It's up, it's .... no good

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

It wasn't an impossible task, but very few dollars would have been wagered on Paul McCallum succeeding.

A 52-yard field goal attempt to win a game is anything but easy.

But to do it on slippery grass at Commonwealth Stadium on a chilly afternoon is even tougher.

That was the assignment facing McCallum yesterday afternoon on the last play of the game.

A successful boot puts the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the driver's seat in their mission to host a playoff game at Taylor Field for the first time in 17 years.

Unfortunately for Rider Nation, he missed.

"Obviously the footing is not great out there. The grass is really inconsistent," said McCallum, who slipped on a field goal earlier in the game.

"I couldn't hit the ball the same way I did before because I would have probably slipped again.

"So I hit it a little bit different; more (like) a kickoff (attempt) to drive the ball."

McCallum had the distance, but it sailed left with Jason Tucker running it out to seal a Rider loss.

"It would have been one hell of a nice finish," said McCallum.

Before yesterday, the biggest Rider game in recent history was the Western Final last year, when McCallum missed an 18-yard chip shot - a much easier attempt than yesterday - that could have propelled the Green and White into the Grey Cup.

SHORT YARDAGE: With 231 yards on 20 completions yesterday, Ricky Ray became the third Eskimo in history to pass for 5,000 yards in a season. He joins Jason Maas (2004) and Warren Moon (1982, 1983) on that list. Ray also topped the 1,000 completion mark for his career, leaving him 378 from passing Tom Wilkinson for the all-time lead ... Ray passed Damon Allen yesterday for fifth on the Eskimo all-time passing yards list with more than 12,600 yards. Warren Moon is the franchise leader with 21,228 yards ... Ed Hervey passed Tommy Joe Coffey for fifth on the franchise reception list yesterday ... For the fourth consecutive year, Troy Davis has reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark. Davis also topped the 1,000-yard mark for receiving yards in his career,with six catches for 65 yards yesterday.


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