VANCOUVER — Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant was sidelined with an apparent finger injury Sunday against the B.C. Lions.
Durant left the game after completing nine of 15 passes for 104 yards in the first half, after which the Riders trailed 13-9. The starting quarterback watched the rest of the game in uniform from the sidelines while sporting a brace on his right throwing hand.
Durant was replaced by backup Tino Sunseri, a 29-year-old Pittsburgh native who is in his second season with the Riders. Sunseri threw his first career CFL touchdown pass on a one-yard toss to Dan Clark, who is usually an offensive lineman but lined up as an eligible receiver at tight end on the final play of the third quarter.
The TD staked the Riders to their first lead of the game, at 19-13.
Durant said afterwards, will be further evaluated upon the team’s return to Regina.
“I never want (Durant) to get hurt, but we can all go in under a certain circumstance,” said Sunseri, a University of Pittsburgh product who had never been to Canada before signing with the Riders on short notice a few days before training camp in 2013. “Everyone was coming up to me on the sidelines and saying that they had my back and everything like that. So I knew, with the work that we put in during the week, that we were ready for it.”
The game was decided on the final play of the third quarter. With the Riders scrimmaging from the B.C. one-yard line, Clark lined up as an eligible receiver at tight end and got his hands on a high Sunseri pass in the end zone and held on, while falling backward.
It was the second CFL touchdown for Clark, a 26-year-old Regina native who scored one on a similar play in his rookie 2013 season.