Alex’s Favourite Riders Semi-Final Moments
Published: Saturday, Nov 4th 2023, 3:11pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
Semi-Final Saturday is upon us in the CFL and us Rider fans are left at home watching, wondering what if… what if the Riders won ONE more game this year and at least had the chance to win the Grey Cup? As we know in the CFL, anything can happen. Alas, we are stuck here watching on TV as other teams get that chance.
But as we do here in Saskatchewan, we remember the good times and that’s what this piece is about. Here are some of my favourite Semi-Final moments from recent Rider history:
2010 vs BC – 41-38 (OT)
This was a wild game from start to finish, but everyone only remembers the finish. I’ll never forget Darian Durant’s 75 yard BOMB to Weston Dressler that seemingly put the Riders ahead for good… until Travis Lulay hit Emmanuel Arceneaux on a hail mary with no time on the clock to send the game to OT. But without that, we wouldn’t get the Jason Clermont moment in double OT. He takes a slant pass from Durant, slips a defender, gets a great block by Chris Getzlaf and gets his first TD as a Rider to win the game and send the Riders to Calgary for the West Final. What a moment!
2006 @ Calgary – 30-21
This was my first in-person playoff game as a Rider fan. We were on the Riderville bus trip and I’ll never forget looking down at my buddy Norm in the endzone seats at halftime… Riders are down and I said don’t worry, Kenton Keith will get us back in it. The first play from scrimmage in the second half, KK goes 76 yards up the middle for a touchdown and from then on it was party on. Henry Burris threw 4 INTs and the Riders scored 25 unanswered points. That was a great ride back home.
2013 vs BC – 29-25
This was the Grey Cup game to me. I knew that if the Riders won this game, they’d run all over Calgary in the West Final (which they did, rather easily) and with the Grey Cup at home, it was just a formality (which it was). But this was the game that had us all worried. With nothing going right for the green and white, Darian Durant had his shining moment. I’ve never seen a single player just will their team to a win like he did. The countless runs in the 4th quarter to extend drives, he put the team on his back like no other. I know Durant gets a lot of praise for this game, but it still isn’t enough. What this win ultimately meant to the franchise can not be understated.
But, the best Semi-Final in my time as a Rider fan… you guys already know.
2007 vs Calgary – 21-19
The loudest I’ve ever heard Taylor Field. November 11, 2007. The first home playoff game since 1988. Thundersticks going crazy, the crowd losing their voice the entire pregame. Then, Kerry Joseph hits D.J. Flick on the first play of the game… touchdown. That. Place. Was. Unhinged! No one will ever forget that moment. The Riders had to settle for field goals the rest of the way and nearly gave it away in the end, but that moment of Joseph to Flick will forever be etched in Rider lore (same with Jim Hopson fist pumping on the sidelines as Flick crossed the goal line).
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