Riders season ends in east final loss

By Ryan Brandt/CJME News
November 19, 2017 - 5:32pm

A massive Christion Jones punt return put the Riders within spitting distance of a berth in the Grey Cup, but the Toronto Argonauts scored a late touchdown to beat Saskatchewan 25-21 in the CFL East Division final.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the offense found its footing. Starting quarterback Kevin Glenn struggled out of the gate, completing only six of 13 passing attempts with three interceptions. One of those picks was taken 39-yards the other way by Toronto for their opening touchdown of the contest.

Toronto added to their score in the second quarter with Rickey Ray hitting DeVier Posey for a 17-yard touchdown. Kicker Lirim Hajrullahu kicked a 35-yard field goal and tacked on a single point off a 41-yard miss to round out the scoring for Toronto.

Brandon Bridge was rotated in by head coach Chris Jones, struggling early but found a spark late in the contest. Bridge ran the ball 36-yards deep in Toronto territory before hitting Duron Carter for the Riders first touchdown. The Canadian quarterback threw for 150-yards and rushed for 43 more to lead the Riders in both passing and rushing yards.

Tyler Crapigna tacked on a pair of field goals, opening the scoring for Saskatchewan with a 16-yard kick in the first quarter. He added another from 28-yards out in the fourth quarter.

Late in that final quarter, it looked as though the Riders luck was about to change. Christion Jones took a Toronto punt 79-yards with a flurry of teammates jumping along the sideline with him. After a two-point convert, the Riders were suddenly up 21-18.

But Toronto had one last blast left in them. Ricky Ray led his team down the field to the Riders 1-yard line and backup quarterback Cody Fajardo ran in the score for the victory.

With the win, Toronto advances to the Grey Cup to face either Edmonton or Calgary. The Riders were trying to be the first team in the CFL history to advance to the Grey Cup as the crossover team.

Rider gives back to Regina before returning home

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