September 16, 2012

Rookie pivot holds his own in Durant’s absence

– With files from

MONTREAL — Drew Willy made his debut as a starter after looking good in relief of the injured Darian Durant in consecutive wins over Winnipeg and he didn’t look out of place against veteran Anthony Calvillo on the other sideline.

Composed for the entire contest, the former University of Buffalo star threw some fluttery balls, but completed 22-of-35 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown to RB Kory Sheets.

“There were some throws I missed that I usually make that I’m not real happy about, but there were some good things and bad things,” said Willy. “We could have won that game.

“We stalled on a few drives and it really hurt us. There were a couple there that I’ve just got to make.”

Whether Willy starts again next Sunday when the Riders play host to Calgary depends on how quickly Durant recovers from a hip injury.
“I feel pretty good,” said Durant. “It’s just precautionary, making sure I don’t further mess anything up.

“I’m not pain free, but who is at this point of the season? With the type of injury I have, if I rush it coming back it can heal 4-to-6 weeks instead of a week, so it’s probably best.”

Head Coach Corey Chamblin liked most of what he saw from Willy.

“I thought he did some positive things,” he said. “There were one or two times when the receivers didn’t help him out.

“But he’s a young guy and he’ll grow.”

Sandro De Angelis kicked field goals of 46 and 48 yards for the Riders, who were coming off a pair of wins over Winnipeg. The recently acquired DeAngelis also missed on two second-half attempts.