Riders QB welcomes underdog role

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.”

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant celebrates after defeating the Calgary Stampeders to win the CFL Western final in Regina on Sunday. The Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Calgary Stampeders 27-17 and will face the Montreal Alouettes in the Grey Cup next weekend.

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

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read