time after time known as the “Donkey”. Called himself white horse in red but then was banned on 3 Down Nation and had to change his name and email. So we all just call him Donkey. Makes all these bold statements then every time he gets his ass waxed by his comments he reverts to the weakest come back in CFL sports history. Like anybody gives a rats ass what happened in football back in the 50’s little loan before that.
Sometimes I wonder if he’s hired by or is just one of Rod Pedersens pals. Just to stir the pot. Rod loves how the negative in your face comments always get responses. I read all articles and most of the comments on several sites.
I mean no other team has an OCD nut bag like this fool.
Contact sports can bring in a lot of emotion. However, can a person honestly be that driven and have that much self loathing to always be one of the 1st if not the 1st sploosh spot on the floor after each banging sessions. His signature is identical to a dude years ago that called himself lionsfan when BC was leading the league during the regular season. If the EE take over that spot next year. Look for this splooge dribble to change his handle to ErroneousEgghead or something to that nature.

Anonymous said...

It’s nice to think that the reverse on the return was selfless. However Owens did not do it as a selfless act. The pitch to Jones was a called play. There is no way on God’s green earth or Rider jerseys that Owens would just do that Willy Nilly. No way. It was called in and Jones would have done the same to Owens if the ball had come to him. It was called in by Special Teams Coordinator Craig Dickinson at exactly the right time.

Anonymous said...

After the battle of Alberta. I guarantee you that the severity of that game is going to take a toll on both teams. Both the Stamps and the EE love to slug it out.
Where as I expect to see a fairly healthy SK or Toronto team after that game. As both teams try to use less power and more finesse.
I’m thinking the healthier team wins the Grey Cup. Look at Winnipeg.. they tried to keep it close. They were so beat up that it was just a matter of time in the game before they were just not strong enough to keep up.
With that being said Lapi should have relied far more on Harris and far less on Dressler. Dress is alright to through a wrinkle in here or there. His stature is just to insignificant to try and lean on. You needed the strength and the beef of Harris.

Anonymous said...

I finally feel some revenge for losing to Ottawa in 76. Yahooo!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your day off today, team, because you earned it. Then a good week of work and on to victory!

Doovy 49 said...

Chris Jones has built a fine team. Depth at many positions, especially at running back. When we lost Mesham I remember Jones saying running backs are a dime a dozen. Turns out we have an abundance of quality running backs. The man knows of what he speaks.

Anonymous said...

Wow you rider fans think you are in the Grey Cup already...your run defence is horrible and you have Wilder coming at you. Another thing is you should keep taking them lightly because Trestman is going to make things very tough for you. No teams are making it forsure and if something the Argos aren't coning to slug it out then you don't know what Lemon, Woods, Butler and Laing are about...these men are hard hitting mean players.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous above who posted about the healthier team winning the grey cup (at least he mentioned it could be Toronto),that’s the reason the sliders choose to go through the east division........so they can play pansy ass team’s who barely have .500 records. While EE chooses to win the grey cup by mowing down much tougher teams with better records.....Mike Reilly is #1 tough .....takes a beating and keeps on ticking

Anonymous said...

Kacey Rodgers is fine. He got isolated a couple times on Spencer who is the fastest player on the field. Relax.

Rodgers has been good all year and is one of the reasons why Gainey was able to get all his picks.

Anonymous said...

Our run defence is horrible?? Hmmm. Didn't we just shut down the best RB in the league? almost 1300 yards in only 12 games for Powell but only 50 yesterday. I'll take that.

Wilder won't be much of a factor next week because the Riders will play from ahead again. Start fast.

Anonymous said...

Funny all the loser Alberta fans on here. Why would you come here to post. You’re obviously insecure.

Anonymous said...

Thank god our O-line held back the three man rush!

Just can't understand why we can't keep the hammer down through the second half....when we had Korey Sheets we just kept the ball on offense and kept driving and pounding and kept possession and no one could stop us. Kinda of reminds me of the EE right now and the power of their offense.

Honestly if we let up the gas with TO, we won't win. We had one drive basically in the second half. I don't call Thigpens TD a drive. (It was a thing of beauty though - loved it)

How many 3rd down conversions did we give up? We have to do better, if we get a lead against TO, we can't sit back. Ray and Wilder will wear out the defense....

Defense wins football games, but the best defense is a great offense. Keep our offense on the field so the Defense can be fresh and bring us the win.

I think we can beat the Argo's - but it will be a battle - and if we can keep it clean and penalty free, catch those interceptions - make a special teams play or two, make smart coaching decisions and keep our foot on gas and don't give an inch until the clock says 0.00 we can win.

EE is playing in the Grey Cup, no way Calgary can stop Edmonton right now....they are just in beast mode in all parts of the game. I will be cheering for them against Calgary, they have proved they are a great team by just grinding it.

I really hope all players on all teams stay healthy until the end. It is such a joy to watch good talent.

Bonnie


Anonymous said...

Ya ya horsie it worked out that way and your imbecile little pea brain has to twist it.
Do you ever think before you spew out stupidity. Of course not. Your so fricken worried about SK and the Riders you have to troll on Pedersens Rider website.
Not much more on line sadness than that. Just Sad and pathetic

Anonymous said...

Donkey Doolittle. Take your baseless comments along with the Riders won’t win 5 games to the Riders won’t make the playoffs to the Risers will be one and done to this dribble. Sad, weak and cowardly little fool. Maybe move out of Alberta and get a job. Stop using your Provincial Government and the loss of your dishwashing job as cost cutting measures. Time to stop living off your Mom and become a real man.

Anonymous said...

They also never utilized him properly...he should have been used more and in certain positions...2nd and 2 you bring your 3rd string qb to run the ball and he fumbles...what a stupid play call from the start...that play should have been Powell all the way. Coaches are really who lost Ottawa the game, bad decisions all game long.

Anonymous said...

Wilder won't be a factor...says you. Thigpen may not be a factor either.

Anonymous said...

Also smart guy...Powell was second in the league and wasn't close to 1300 yards rushing...1026 to be exact, he would have need 3 games to get that...I know you like making your team look better then they are but if they were that good they would be playing the best in the west...unfortunately there not so you know.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but did you not just call that Eskimo fan a name? You people don't even recognize name calling anymore. "Win with class".

Anonymous said...

The guy with the Mike Reilly boner on here is hilarious, sounds like he's banking on his Schmoes blowing out the Stamp Tramps already, be funny to see the look on his face when they lose.

Anonymous said...

This is not exactly a rider blog.......roddy covers all kinds of sports.......so this is essentially a sport blog.....and anyone should be able to post without being called names by rude classless rider fans. You don,t agree with someone??? Fine....post your counter comment without name calling. Try the rider I’ll blog if you want purely rider comments

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant Riderville blog........stupid auto correct!!?

Anonymous said...

And to see your face when the double blue beat the riders will be funny too so we will see. Both games could go either way and any smart football fan knows this.