Riders make rare play­off trip to Ot­tawa

National Post (Latest Edition) - - POST SPORTS - Ron Van­stone, Post­media News

Saskatchewan will op­pose Ot­tawa in the play­offs for the first time since the 1976 Grey Cup game — won 2320 by the Ot­tawa Rough Riders on a l ast- minute touch­down catch by Tony Gabriel. The lat­est matchup is Saskatchewan’s first play­off game in Ot­tawa since the 1967 Grey Cup, in which the Hamil­ton Tiger- Cats downed the Roughrid­ers 24- 1 at Lans­downe Park. Now, which t eam — t he Roughrid­ers or the Red­blacks — will be his­tory as far as the 2017 sea­son is con­cerned? Sim­ply put, the Roughrid­ers are stronger all- around, as ev­i­denced by their 10- 8- 0 reg­u­lar- sea­son record. Ot­tawa re­ceived a home play­off game de­spite its 8- 9- 1 mark. Watch for a nail- biter, con­sid­er­ing that Saskatchewan and Ot­tawa split the sea­son se­ries, with each team win­ning on the road by one point. The Red­blacks’ quar­ter­back­ing sit­u­a­tion is more set­tled, thanks to the pres­ence of Trevor Har­ris. Kevin Glenn is the Roughrid­ers’ starter, but head coach Chris Jones has been prone to re­plac­ing the 38-year-old vet­eran with Bran­don Bridge — of­ten at a very early junc­ture in the game. The ap­proach is un­con­ven­tional, but it seems to work. Jones is a de­fen­sive guru and the sus­pi­cion here is that he will some­how find a way to limit the Red­blacks’ of­fence, which is with­out home­brew re­ceiver Brad Si­nop­oli. Saskatchewan by one.

SUN­DAY, 4: 30 P. M. EST Ed­mon­ton at Win­nipeg

The Es­ki­mos en­ter the play­offs as the league’s hottest team, hav­ing won five in a row. It has been a top­sy­turvy year for Ed­mon­ton, which won its first seven games, lost the next six, and then won the fol­low­ing five. The Es­ki­mos boast a starstud­ded of­fence that is led by quar­ter­back Mike Reilly, who is the best bet to win the CFL’s most out­stand­ing player award. His re­ceiv­ing corps — see: Bran­don Zyl­stra, Adar­ius Bow­man, Vi­dal Hazel­ton and Derel Walker — is the l eague’s best and all- pur­pose tail­back C. J. Gable is also dan­ger­ous. The Es­ki­mos also have the lux­ury of fac­ing a Bombers de­fence that has been por­ous dur­ing the lat­ter stages of the sea­son. An­other is­sue will be the health of Bombers quar­ter­back Matt Ni­chols, who sat out the reg­u­lar- sea­son fi­nale as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure. When last seen in game ac­tion, Ni­chols ag­gra­vated a calf in­jury with­out even be­ing hit. The Bombers will need a huge game from their multi- ta­lented tail­back, An­drew Har­ris. Win­nipeg has the lux­ury of home- field ad­van­tage at In­vestors Group Field, where the Bombers’ fans will make them­selves heard, but ul­ti­mately the Es­ki­mos will make the most noise. Ed­mon­ton by five. Last week: 3-1. Over­all: 54-23.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.