Riders playoff tilt against Redblacks should be a doozy

It’s cliche this time of year in the lead up to a playoff game to suggest it should be a good one.

Only in certain circumstances where one team is so heavily favoured over the other do pundits expect a playoff game to be a laugher or a snoozefest. There’s a few reasons for this. Of course, everyone is always trying to hype up the most important games of the year and the games generally do get better when the best teams remain.

With that in mind, I’m fairly confident in suggesting that the East semifinal between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Redblacks shouldn’t be boring. Why? Rarely have these teams played a game that wasn’t intriguing in one way or another.

This season, the Riders and Redblacks split the season series with teach team winning on the road, completing a dramatic comeback in the process. The Riders erased a 17 point deficit near the end of September at TD Place. Even the ending of the game was something rarely seen as Josh Bartel’s rouge late in the fourth quarter ended up being the difference. Just a few weeks later at Mosaic Stadium it was Ottawa’s turn to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The Redblacks overcame a 12 point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Riders 33-32.

Two games with each team winning once by one point, it doesn’t get much better than that. Even if both teams held on to their leads, we’d be looking at a split series.

It’s not just this year that’s seen the Riders and Redblacks play some interesting football games. Who can forget Tino Sunseri pulling off the fourth quarter and overtime come back in 2014 during the team’s second ever meeting? A rare night were Sunseri looked like a CFL quarterback.

How about 2015? The most famous game that season for the Riders happened in Ottawa, granted it was for all of the wrong reasons. After a sluggish start, Brett Smith was yanked for Sunseri who was just as, if not more, ineffective the rest of the game. I was working for CJME at the time and I remember hearing about the phone lines lighting up back in Regina before the first half was even over. That night was ultimately the end of the Corey Chamblin and Brendan Taman era. The whole thing was summed up for me when John Chick was seemingly lined up at middle linebacker one play with no one within like 5 yards of him, it was probably the easiest audible of Henry Burris’ career. He was celebrating the touchdown as soon as he handed off the football. The game was ugly, unless you’re a Redblacks fan, but even Rider fans certainly won’t forget it.

That game also produced this gif, which still makes the rounds on Riders Twitter from time-to-time

Later that year, the two teams met again in Regina and Ottawa won by just three points.

In 2016, the Riders swept the season series but the difference was just three points over the two games.  The first game just so happened to be the Riders first win of the season that ended with a dramatic last minute field goal from Tyler Crapigna that ultimately won them the game over the then undefeated Redblacks.

Sometimes, two teams just match up really well against each other. That appears to be the case when it comes to the Riders and the Redblacks. Here’s to another one on Sunday.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (178 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

17 Comments on Riders playoff tilt against Redblacks should be a doozy

  1. Regular season is the regular season. Playoffs are different. We know how the Redblacks play but don’t really know what the playoff DNA of the riders is yet. Could be great could be a bust.

  2. Clearly in 2017 – it has been the officiating and the clowns in head office that have decided any games this season

    I suspect tomorrow’s game between Ottawa and Saskatchewan will no doubt be the same .

  3. White Horse // November 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm //

    The difference maker in this game should be Trevor Harris.

  4. Bill dehoog // November 11, 2017 at 8:13 pm //

    I agree Trevor Harris will lead Ottawa to victory

  5. Blue Rules // November 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm //

    Should be a DOZER, just funning you good luck to both teams cheering for Riders in this one. Leave it all on the field, no regrets!

  6. The Riders will be in trouble with no QB, a lousy 0line and also no running game!
    Kienan(1 yard)Lefrance is not a CFL starting running back IMO

  7. Ottawa by 7

  8. Thankfully, because of the officiating that got Ottawa into the playoffs, those officials won’t be officiating in the playoffs. Riders will lay a beat down on Ottawa. And lmao oilguy/ no running game? How about 6 active running backs- more of a running game than any other team. As for Trevor Harris, probably won’t even finish the game. Go Riders!

  9. Are you serious Sean ? You re going to use all your running backs as an indication of a strong running game?. It’s in fact an indication you don’t have a good running game.!

    • Actually we’ve got 4 Americans and 2 Canadians and tonnes of options… who’s Calgary got besides Messam? Nothing.

      • Sean with all due respect I think you are unaware of the nuances of CFL football. Look at the roster for tomorrow. Outside of Lafrance you have only 1 way to get an American running back on the field. That’s not having options. Messam isn’t out only choice actually but he is our best because he gives us ratio flexibility and hence, many options

        • Morris and LaFrance are Canadian, Thigpen is American… they’re all on the roster. Dennis and St. John are playing the same position, when they rotate the running backs can rotate likewise. I’ve had a Riders season ticket for over 15 years, I know the “nuances” of the CFL just fine. Worry about BLM, how many td’s did he throw in your last games and who’s behind him?

    • donkeyisanidiot.com // November 12, 2017 at 9:40 am //

      Donkey’s back!

  10. RalphInTheCreek // November 12, 2017 at 9:51 am //

    Would be nice to see that dork showboat Harris get his a$$ kicked.

  11. Riders will win because they have an intangible advantage. What is it you ask? Call it a game blueprint and a renaissance of respectability and hope. Football lives and breathes in riderville. Riders will win a thriller.

  12. RalphInTheCreek // November 12, 2017 at 3:44 pm //

    The team with the most XTicats will win. Ham has stocked most CFL teams with star players.

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