Record Night in Regina (101st Grey Cup Review)

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders would have a unique opportunity coming in to the 101st Grey Cup. It was not as if it had never happened before as the last two Grey Cups would see the exact same opportunity for two teams. This time it was different though as the Riders would have the chance to win the Grey Cup in front of some of the most loyal fans in the CFL. Rider Nation is one of the best in sports let alone the CFL and although the B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts would have the opportunity to win at home this time it seemed different. The fact that it was in Regina in front of a rabid fan base was not the only thing as this fan base has not seen a lot of success. They have suffered through the ups and downs of the Riders including the fabled losses like the 13th man game. The fan bas is one of the most loyal but they have not been able to see their team win the big game too often. In fact the Riders had only won 3 Grey Cups despite being founded in 1910 and that fact only gets worse when you add that the Riders have appeared in 18 Grey Cups before 2013. The Riders had the worst winning percentage in the Grey Cup and had the least Grey Cup wins in CFL history. All of this together made the 101st Grey Cup one of the biggest opportunities for the Roughriders. Playing the spoilers on the day was another team that had a rabid fan base that had suffered a long time as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would look to give their fan base a reason to cheer. The Riders would win the Grey Cup in 2007 giving some help to the fan base while the Ti-Cats’ fan base would have a lot longer to suffer. It hadn’t been since 1999 that the Tabies had appeared in the Grey Cup and took home the hardware. They had limited success in the past few years as they have been an up and down team. It would not give the Ti-Cats’ fans much to cheer about in the last 13 years but the fans would always be behind their team and would look to get something to cheer about in the 101st Grey Cup. Both teams were looking to try to find their way back to the top of the mountain for two fan bases that have followed their teams through everything. The Riders were doing it for their legacy that includes everything except the Grey Cup wins. For the Ti-Cats it was a chance to get back to the top of the heap after 13 years without a championship. Both teams would also come through the season in the same way have inconsistent years that would put them in second place. They would both get through the playoffs in close semi-finals and then by taking out the two Grey Cup favorites in the division finals. Both teams would meet in Regina at the end of very similar paths as both the Riders and the Tabies were hoping to be the 101st champion of the CFL.

The game would start as many would think with Rider Nation making life difficult for the visiting team from the start. The Riders would go about their business as usual almost like it was another game in the regular season. The Riders clearly had the advantage in two distinct areas throughout the season and would show it in their final game of the season. They would put together the best defensive and offensive line in the CFL and going into the Grey Cup. The offensive line would be the story in the game as the Riders would make sure that they would be a major factor in the game. The line would give Darian Durant enough time to throw for 3 TDs and 245 yards in the game. These three TDs would include the first two TDs in the Grey Cup for Geroy Simon which is a surprising fact for the man who is the CFL’s all-time leading receiver. More importantly the offensive line would be able to give Kory Sheets big holes to run through and would allow him to put up the best rushing numbers that have ever been seen in the Grey Cup. Kory Sheets would put his name in the record books by the third quarter and would finish the game with 197 yards rushing and two TDs. It was a performance for the ages and the major part of it would be thanks in large part to the offensive line. On defence the Riders would see the Hamilton Tiger-Cats potent offence limited especially on the ground. The defensive line would earn two sacks while limiting the rushing attack to 57 total yards. The game was extremely one-sided as Sheets and Durant took over the game and would be the difference in their championship effort. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were not the same team they had been in the weeks leading up to the Grey Cup as they were completely shut down on offence. Henry Burris would show is inconsistency in the game missing open receivers and would not be able to overcome the defence of the Riders. From the opening kickoff the Roughriders were in control and despite a comeback effort in the 3rd quarter there was not a lot to the Tiger-Cats fight in this game. Instead the Riders would dominate and would begin the party in front of their home crowd in what seemed like a game they were destined to win. The Riders would take the final prize-winning the 101st Grey Cup and earning bragging rights for the next season. With the Grey Cup finished the new season has started as the 2014 season officially begins and teams get back to the grind trying to work towards the 102nd Grey Cup in Vancouver.

Final Score:
Saskatchewan Roughriders 45 – 23 Hamilton Tigers Cats


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