Canadian comeback: Brandon Bridge comes off the bench, leads Riders to victory

Just down the road from where Brandon Bridge starred in high school, the Canadian quarterback jumped started Saskatchewan’s offence.

St. Marcellinus Secondary School is roughly a 30-minute trip to BMO Field.

“I had my whole family out there. People just showing love. It was just great to see them and to put on for the city I grew up in. Also, Mississauga – shoutout to 905,” Bridge said.

After Saskatchewan got behind 13-3, Kevin Glenn was benched and Bridge entered the game. The Riders went to a quick passing game which helped the 25-year-old passer get into a rhythm, quickly.

Near the end of the first half, Bridge led a touchdown drive by going 8-of-9 for 75 yards and capping it with a touchdown strike to Namaan Roosevelt. That got the Riders within six at halftime, 16-10.

On Saskatchewan’s first possession of the third quarter, Bridge hit on 3-of-5 for 60 yards – including a 46-yard completion off a scramble to keep the play alive – that led to a Riders field goal.

And then Bridge fit a ball into a tight window for Caleb Holley.

75-yard touchdown plus a two-point convert completion to Bakari Grant put Saskatchewan into the lead, 24-17.

Toronto struck back as Ricky Ray hit S.J. Green for a 19-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth that tied the game at 24.

But with three minutes and 21 seconds on the clock, Bridge took over and completed 2-of-3 for 24 yards, a crucial second-and-10 conversion to Duron Carter kept the drive alive. That set up Tyler Crapigna’s 18-yard game-winning field goal as Saskatchewan came back from 10 points down to win 27-24.

“I always just want to prove a point that regardless of wherever I came from, just give them a chance,” Bridge said. “I’m really just trying to open up doors for Canadian players that want to play quarterback. That’s my whole goal and that comes from winning.”

Duron Carter had five catches for 71 yards in the game, all coming from Bridge.

“He stepped up when we needed him to step up. Definitely his athleticism, it’s a big turnaround for defences. It was a big changeup and they couldn’t hit it,” Carter said.

Bridge finished 20-of-28 for 292 yards and two touchdowns, some big plays coming off plays where the mobile pivot moved around to provide extra time for receivers to get open.

“Brandon played real well – just got the game ball,” general manager and head coach Chris Jones said. “That’s what Brandon has is the ability to extend plays.”

That’s two road wins Bridge has been directly responsible. Back in Week 13 “Air Canada” started and beat the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, passing for 231 yards and three touchdowns.

“Every week I went in there as if I was the starter,” Bridge said. “I try to prepare as if I was the starter throughout the whole week.”

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (841 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

42 Comments on Canadian comeback: Brandon Bridge comes off the bench, leads Riders to victory

  1. justforkicks // October 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm //

    So instead of a Richardson story we have a Bridge story. The man throws darts!

  2. Lancaster/Reed // October 7, 2017 at 7:06 pm //

    WOW!!!! Brandon Bridge getting it done!!!!! He looked like a relaxed veteran coming off the bench. No panic, just throws darts all afternoon. The more he plays the more impressive he looks.

    • I agree Lancaster. He threw off his back foot,side arm, whatever he had to do But until we kicked the field goal I always worry about what Ray is capable of.

      • Lancaster/Reed // October 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm //

        You always worry about what ricky ray can do.

      • BigRedMachine // October 8, 2017 at 11:14 am //

        Bridge reminded me of the good Casey Printers last night the way he rolled out and made things happen when the pocket broke down. Congrats to Air Canada. The CFL needs more good, young qbs no matter what the nationality.

        • Lancaster/Reed // October 8, 2017 at 1:52 pm //

          Interesting comparison. When Casey was with BC he was very tough to play against, using his legs and arm to make thing happen.

  3. Argos had several chances to put them away early but pathetic 2nd down play calls doomed them again and again. Proficiency in the red zone is anemic. Ricky Ray also must take responsibility.

    Surely they could have found a way to get three points in the last few minutes. Sum Ting Wong here, lack of imagination is one of their problems, among several.

    • I think you’re being a bit too hard on the Argos. I think the Riders are just a very good team right now, maybe top two in the league. We had an Achilles heel in that Glenn and our offence could be shut down if you got good pressure on Glenn, but we seem to have an answer for that now … Air Canada!. I think the Argos are a very good team on the rise, but I think they’re just not quite as good as the Riders are right now.

  4. Red&White Forever // October 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm //

    Bridge looked great, Air Canada indeed. Argos has no answer. Richardson not a factor with a pedestrian 5 for 20, but needs more carries to really see what he can do. Bridge was the real story, looks like the Riders might have found a QB at Montreal’s expense.

    • Lancaster/Reed // October 7, 2017 at 7:25 pm //

      Air Canada. Its a great nickname with that arm strength.
      Its that kind of escapability and arm strength that might be the only way to defeat the Stampeders defense this year. We know without a doubt a pocket passer cant beat that d line.

      • White Horse // October 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm //

        Lancaster Reed…pocket passer can’t beat riders d-linemen..BLM has done it twice this season!!
        What if’s don’t count buddy!
        Koodos to riders win…Bridge looks like a winner so-far. Strong arm…tall QB…Glad he is a Canuck.

        • Lancaster/Reed // October 7, 2017 at 8:00 pm //

          White horse. Reading comprehension not one of your strengths huh? I wasnt talking about the rider d line genius. I was saying a pocket passer wont beat the stamps d line. Smfh.

      • Red&White Forever // October 7, 2017 at 7:56 pm //

        Bridge played well versus Toronto, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The Stamps are a different beast than anyone else in the CFL.

    • I agree R&W Forever , but I will give him credit for getting the first down yardage when needed. It’s pretty clear our O line is not creating the gaps our backs need for big yardage.

    • I can not fathom how a team would let Bridge go or why many teams did not pursue Bridge.He may be the greatest find since Ricky Ray of course with his own flair and style.

      • Lancaster/Reed // October 8, 2017 at 3:33 pm //

        Ok, even a rabid rider fan like myself isnt prepared to make a comparison like that. Brandon has played pretty good in his limited opportunities, and he should definitely get more chances to play ( and i think jones will be quicker to put him in if Glenn falters from here on in) , but he is closer to a Casey Printers, as someone else pointed out, than he is to Ricky Ray.

  5. Sixbeamers // October 7, 2017 at 7:24 pm //

    Like a Bridge over troubled waters.

  6. Greenland // October 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm //

    It’s amazing how one player can affect the play of the whole team. But Jones has said that Glenn will start next game.

    • Have to side with Greenland on this one, maybe coach Maas could learn something here. Why sit back and watch the same old results unfold, throw Franklin in and watch the whole offense change for the better. Good for Bridge for taking advantage of the opportunity and good for coach Jones.

    • Lancaster/Reed // October 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm //

      Im ok with glenn starting so long as they pull him this quick if he is faltering. If glenn continues to struggle a couple more games, then look at starting bridge.

  7. Get Canadian // October 7, 2017 at 7:40 pm //

    Hmm, where is that Calgary guy with his persistent criticism of the Riders.
    That’s what I thought.

  8. Blue Rules // October 7, 2017 at 7:53 pm //

    Congratulations Riders good win!!

  9. Scottsask // October 7, 2017 at 7:57 pm //

    He proved he can get it done, he played fantastic tonight! Going into this game, I wasn’t nearly as confident.

  10. We can see where Jones is trying to give Glenn a great last season — but we can’t let the foot off the pedal now. Bring in Bridge quick if needed, like today. Brandon’s only real weakness — he doesn’t know how to throw the ball away — as far as I can see. And give Glenn plenty of credit for teaching his backup very well thank you! Just saying.

  11. Brandon frickin’ Bridge ladies and gentlemen! Brandon frickin’ Bridge! Air Canada! Duron Carter and Chris Jones nailed it.

    “He stepped up when we needed him to step up. Definitely his athleticism, it’s a big turnaround for defences. It was a big changeup and they couldn’t hit it.”

  12. Ridersnhabs // October 8, 2017 at 2:05 am //

    Great gutsy performance by the boys on offence and defence . Jefferson was a beast today . Having Kevin play and bring Brandon in works great, he gets to watch from the sidelines seeing what defence is doing then comes in , the defence all week is preparing for Glenn not Bridge .
    Ok does anyone else notice how carter can’t track the ball , at least two times I noticed Bridge would throw the ball to a spot that only the receiver can get the ball and carter doesn’t pick up on it . He would be a much better receiver if he would do less showboating and more learning his craft .

  13. Billinburlington // October 8, 2017 at 9:23 am //

    I believe Bridge is a free agent after this season. His play today just doubled his FA paycheque. Saskatchewan has two good QBs.

  14. greendanadwhitesince82 // October 8, 2017 at 11:05 am //

    It wasn’t the stampeders, but Bridges stats against Calgary this year were 6 completions in 7 attempts for 91 yards a TD and 12 yards rushing. So that was how he did against the leagues best.

  15. Lancaster/Reed // October 8, 2017 at 11:07 am //

    Someone can correct me if im wrong, but when toronto’s jackson scored his td, sj green blocked out the rider defensive player, who was very close to jackson, while the ball was still in the air. Should that have not been called an illegal block? Other than that play and the PI that was overruled by the command centre, the reffing crew did a pretty good job.

    • Can make that block if the ball is thrown behind the line of scrimmage before the catch is made.

      • Lancaster/Reed // October 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm //

        Ok that makes sense. In this case the ball was caught about 1 yard beyond the line of scrimmage, so the rule i found on this issue might make it an illegal block since the ball crossed the line of scrimmage. Probably some interpretation i might be missing.

  16. sixbeamers // October 8, 2017 at 1:55 pm //

    One major quibble with this game report: What was the final score?
    Anyone who didn’t watch the game on TSN would be struggling to find the answer.
    Play-by-play journalism is fine. But the most basic element of any sports story is the final score.

  17. Does this mean the CFL will find a way to give other Canadian QBs a chance ?
    Maybe QBs should not be excluded from the ratio. Then a Cdn might get a spot as a 3rd QB without competing with the countless number of American QBs .

    • Lancaster/Reed // October 9, 2017 at 1:27 am //

      A good start would be to recognize canadian QBs as canadians for the ratio .
      Calgary’s 2nd string QB is also canadian, so hopefully this is not just an anomaly, but a potential future trend for the cfl.

    • BigRedMachine // October 9, 2017 at 11:02 am //

      There was always a fear that counting the Canadian ratio for the three qb positions would allow some teams to dress a Canadian qb in a backup role and add another import somewhere else. No way there is 9 credible Canadian qbs out there. I think if you made the starting qb position count against the ratio it would entice teams to develop a talented Canadian qb and reward teams once the qb is actually playing.

      • Lancaster/Reed // October 9, 2017 at 11:19 am //

        I always thought the 7 Canadian rule meant they had to be on the field , basically starting in their position. There are way more than 7 Canadians on the game day roster, but only 7-8 are usually counted towards the ratio.

        • BigRedMachine // October 10, 2017 at 10:08 am //

          Currently teams can dress up to 20 imports. 16 starters and 4 designated imports (DI). DIs can only replace import players so the math works out to 23 starting positions (remember qb does not count) minus 16 leaves 7 starting positions for Canadians. I suppose teams could play some imports both ways to get around the rule but I don’t really see that happening. I do wonder whether Carter sometimes lining up as a backup db is because of lack of backup import dbs or solving a non import ratio issue.

          • With Bouka now on the roster, I was really surprised to see Carter first in with a corner going down. We seem to dress more import LBers for special teams not not DBs. Playing 3 american on the o-line has affected the ratio too.

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