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.”