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Looking Back at My Favourite Saskatchewan Roughriders Home Openers

Published: Friday, Jun 21st 2024, 9:06am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

On Sunday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the 2024 home opener, looking to start the season 3-0. That’d be a great way to go into a bye week, wouldn’t it? 

Hope openers are special, it’s a different vibe. There is hope around the stadium, especially if you start on the road and win your first game (or two). The fans, us, get that much more amped up! And that’s how I feel about Sunday’s game. I can’t wait for the Riders to BRING EM OUT!

 

But, until then, I’m going to reminisce about a couple of the great home openers from my time as a season ticket holder since 2003.

 

2005 vs Winnipeg (W 42-15)

The first game at Taylor Field with a video screen! We had to wait a little bit for the MaxTron to be put to use because a lightning storm delayed the game. And when they did kick off…. Corey Holmes took it to the house! I’ll never forget that one, returning the opening kickoff of the season all the way for a TD. AND he nearly had another return TD just a few minutes later, taking a punt 63 yards to the Bombers 20 yard line. That began my final year on the west side of Taylor Field before I moved to Section 27 and what a way it was to get a season going!

 

2010 vs Montreal (W 54-51 2OT)

We all remember this one. The rematch of the Grey Cup from ‘09 to start the season. Montreal gets out to a huge lead, Darian Durant hits Rob Bagg for a long TD and the Riders came all the way back to tie it with an Andy Fantuz TD. And then overtime. And another too many men penalty. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! ANYTHING but that. And then the S.J. Green 2 point convert, in what was one of the greatest catches you’ll ever see. And Weston Dressler ends it with a TD a few minutes later. You want to talk about an emotional game… this was it. It was a Canada Day Classic and one of the greatest regular season games we have ever seen.

 

2017 vs Winnipeg (L 43-40 2OT)

Outside of the fact that the Bombers spoiled the Mosaic Stadium opening and Weston Dressler torched his former team, this was a fantastic game. Matt Nichols and Kevin Glenn put on a show, throwing for 8 touchdowns. But it was Tyler Crapigna hitting the uprights in double overtime on a field goal attempt that gave Winnipeg an easy kick for the win. But it gave us the confidence here in Riderville that after 2 disastrous seasons, things were trending up.

 

Honourable Mention: 2007 vs Calgary (W 49-8)

The Riders kicked the ever loving crap out of the Stampeders and come on, who doesn’t love that? Kerry Joseph threw for 4 TDs, Wes Cates ran for 2 more… and Henry Burris was bad. It was EVERYTHING Rider fans in 2007 could have asked for and it put the team on track for their third Grey Cup!

 

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