Yes, you read that headline correctly, third string quarterback Darian Durant lead the Saskatchewan Rough Riders to a 26-16 victory and put them in sole possession of first place with a 2-0 record.
Despite the win, the Riders suffered from some huge losses. Starting quarterback Marcus Crandell left the game with a hamstring injury, although he did not return, the injury does not appear to be to serious and he should be back next game.
Unfortunately for DJ Flick, last years leader in touchdown receptions, the news was not so good. Late in the second quarter, Flick went up for a pass and caught his spike in the turf on the way down. If you haven't seen the replay yet I suggest you don't. The way his ankle snapped even made me sick to my stomach and he should be out for a long time.
With Flicks injury in mind the second quarter was even worse for the Riders as backup quarter back Stephen Jyles threw two interceptions to go with his touchdown pass to Andy Fantuz and the Lions led 14-10 going into halftime on two touchdown runs from Joe Smith.
Things looked very bleak for the Riders coming into the third quarter with third string quarterback Darian Durant coming in to replace the struggling Stephen Jyles. The Riders would only manage a field goal, a 41 yarder from kicker Luca Congi. The Lions would get two points of there own on a safety.
Going into the fourth quarter down three points and two key players, the Riders seemed to be all but out of it at that point and thats when running back Wes Cates took things into his own hands.
Cates would lead the Riders charge down the field to begin the fourth quarter and it ended with Luca Congi tying the game with a 32 yard field goal. After the defence forced the Lions to punt after just two plays, the Riders once again charged down field with Wes Cates leading the charge like last time.
The key play of the drive was when Durant hooked up with Cates on a second and long screen pass that went for 15 yards and a first down. Wes Cates continued his strong play, busting through the Lions defensive line for a 15 yard touchdown run, staking the Riders to a 23-16 lead.
After Lance Frazier intercepted Jarius Jackson during the Lions next possession, Luca Congi would put the game away with a 27 yard field goal. The Riders would keep the ball on the ground the rest of the way as Cates would be brilliant in running out the clock.
Final score was 26 – 16 Riders. The victory improves the team to 2 – 0 on the year and puts them atop the Western Conference.
NOTES:- Flicks injury looked very serious and it looks probable that he will be out for the remainder of the season. Crandells injury didn't appear to be to bad and he could hopefully be back next game nut no reports have yet been made.
- The O-Line looked like they were missing Wayne Smith tonight as they give up six sacks.
- The Riders won despite totaling only 196 yards.