The Saskatchewan Roughriders are counting their blessings after sneaking out of their Saturday game against the Edmonton Eskimos with an ugly win.
Up 14-9 with one play left on the clock, Ricky Foley stopped the Eskimos on the Riders’ one-yard line.
“I got ahold of (Reilly) and I just didn’t let go,” Foley told the Canadian Press. “I told (Tearrius) Geroge to take the legs out. I told him ‘Just cut him and I’m going over the top.
“T said, ‘Alright, cool.’ So Tearrius took out the two (offensive) linemen’s legs, went low, and I just jumped over the top, grabbed hold of him and just held on for dear life.”
It seemed as though the Eskimos won the game as quarterback Mike Reilly pushed the ball over the goal line; however, the play was called back with Riders head coach Corey Chamblin calling a timeout right before Reilly snapped the ball.
“It was one of those gut things,” Chamblin said to CKRM’s Mitchell Blair. “They were changing personnel so I said I wasn’t going to go sleep with a time-out tonight so I’m going to call it. The timing was just right because I think they had scored a touchdown, but having that time-out allowed us to get settled, calm down and get lined up. Having the guys settled down and understanding what the best call was something we needed to do and it worked. At the end of the day, a win is a win. It doesn’t matter how you get it, just get it and we did.”
Even though the victory was the Riders’ second in a row, there wasn’t much to celebrate afterwards. The Riders’ offense disappointed for the 11th straight game. They didn’t look like they are poised to make noise in the playoffs. Rather they appeared as though they are a young offense struggling to stay in sync.
Darian Durant only led the offense into the end zone twice, with both happening in the second quarter. Albeit the blame has to be spread around throughout the entire offense, Durant was the centre of the Riders’ misplays. He only completed two-thirds of his passes, going 16 for 24 for 170 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Without Kory Sheets in their arsenal, it seemed the Riders would never have moved the ball down the field. He captured 106 yards on the ground on 24 attempts, while snagging a touchdown.
Geroy Simon has essentially become the new Jason Clermont. He very rarely drops a pass and can add yards after the catch, but Durant doesn’t seem to want to throw to him. He only hit him once in the game for seven yards.
The Riders’ defence ultimately won the game for them. They made two timely interceptions and stymied the Eskimos on the ground.
The loss eliminated the 3-12 Eskimos from the post-season. They needed the victory plus three more to have a chance at making the second season.
The 10-5 Riders, who sit in second place in the Western Conference, host the B.C. Lions next on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.