The final game of the 2016 Roughriders season was a tough sell from the beginning.
The Riders had no meaningful football left to play having been eliminated from the playoff hunt weeks earlier and the team’s star quarterback Darian Durant didn’t even make the trip.
Head coach Chris Jones continued his use of the quarterback rotation on Saturday, opting to have Mitchell Gale start and bring in G.J. Kinne and Brandon Bridge at various points throughout the game.
After the third quarter the Riders had managed just 81 yards passing to B.C.’s 306. The score was 33-4.
It was only Bridge who gave Rider fans anything to cheer about. Gale went 6 of 11 for 56 yards and Kinne was 4 of 11 for 24 yards.
Bridge on the other hand went 10 for 11 and 120 yards and rushed in a touchdown. He also set up the second Roughrider touchdown, a rush by Greg Morris.
“Every time I step on the field I just want to show that I can be the guy or play the quarterback position,” Bridge said.
“Being a Canadian quarterback is definitely difficult and it’s definitely a roadblock I’m trying to hurdle.”
The performances of the Roughriders backups were certainly not enough to quell any fears about what would happen if Darian Durant didn’t resign with the green and white in the offseason, however Chris Jones refused to go there.
“I’m not answering any Darian Durant questions tonight,” he said firmly.
He did offer some analysis on the team.
“We certainly didn’t reach what we wanted to do this year at any phase,” Jones said. “The one thing that we can take away from it is we got a lot of really good kids in the room that didn’t quit. Regardless of what the score was they still played hard. We didn’t give ourselves at chance tonight with first half that we had and we’ve got a long way to go.”
B.C. on the other hand sealed their fate as the second place team in the west and will get to host the western semi-final. With a 29 point lead the Lions rested Jonathan Jennings who had thrown 307 yards and three touchdowns by then.
His main target, Emmanuel Arceneaux finished the game with 180 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“We’re a young team and we shot ourselves in the foot a lot of time and a good team like BC will take advantage every time,” said linebacker Henoc Muamba.
But despite the struggle, he said he sees hope for next season.
“I didn’t see anybody quite from the beginning to the end and nobody stopped at all … A team that can do that has a lot of potential. We have a lot of weapons it’s just a matter of getting guys to play together for a while.”
The Riders end the season with 5 wins and 13 losses.
The players will empty out their lockers at old Mosaic Stadium on Sunday morning. Chris Jones will address the media about the season on Monday.