Cody Fajardo’s most dazzling finish quarterbacking the Saskatchewan Roughriders came on a game-winning quarterback sneak that he didn’t even know was successful until he saw the referee’s arms in the air signalling touchdown.
“I felt my reach across the line, I felt like I did get it,” Fajardo said during the post-game media conference following the Riders 31-24 victory over the B.C. Lions.
Trailing 24-18 in the dying seconds and facing a third-and-goal play from the Lions one-yard line, Fajardo took the snap and followed his centre, Dan Clark, toward the end zone before diving ahead and looking up to await his fate in the hands of the head referee, Ben Major.
“I looked up and saw the ref put his hands up. I felt good about the initial push and the extension. We relied on our big guys up front and they did a good job for us,” Fajardo said.
The ref and Rider players signaled touchdown while B.C. players signaled they had stopped Fajardo short of the goal line.
Through the mess of players surrounding the pile, it was virtually impossible for anyone in the stands at BC Place, television commentators Dustin Nielsen, Glen Suitor or those of us watching from home on TSN to determine if Fajardo had in fact crossed the goal line or not.
Lion fans and Rider haters cried foul all over social media within moments of the play. What did Fajardo have to say to them?
“The ref probably had the best seat in the house and I had the second-best seat in the house and I felt good about it and I felt like I crossed the line,” Fajardo asserted.
“That’s always going to happen on controversial plays and if it goes the other way, I’m sure that Rider fans and myself would think that I crossed the line, right? So that’s just the give and take of a game that comes down to the last play like that.”
Just past three years to the day in which the world lost Burt Reynolds, Rider fans have their own star for THE LONGEST YARD.