Riders’ goal line stand shows ‘a lot of heart’ from defence, despite A.C. Leonard suspension

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

A goal line stand doesn’t happen every day in the CFL.

In fact, with the extra yard off the ball, multiple cracks from the one-yard line should be a routine touchdown for just about any offence.

Not Friday night in Regina, where the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defence stopped the Toronto Argonaut offence not once, but twice from the one-yard line to turn it over on downs.

Not only did Canadian linebacker Micah Teitz prevent Argos quarterback Nick Arbuckle from sneaking into the end zone, but he also proceeded to stop Toronto running back John White dead in his tracks, too.

The turnover on downs and subsequent 94-yard Saskatchewan drive resulted in a Brett Lauther field goal in the dying seconds of the first half to cap a 10-point swing the way of the Riders. It was an absolute back-breaker that the Argos never managed to recover from.

After the game, Riders defensive lineman Micah Johnson called the goal-line stand the defining moment of Saskatchewan’s 30-16 win.

“It was a huge stop on the field. It’s all about will when it comes to those type of plays. Guys had a lot of heart out there to keep them out of the end zone,” he said.

“You really just have to get down in the four-point stance and kind of propel yourself out and undercut the offensive lineman’s legs so they can’t get any kind of momentum.”

“That stand was the biggest stop of the game,” Johnson added.

“The fact that we were able to get them stopped like that, back-to-back, says a lot about the guys in that locker room.”

In addition to that pivotal stop, Johnson and the Riders’ defensive line had Arbuckle on the run for much of the night, culminating in four quarterback sacks.

Needless to say, if the D-line keeps playing this way, it might be hard for the Riders to make room for pass-rush specialist A.C. Leonard to find his way back in to the rotation after he completes his three-game suspension for failing to provide a urine sample for drug testing and then verbally attacking the test collector.