Well, that’s over with.
The Riders ended their season with their seventh consecutive loss on Saturday night, falling 36-10 to the Calgary Stampeders.
It was the Riders’ second blowout loss to the Stampeders in as many weeks, both of which seemed like foregone conclusions.
What’s next for the Riders is about as clear as mud. Change is inevitable but how much remains to be seen. How many coaches, if any, will be back? Who will be under centre? Who will be along the offensive line?
These are all questions that will have to be answered in the coming weeks, which will undoubtedly make it a very interesting offseason in Riderville.
Here’s the good, the bad, and the dumb of the Riders’ season-ending loss at McMahon.
The best part of this game was the Iceberg Dunkelweizen from Malty National here in Regina, which I enjoyed throughout most of the second half.
It’s a dark beer that offers up a little bit of a stout-like flavour along with the brightness of a traditional hefeweizen. This one is particularly cool because they added tonka beans to the brew, which offer up a vanilla flavour.
I would definitely recommend it if you see it around Saskatchewan.
Oh right, the game. Sorry.
The one bright spot for the Riders was the play of running back Jamal Morrow; something we’ve seen many times before.
Morrow rushed eight times for 63 yards and a touchdown. His score was particularly nice as he made a Calgary defender miss before reaching the end zone. Morrow showed some fight and willingness that we haven’t necessarily seen from everyone over the last two weeks.
Morrow and his fellow running back Frankie Hickson are on a short list of people on offence that the Riders should definitely bring back in 2023.
Considering the circumstances surrounding this game, it’s pretty hard to get too upset. Expectations were low and they were basically met. So, was anything really bad? I guess not.
Calgary once again ran all over the Rider defence, but that was expected.
For me, the only truly puzzling decision by the Riders was made on Friday, when the team’s depth chart for the game was released.
We all knew what this game was, so why didn’t the Riders add another quarterback to their roster? They had dressed just two pivots most of the year, but it seems like a bit of a disservice to them and the players that neither Jake Dolegala nor Levi Lewis got a chance to see some time in this game.
In the case of Dolegala, it feels like he may have made the team’s decision for them when he was arrested for driving under the influence a few weeks ago. But it doesn’t really feel like there was a reason not to dress Lewis and at least give him a few snaps in the fourth quarter.
I certainly understand wanting to get as much of a read on Mason Fine as you can get, but the final quarter of games like this is about as straightforward as it gets. Lewis should have had a chance to see some real game action.
The most exciting play from the Riders in Calgary came from everyone’s favourite rabbit.
The famous McMahon Stadium rabbit made an appearance in the second half of this game, running alongside the Riders’ offence. Granted, the bunny was slightly offside but he still booked it for the end zone and was wide open before taking off right up the tunnel.
We’ve seen the rabbit make many appearances in Calgary before, as far I can remember this is the most involved it’s been in the play. Thank you rabbit for providing some entertainment during a pretty boring game.