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The Morning After – Riders Lose Thriller & QB to Calgary

Published: Sunday, Jul 16th 2023, 10:07am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


The emotional roller coaster that was last night’s game against the Calgary Stampeders is something that I won’t soon forget, for good and for bad. The Riders may have lost the game 33-31 to drop their record to 3-2 on the season, but that is far from the biggest loss they took on the field.


I am absolutely heartbroken for Riders QB Trevor Harris. Harris went down after a gruesome knee injury which likely put his season to an end, but also his career into question for many fans. Did we see the last of Trevor Harris? At his age, he’s nearing the end of his football days and while I’m willing to bet that this isn’t how he’s going to go out, the thought lingers in your mind. Speedy recovery, Trevor! Hope to see you back on the field again!


As for the game, I have a lot of thoughts about it, but they seem secondary after the Harris injury. I’ll leave a few here and save the rest for the next episode of The Piffles Podcast.


  • The Riders O-Line desperately needs help. Evan Johnson needs to go, he was just awful last night.
  • Can the Riders use Mario Alford on offense at all? The guy is electric and a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. Get him some screens or plays into open space once in a while, even just to have the defense adjust to him being out there.
  • Mason Fine will be fine as QB1 for the Riders. Will he wow anyone? No, I don’t think so. But I am interested to see him get a shot here now.
  • I wrote about Craig Dickenson’s aggressiveness and it finally hurt the team. Putting Brett Lauther out there for a 54 yard field goal was the wrong decision. Lauther didn’t practice due to injury, he’s been shaky all season long… punt it and pin the Stamps deep.
  • The Riders secondary was atrocious for most of the game last night. They have some really good players, but they sure missed Rolan Milligan out there. Jeremy Clark… yikes. No wonder he got benched for a rookie. I lost count of how many times the Stamps had a WIDE OPEN receiver for big chunk yardage plays.
  • And the decision to play 10 yards off the ball with 7 seconds left in the game when the ONLY option the Stamps had was a 5 yard pass is perplexing to me. PRESS COVERAGE! I’m not sure why Jason Shivers called what he did there, but he handed the Stampeders the win at the end. Awful.


This was the first time this season that I truly felt like coaching was the biggest issue. All around. Dickenson, Shivers, Kelly Jeffrey… it was a miracle the Riders were even in this game, let alone having the chance to win after that incredible Tevin Jones touchdown to take the lead late. With the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts on the schedule next, you can’t have games like this and still be in it. The good teams will blow you away.


Be sure to check out this week’s episode of The Piffles Podcast where Greg, Stephen and I go deeper into this game and what the team’s outlook is with Mason Fine in control going forward.


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