Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Stark contrast between QBs
Goltz, Durant night and day in terms of experience
REGINA -- Get into any meaty discussion with Saskatchewan Roughriders QB Darian Durant about football and, invariably, the conversation turns to some unfinished business in the playoffs.
Little wonder. Durant has twice led the Riders to Grey Cup games, but is 0-2.
"That's what separates good players from great players and that's what you're remembered by," Durant said on the eve of the 2013 Labour Day Classic. "We'll see at the end of the season where we are and if I've taken my game to another level.
"I've been to Grey Cups before, I've had success in the regular season and for me it's all about post-season success and hoisting that trophy at the end of the year."
And then there is his counterpart in today's Labour Day Classic, Justin Goltz, who will make just his third professional start for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
In many ways, the stark contrast in experience between Durant and Goltz mirrors where these two franchises find themselves now: the Riders, at 7-1, are legitimate Grey Cup contenders. And the Bombers, at 1-7, are still searching for an answer at QB.
"It hasn't been the best season for us so far and this is probably the biggest game of the year," said Goltz. "But in an ideal dream scenario you turn things around, especially with the changing of bodies and what not, it would be nice to kind of solidify yourself and win a big game like this. So, in terms of this being a great opportunity to go ahead and seize, it's definitely there."
The Labour Day Classic might have been Max Hall's to start had he not injured his throwing hand early in last week's loss to Hamilton. And it might have been Buck Pierce's to start if he hadn't exited with an undisclosed injury that has him on the injured list this week and replaced by Jason Boltus.
In steps Goltz -- who mopped up in the Hamilton loss -- for his third start. He has completed 56.8 per cent of his passes this season for two TDs against three interceptions. But if you're wondering if Goltz has his eyes on parlaying a good performance into another start next week in the Banjo Bowl, think again.
That's understandable, seeing as he was declared the starter "going forward" earlier this season, only to fall to third on the depth chart just a couple of weeks later. So excuse him if he's not going to live in the moment.
"I'm really not worried about me personally any more," Goltz said. "There's been a lot that's happened this year. All I know is that I have an opportunity to step on the field and do something about it.
"Other than that, I can't look ahead to next week. I can't look ahead towards the rest of the season because there's been a lot of unusual circumstances that have happened for us this year. It's not too smart to look too far ahead."
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 1, 2013 B3
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