Well that's all she wrote.
Like the pop of a balloon, the 2012 Saskatchewan Roughriders' season came to an abrupt and devastating end Sunday afternoon in Calgary in the CFL Western Semi-Final. It was a last-minute 36-30 loss to the rival Stampeders which sent them to the Western Final at B.C. and sent the Riders home.
It's still too painful to re-live, but I suppose we have to. In a quarterback battle between Darian Durant and Drew Tate, both teams wanted to get the jump early but it was scoreless until there was 0:02 left in the opening quarter. That's when the Riders opened the scoring with a Sandro Deangelis field goal.
However from there, the Stampeders took over and never really looked back. The Riders held the lead briefly twice more, but it literally lasted for only a few seconds. Blunders on special teams and defence ultimately cost them the game. Throw in a few dropped passes and it was curtains.
With 0:47 to go and the Riders up 30-29, Tate launched a 68-yard touchdown bomb to Romby Bryant to give Calgary the winning points.
BOOM! Done. And that's the season.
Thrilling ending, but another devastating way to lose at McMahon Stadium.
"It's been a tough place for us lately," admitted Durant, who threw for 453 yards and four touchdowns. "Give Calgary credit, they're a good team. We made too many mistakes and ultimately gave them the game."
Yes, he's right. We all hoped the playoffs would be a brand new season and the teams would be equal. The young Riders shot themselves in the foot time after time and a coverage breakdown led to the last-minute touchdown to break their back. Meanwhile the veteran Stamps never really seemed out of control of the game.
"That's the thing about football; sometimes its out of your hands and you hope people step up and make plays," Durant continued. "Calgary did. Calgary pretty much played a mistake-free game and that's why they won."
Right now we're in a holding pattern. It's tough to look ahead to next season because there's a long, cold winter staring at us before that. And it feels too soon to look back and reflect on the 2012 season because we weren't ready, nor prepared, for it to end.
Rod Pedersen is the Voice of the Saskatchean Roughriders on 620 CKRM. You can check out his award-winning blog at www.rodpedersen.com. Follow Rod on Twitter @sportscage.
|8||Lemar Durant||Simon Fraser||WR|
|2||Blue Bombers||OL||Chungh, Sukh|
|8||Alouettes via HAM||OL||Ruby, Jacob|