Riders QB Darian Durant welcomes underdog role against Montreal in the Grey Cup

REGINA — Darian Durant says everyone always told him that he couldn’t be a quarterback because — in Durant’s own words — he’s “a short guy, pretty stocky” and doesn’t “have the strongest arm in the world.”

REGINA — Darian Durant says everyone always told him that he couldn’t be a quarterback because — in Durant’s own words — he’s “a short guy, pretty stocky” and doesn’t “have the strongest arm in the world.”

Durant aims to prove everyone wrong by leading the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a Grey Cup victory Sunday.

“It’ll be the best moment of my life,” says Durant.

“I’ve been through so much in my life. I’ve been told all my life that I couldn’t play quarterback so it’ll be great to be able to accomplish something of that magnitude and to bring it back to the greatest fans in the land.”

Durant helped the green and white get to the championship by throwing for 204 yards and three touchdowns during the CFL West Division final against the Calgary Stampeders. The Riders sent the Stampeders, the defending Grey Cup champs, packing with a final score of 27-17.

The win capped off a season that saw Durant pass for 4,348 yards. He also got the nod to the West Division all-star team.

Durant’s name is already being tossed around with the likes of CFL passing leader Ricky Ray of Edmonton, Calgary’s Henry Burris and Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo, the league’s outstanding player last year and a nominee for the award in 2009. Calvillo, 37, was also the Grey Cup Most Outstanding Player in 2002.

But the Saskatchewan pivot says he doesn’t get caught up in the hype.

“I appreciate being mentioned in the same breath as those guys, but I can’t really accept that because they’ve accomplished more than I’ve ever thought about right now,” says Durant. “I’m just trying to make a name for myself and to take this team to a level that we haven’t been in a long time and to build a dynasty here. That’s my goal.”

Durant says dynasties start with having Western finals at home, going to the Grey Cup and winning championships. This is a start, he says.

“I’m in my first year as a starter and I’m fortunate enough to be able to play in the Grey Cup. This is what you play the game for, this is what I’ve worked all my life for,” says the 27-year-old.

The Roughriders will have to get past the Montreal Alouettes if they want to hoist the Grey Cup. The Alouettes are playing in their second straight Cup final after defeating the B.C. Lions 56-18 in the CFL East final.

Surprisingly, it’s the first time that the Alouettes and Roughriders will meet in the championship.

Veteran Rider defensive back Eddie Davis knows that Saskatchewan will face a tough competitor.

“The biggest challenge I think is going to be Anthony Calvillo,” says Davis. “He makes everything for that team happen. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, he’s always on point and we have to do things to confuse him so he can’t get the ball off to those receivers.”

The Roughriders lost both meetings with the Alouettes this year. Montreal won 43-10 in Week 3 at Regina and 34-25 in Week 8 at home.

Durant says he knows Saskatchewan is going into the game as the underdog and welcomes the role.

“That’s how we’ve been perceived all year. I’m pretty sure no one expected us to be here except the people in the locker-room,” says Durant.

“I just treat every game like it is and that’s just another football game. Of course what’s at stake is a lot greater but at the same time you just still have to play football.”

Just Posted

Council raises concerns about cannabis smoke and health

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Red Deer woman hopes stolen guitar will be returned

Stolen guitar belong to her late mother

Penhold climber’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

He never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Scheer going to India to ‘repair’ relationship after ‘disastrous’ Trudeau trip

OTTAWA — Six months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy prowess… Continue reading

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month