REGINA - Green is the colour, football is the game, and now the people of Saskatchewan — from LaRonge to Langenburg, from Rosetown to Radville — might just party until the snow melts in the spring after the Roughriders recorded the biggest win in their 103-year history.
The Riders, playing for the Grey Cup at home for the first time, destroyed the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 in the 101st CFL championship game Sunday night at Mosaic Stadium.
The Roughriders became the third straight team to win a title at home, following in the footsteps of the B.C. Lions in 2011 and Toronto Argonauts last year at the Rogers Centre. There were 12 players on the field Sunday night who were finally champions in their home province. They are the dynamic dozen who can say they were the first.
“To win it anywhere would’ve been unreal, but to win it in your hometown, it still hasn’t even sunk in yet,” Weyburn, Sask., native and left guard Brendon LaBatte said as green and white confetti fluttered down around him.
“It’s just going to be crazy here,” Regina native and right tackle Ben Heenan said of the next few months in the Queen City. “If we didn’t win this game I would’ve had to find another place to spend my off-season, put it that way.”
Quarterback Darian Durant won his first championship as a starter, running back Kory Sheets set a title-game rushing record, slotback Geroy Simon caught his first two Grey Cup touchdowns and the team that was built to win a title on its home turf by general manager and Saskatoon native Brendan Taman did just that.