It was a terribly forgettable game, but unfortunately it’s one that no one will forget.
The Roughriders couldn’t pull out one last win for old Mosaic Stadium’s Saturday night, in fact, it wasn’t even close.
The B.C. Lions worked the Riders 24-6, sacked quarterbacks Darian Durant and Jake Waters a combined seven times, and generally seemed to have the answers to all of the Roughriders plays.
Considering the team was playing in front 33,427 fans hoping for a different outcome, Rob Bagg said the loss was really disappointing.
“Before the game I mentioned to a couple people it kind of had that Grey Cup feeling from 2013,” Bagg said. “It was really an ideal night for us to play a good football game and we didn’t.”
The offensive line struggled against a strong B.C. defence, leading to a shoulder injury to 24-year-old Waters. Waters was playing in his first game for the Riders rotating in and out with Durant, but both of them seemed to struggle finding a rhythm.
Jones said he made the decision to get the best possible look at what Waters could do.
“I just wanted to be able to evaluate (Waters) in a situation early in the game and not have him sit over there and get tight and get cold,” Jones said. “I wanted to be able to evaluate him with people who were competing at a high level and trying to win the football game early in the game.”
Jones said Waters made a few “boneheaded” decisions, but overall thought he looked calm in the pocket. Waters went 3 of 5 for 40 yards, including a 21 yard dart to Caleb Holley before his injury forced him out.
Durant threw for 163 yards in what Jones called a gutsy performance, given the constant pressure from B.C.’s defence.
“I thought he did a really nice job of keeping his composure and delivering the ball late in the game,” he said.
Durant was unavailable for interviews after the game as he was taking part in the farewell ceremony.
The mood in the locker room was notably somber, in large part because the players knew how much the game meant to the fans.
“It was disappointing,” linebacker Henoc Muamba said. “We knew what it meant to this city and to every single Rider fan and it meant a lot to us as well.”
Jones said he expected more from his players in the closing night in Mosaic, and overall.
“Our crowd was outstanding tonight,” he said. “We know what football means here and it’s very disappointing when we can’t execute for our fans.”