Riders season ends in Western final

In a season where the Riders recorded many last-minute victories, they could not get one on Sunday even though they had the chance as they lose the Western Final to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In what was a bizarre football game, the Bombers beat the Riders 21-17 to move into next Sunday’s Grey Cup against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

It was a game where Winnipeg gave Saskatchewan several opportunities as quarterback Zach Collaros threw three interceptions with the defence also recording a couple of fumble recoveries and stopping a fake punt.

As was the case all season, the Riders had a chance at the end but a last minute drive failed when a third down pass to Mitch Picton fell incomplete at the Winnipeg 23.

Moments after it was over, head coach Craig Dickenson told our Derek Taylor that it was a game they felt they could win.

“We didn’t run out of time, we just ran out of plays.” Dickenson said. “Their running game kicked in in the second half and that made it tough on us, but I am proud of the guys even though we came up just a little bit short.”

Cody Fajardo echoed the sentiments of Dickenson.

“I’m really proud of the guys.  We gave them their best shot.  We had a chance to win the game like we have done so many times at the end, but we just couldn’t get it done for the second year in a row.  Conditions weren’t great as you can see, but for the most part I was proud of the offence because we moved the ball against the best defence in the game but it wasn’t enough.  I leave with the same sick stomach I had after the West final two years ago and this inspires me to get better in the off-season.”

The loss ends a pandemic-shortened season that saw the team fighting adversity from before training camp started as player after player went down with injury.  In all, the Riders had 17 players on the six-game injured list at the end of the season.

 

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