CFL

SportsCentre Year In Review: Riders win Grey Cup at home

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Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
12/17/2013 9:59:15 AM
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Leading up to SportsCentre's Year In Review on Christmas Eve, TSN and TSN.ca look back at each of the Top 10 stories of 2013.

Today, we look back at the Sea of Green in Regina - as the Saskatchewan Roughriders won the 101st Grey Cup in front of their passionate fans by toppling the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

They said the script was written in green ink. After watching the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts hoist the Grey Cup on home soil the previous two years, Saskatchewan Roughriders fans were hoping this was their year, the season of the 101st Grey Cup to be played in Regina.

The Roughriders' fast start and strong first half gave the province hope, with Darian Durant playing some of the best football of his career and Kory Sheets rushing on a record pace.

The team's second half struggles - a four-game losing streak after Labour Day - served as the obstacle for the heroes to overcome; with the Riders doing just that in finishing second in the West Division before advancing to the championship game in late November.

As if the Grey Cup couldn't hold any more importance, the Roughriders were welcoming back old friends Kent Austin, Andy Fantuz, and Henry Burris, now in black and gold as members of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Austin led Saskatchewan to their last Grey Cup win in 2007 before heading south to coach college football. Fantuz was named Most Outstanding Canadian in that same Grey Cup.

The game itself was never very close, and that was just fine with the 44,710 crammed into the stands at Taylor Field.

Buoyed by a couple of fortunate bounces early, the Roughriders mostly dominated Hamilton that Sunday en route to an easy 45-23 win.

Sheets completed his magical season with nearly 200 rushing yards, two touchdowns and a Grey Cup MVP.

Geroy Simon proved he was still super with two touchdown receptions while fan favourite Weston Dressler and Jock Sanders also added scores.

And as for Durant, the QB who carried the perception he wasn't a big game player, he left with 271 total yards on offence, three touchdowns, and questions of his championship abilities forever answered.

It was the perfect ending to a yearlong journey for the Roughriders and fans of the team in Saskatchewan; all of them rewarded for making the event one of the loudest and most passionate in recent memory.

 Kory Sheets (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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