Hello all, and long time no talk!! I am back after a lengthy hospital stay, which I can assure you was not fun! The B.C. Lions did not have much fun Thursday night either, as they were coming into a charged up Taylor fie….er Mosaic stadium, where on this day the Riders could not lose! It was the Annual Hall of Fame game. This year’s inductee list includes one of the greatest Rider recievers of all time in Don Narcisse. Here in Regina today was annointed Don Narcisse day. So with Narco in town the Riders would have to get that offensive swagger going early and often. They did get the offense going pretty well tonight, but I thought the defense, especially Jerrell Freeman and his 3 sacks were huge in this game. They kept B.C. out of the end zone a few times in the first half, after the Lions had long drives taking them inside the 10 yard line. There was pressure aplenty on starting QB Jarious Jackson all night, as he was sacked 5 times, and hurried often. Barrin Simpson had a great game, he had 6 tackles and a sack tonight, his closing speed and presence is remarkable, he was flying to the ball and carriers all night.
Wes Cates and Darian Durant both rumbled for a pair of touchdowns each, and combined for 128 yards on the ground. Myself and I am sure a good portion of the Rider Nation are still waiting for Prechea Rodriguez and Dominique Dorsey to have breakout games, both have been average to say the least. Newcomer Eddie Johnson, the punter out of Idaho State was booming the ball all night, he finished with a 44.4 yard average, his longest being 54. Wally Buono must be reeling at his offense, particualrly some of his recievers such as Oniell Wilson, who added a few more costly drops to his resume. The Lions’ offense could not get it going all night, and when they did it seemed like it would stall due to penalties, which the Lions had a boat load of. One spot B.C. excelled in, especially early in the game, I thought was rushing the ball. The Rider rush defense got torched with a few big runs throughout the game. Jamal Robertson, and Yanous Davis each rushed for 84 yards. Unfortunately I have to say B.C. is wearing the worst team in the league tag for now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to shed it until some changes are made.
All in all it was a good game. I thought the Riders looked great on both sides of the ball, the special teams will continue to get better, and remember it’s a long season. The 5-2 Roughriders have a bye and do not play again until August 28th, when they meet the Edmonton Eskimos.
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Written by Terry Beisick