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Rider Insider

Finally a win, and now the Saskatchewan Roughriders are on a high heading into the 2010 CFL playoffs.

Finally a win, and now the Saskatchewan Roughriders are on a high heading into the 2010 CFL playoffs.The Green & White snapped a four game losing streak with a 31-23 victory over Edmonton at Mosaic Stadium Saturday night before another soldout crowd of 30,048.Don't tell the Riders it was a meaningless game! Although they were guaranteed of finishing in second-place no matter the game's outcome, the team took to the field with high intensity knowing a win would knock the Eskimos out of playoff contention. That's exactly what happened, and now the Riders will collide with Wally Buono's BC Lions in Sunday's CFL western semifinal.Rider quarterback Darian Durant threw for 345 yards in the victory while Wes Cates, Andy Fantuz and Durant himself scored touchdowns."That's a huge win for us," said Rider linebacker Barrin Simpson.

"We stayed confident although we weren't winning games. We put the importance on special teams and we won the battle tonight. It's good to get some confidence going into the playoffs."Some interesting and quirky things happened in the game which may force the Riders to change how they look at things in the playoffs. When the Riders covered 60 yards in 40 seconds ending in Durant's rushing touchdown late in the first half, Durant later revealed he was allowed to call his own plays on the drive.When I asked him how often that happens, his reply was "not very often". Is this something the Riders may want to consider moving forward? It was a slick-looking drive.Secondly both Rider kickers Warren Kean and Eddie Johnson missed field goals in the first half of the game and that has to be a concern. They are filling in for Luca Congi whose season (and perhaps career) was ended due to a double ligament tear in his knee a month ago. Going into the playoffs, the Riders' kicking game is a LARGE question mark however head coach Ken Miller says they'll forge ahead with the players they have and expects that they'll be fine."Everybody's been confident as we've gone forward and our character's stood up and showed itself," Miller asserted. "Tad Kornegay told me 'Coach we're back' and I think the men are confident and looking forward to upcoming challenges."The first such challenge comes in the form of the B.C. Lions in Sunday's western semifinal. The Riders were 2-1 against B.C. in the regular season but the past doesn't matter now."We'll be happy to host B.C.," Miller smiled. "They've gotten better through the season and they pulled out the win in Hamilton against a good team to get here. B.C. will be a challenge but we'll be up for the challenge."Are YOU ready for the challenge? It's going to be a fun week!(Rod Pedersen is the voice of the Riders on 620 CKRM)