The Riders hung around with the beasts of the CFL but once again the Stamps were too much for the Green and White. It was the Riders tenth straight loss to the Stamps but their best effort against Calgary in a long time. The Riders have closed the gap with the Stamps when it comes to competitiveness and maybe game three will finally see them pull it off. For now it’s time to shift focus to Friday in Ottawa. Here is how the game broke down.
The Riders offense was again shut down by the high powered Stamps D. One of my keys to victory for the Riders was to win the battle against the Stamps defensive line and that certainly didn’t happen this past weekend. Kevin Glenn couldn’t get a whole lot going and was sacked four times and picked off once. The run game was non existent as well. Brandon Bridge, who came in for Kevin Glenn in the fourth quarter, was the Riders leading rusher. He carried the ball three times for 12 yards. Bridge led the Riders only touchdown drive of the game but was strip sacked in the final seconds of the game with the Riders driving to win. The Riders put up a valiant effort but the Stamps defense was too much for the Rider offense to handle.
The Riders defense went punch for punch with the Stamps D who came into the game at the top of the league. Jerome Messam was able to run the ball for 127 yards but the Riders forced the Stamps to turn the ball over. Something that doesn’t happen very often. The Riders bent quite a few times but didn’t give up a single touchdown to the Stamps. Rene Parades hit five field goals and that was just enough for Calgary to take the win. The interesting thing was that the Riders didn’t blitz a single time in the game. Which was confirmed by Chris Jones in his post game conference. They were happy dropping back in zone and trying to force the Stamps into a mistake. It was an interesting style of defense but clearly it worked for the Riders.
The Riders did a great job of shutting down the leagues most dynamic returner, Roy Finch. Finch came into the game with over 1000 yards returning and three punt return touchdowns. Finch returned the ball a total of ten times for 97 yards his longest was 25. That’s about as good as it gets against Finch. However, the Riders took two roughing the kicker penalties that extended drives for the Stamps. Something coach Dickenson will not be happy about.
The Riders won’t be satisfied with the result of the game. However, I think most of Rider Nation will agree that it was nice to at least see the Riders compete with the Stamps for the first time in years. The Riders are progressing nicely this season. They have to take what they learned against Calgary and apply it to the game in Ottawa. The REDBLACKS match up is a game the Riders have to win. We will see if the Riders can bounce back on Friday.