The Saskatchewan Roughriders came back down to earth on Friday in their first loss of the year at the hands of the Calgary Stampeders.
Saskatchewan fell 42-27 to the Stamps in McMahon Stadium following falling behind by 13 in the first quarter. The Riders’ poor offensive rhythm, a crucial turnover, and inability to stop Calgary’s offense in the opening frame are what ultimately led to the loss; however, some questionable non-calls against the Stamps also played a factor.
“The penalties and turnovers are part of the game and they are going to happen,” Riders head coach Corey Chamblin told 620 CKRM’s Carm Carteri. “Sometimes you make mistakes and whoever makes the least amount usually wins the football game. Tonight, you tip your hat to what is a very good football team because they won that battle, but we will learn from this.
To add insult to injury, the Stamps didn’t even have their No. 1 quarterback in the lineup – Drew Tate. He was on the sidelines with an arm injury, so Kevin Glenn stepped in and didn’t look out of place. Glenn hit 21 of his 28 passes for 218 yards and a single touchdown pass.
Darian Durant, meanwhile, held his own in the Riders’ centre field, but at times seemed to have communication problems with his wide receivers in his first game from injury. He connected 20 of 38 passes for 278 yards and three scores.
Calgary’s Jon Cornish was the Achilles heel of the Riders’ defence. The running back ran for 175 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries.
Even though Kory Sheets was 102-yards away from hitting three digits for the sixth consecutive game after the first quarter, the slot back pulled an ace out of his sleeve and hit 133 yards on just 14 carries when it was all said and done.
Saskatchewan isn’t deflated by the loss. They know it’s just one game and have a lot of time left in the season to work out the bugs.
“This is not the end of the world. This was not a playoff game, this was not a championship game,” defensive back Tyron Brackenridge told Mitchell Blair of Riderville.com. “We still have 14 guaranteed games before the playoffs come. We take this as a learning lesson and come back out next week looking to be that Rider defense and that Rider team that everyone has known us for this season.”
Before the game, the Stamps trash talked not only the Riders, but also their fans. The organization made a list of 10 reasons why they find Saskatchewan fans annoying. It went as followed.
No. 10 -Whiners It seems as though every time the Riders are in the wrong and take a penalty, it’s the referee’s fault for making an outrageous call.
No. 9 - Watermelon prices When the Riders come to town, the cost of watermelons increases in our grocery stores. Watermelons are for eating, not wearing!
No. 8 - Green = ugly Green is a terrible colour for a football team. It’s also annoying that they leave green face paint on everything; door handles, bathroom faucets and all over the stands.
No. 7 - Poor tailgating etiquette When the Riders come to town, their green John Deere combines take up two spots in the parallel park.
No. 6 - It’s a football game, not a drinking contest. The Calgary Stampeder Football Club has to hire more security and police when Saskatchewan is in town because Rider fans have proven they do not know their own limits when it comes to alcohol. This is reiterated again in point number one: everyone knows the Riders have a hard time counting.
No. 5 - Jersey fouls. They wear Rider jerseys to games when the Roughriders aren’t even playing, including hockey games. Their fans are like those annoying grasshoppers in Saskatchewan, there are TONS of them and they are EVERYWHERE.
No. 4 - Their leader is a giant gopher. It’s common knowledge that gophers ruin crops, so it’s quite ironic that the Riders chose a gopher to represent their province’s football team.
No. 3 - Why are you here? They shamelessly promote the province they all moved away from. If you love Saskatchewan so much, why do so many of you live in Calgary and why did so many of you leave?
No. 2 - Like nails on a chalkboard Rider fans love to hear themselves talk. They have a complete lack of situational awareness. If we wanted to watch trained seals clap and yelp loudly, we would make a trip to Marine Land!
No. 1 - Terrible at counting. They are more interested in showing everyone they are from Saskatchewan than what is actually happening on the field. Rather than compliment a great play by an opposing player, they’ll say it was “lucky” or a “fluke.” Not to mention, their team can’t count to 12.
The list is supposed to be all in fun, but it’s not surprising the Stampeders of all the teams would put it together. On and off the field, the organization has come off as cocky and at times without class.
October 26 is now a huge day for the Riders. On that day, they play the 5-1 Stampeders for their last regular-season battle on the year.
“It’s always a great game when these two teams face off,’’ Durant told reporters Friday. “It should be nothing less than that come October.’’
The 5-1 Riders play the 2-4 Montreal Alouettes on Saturday, August 17 at Mosaic Stadium.