For the fourth consecutive year, Roughrider fans will be able to watch their team in the playoffs at Mosaic Stadium.
That's saying something because the team had a dryspell of no home playoff games between 1988 and 2007 but that period is eventually becoming just a bad, and long, memory.
Nope, the Riders clinched at least second-place in the CFL West with a 27-16 victory over the Argonauts in Toronto Saturday afternoon. It was a wonderful afternoon at Rogers Centre, with the crowd of 23,000 made up of approximately 40% Rider fans.
They saw several electrifying plays including a 66-yard touchdown pass from Darian Durant to Andy Fantuz early in the third quarter which broke the game open. The long distance hook-up put Fantuz over 1000 yards receiving on the season for the first time in his career.
"It is so much fun to see so much support from my family and friends," said Fantuz of the dozens of people in 83 Rider jerseys. "It's like a little reunion and I get tremendous support from them. I really appreciate it."
On defense, the biggest play was a sack and forced fumble combo by Rider defensive lineman Keith Shologan on Argo quarterback Dalton Bell with 2:00 to go which set up a Rider field goal to put the game out of reach. Bell was making his first pro start, and it was against his former team.
The victory upped the Riders' record to 9-4, but they're still chasing the 10-3 Calgary Stampeders for first place with seven games left. The two teams will meet October 17 in Regina in a game which will likely ensure first-place for the winner.
Thankfully for the Riders, the club is rounding into form at the right time. The win was their third-straight and quarterback Darian Durant continues to lead the CFL in passing.
"I'm really proud of our offense," said head coach Ken Miller after the game. "We'd like to run the ball more than we did today but Darian was on fire particularly in the first half. The 66-yard TD to Fantuz made the difference."
The Roughriders' next game is at home on Saturday at 3:00 against the 6-7 Toronto Argonauts.