Until Willie Jefferson made a Willie Jefferson-type play that was somehow allowed by the CFL’s video-review officials, the Saskatchewan Roughriders were poised to lose a pivotal game against the Edmonton Eskimos.
But while Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly was absorbing a helmet hit and getting fallen on by Riders defensive lineman Zack Evans, Jefferson — one of the league’s top defensive players — grabbed an interception and carried it 49 yards for a game-deciding touchdown. Video review somehow ignored the late-game, roughing-the-passer penalties and Saskatchewan beat Edmonton 19-12.
Monday’s victory put the Roughriders in total command of their playoff destiny. With three regular-season games remaining their most likely finish is second, with a home playoff game for their divisional semifinal, but they still have their sights on catching the Calgary Stampeders for first place in the West. After two decent showings, the Riders’ offence didn’t score a touchdown. But having won seven of their last eight games to boost their record to 10-5, it’s looking like two-year-old Mosaic Stadium is going to hold its first CFL playoff game this November.