Darian Durant found another level in helping lead the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a Grey Cup victory last season. Damian Miller Jersey . For an encore, hell have to find an even higher level still. Durant was sensational last year, posting career numbers (325-531 for 4,154 passing yards, and a career best 31 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions), and featuring regularly in the MOP Watch. By the increasingly criticized metric that is Quarterback Rating, Durant had the best year of his career last year at 95.7, a full seven points higher than his career mark. But Durant had an awful lot of help on the teams third-ranked offence. First and foremost was league all-star and team nominee for Most Outstanding Player Kory Sheets. In his sophomore CFL campaign Sheets was second in league rushing with 1,598 yards and a gaudy 5.6 yards per carry average and 12 touchdowns. His Grey Cup performance will also be remembered in Saskatchewan – and Hamilton, albeit much less fondly – for years to come. The 29-year-old will be preparing for NFL training camp in Oakland when the Roughriders begin their title defence, and while hes in tough to make the Raiders roster, the best case scenario for Saskatchewan is a return sometime around Labour Day. Another Roughriders mainstay and fan favourite Durant will no longer have at his disposal is slight receiver Weston Dressler. The 57 slotback was a 1,000-yard receiver in five of his six CFL seasons, falling just 59 yards short in his sophomore campaign, and scored a combined 45 touchdowns. Durant and Dresslers time in Saskatchewan had coincided, the two emerging together in 2008. But now the favourite target is in Kansas City with no guarantee of returning. So this year Durant enters the unquestioned leader on offence, and with more unknowns on the roster than previous seasons, hell have to shoulder a greater load. The good news of course is that the cupboard isnt completely bare. While Dresslers sure hands and elusiveness will be missed in the receiving corps, two other pass catchers, ones still on the roster, eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark as well last season in Chris Getzlaf, who led the team with 1,045, and Taj Smith, who hit the mark in just his second season. And if Rob Bagg can stay healthy all year, that will be another receiver for Durant to lean on. The running back position is much more of a toss-up heading into the season. The team has five RBs with a combined two carries CFL experience (Clifton Smith, which he gained with the Calgary Stampeders last season). But the last time they tried to replace a solid veteran running back, Wes Cates in 2012, they found a guy who would one day lead them to a Grey Cup victory at home. So, theres hope. Things could work out around Durant; he may have a support staff as talented as the one hoisting the Grey Cup alongside him last year. But the inexperience and uncertainty heading into the season alone means hell have to do even more as both a leader and performer to keep the Roughriders in Grey Cup contention. The football crazy fans in Saskatchewan already love their veteran quarterback; if he can elevate his game and bring more success to the province, theyll cherish him even more. Notes Expansion Draft Roughriders fans were surprised to see DT Keith Shologan get picked by the Ottawa Redblacks in the national portion of the expansion draft after the veteran spent the past six seasons in Saskatchewan. Ottawa also grabbed Shologans backup in Zack Evans one round later, it being evident the Roughriders were making a ratio change. OT James Lee was Saskatchewans international loss in the draft. Coach of the YearIn his second season as head coach of the Roughriders, Corey Chamblin had a dream year. He led Saskatchewan to a scorching start to the season before guiding them to a Grey Cup win in front of a boisterous hometown crowd. Chamblin was awarded in the off-season with the leagues Coach of the Year award, beating out former Roughriders coach Kent Austin. Free Agency The Roughriders lost a lot more talent in free agency than they signed back. Notable losses included S Craig Butler, LBs Abraham Kromah and Graig Newman, WR Kierre Johnson, RB Jock Sanders, and QB Drew Willy, not to mention Kory Sheets and Weston Dressler who are now in the NFL. The team did lock up some of their pending free agents however, including DBs Paul Woldu and Terrell Maze, and WR Taj Smith. CFL DraftThe Roughriders traded out of the first round, stock piling picks later in the draft. With their first pick in the second round the team landed CFL Combine star Dylan Ainsworth, a DL from Western, before also grabbing WR Alex Pierzchalski from Toronto. Saskatchewan also had two picks in the third round, nabbing John Mark from Calgary and WR Kristopher Bastien from Concordia. Their remaining picks included DB Matt Webster from Queens and OL Kyle Paterson from Regina in the fifth round, LB Travis Bent from Concordia in the sixth round, and OL Terry Hart from St. Francis Xavier in the seventh round. New Mosaic StadiumRoughriders fans got a glimpse at the teams new stadium late in the off-season and not much longer ground was broken. The $278 million project should be completed by August 2016 and will give the 33,000 fans surely to pack the place on a regular basis a more comfortable viewing experience than the one they are getting now. Greg Swindell Jersey . - Alex Dostie scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Gatineau Olympiques to a 5-3 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Sunday. Matt Andriese Jersey . Kansas City became the first team in baseball history to win four extra-inning games in a single postseason on Friday, as Alex Gordon crushed a leadoff homer in the 10th and Mike Moustakas added the deciding two-run blast in the Royals 8-6 win.MALABO, Equatorial Guinea - Wilfried Bony scored two goals Sunday to help give the Ivory Coast a 3-1 win over Algeria and a spot in the semifinals of the African Cup of Nations.Bony headed in a cross from Max Gradel in the 26th minute after being left completely alone at the far post. The Manchester City forward scored another in the 68th, nodding in a free kick taken by club teammate Yaya Toure.Gervinho, who was back after serving a two-match suspension, added a third in injury time as the Algerians pushed forward in a desperate attempt to equalize.Hilal Soudani scored Algerias goal in the 51st, taking a pass from Riyad Mahrez that trickled through a weak Ivory Coast defence and beating goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo.The Ivorians, who won their only African Cup title in 1992, will next face Congo on Wednesday in Bata.With Toure and Bony but without Didier Drogba, the Ivorians came into the tournament as a big favourite. They dreww their opening two matches against Mali and Guinea, but beat Cameroon to win a tough Group D. Randy Johnson Jersey. Although they are playing without Drogba, Ivory Coast still has plenty of quality throughout its squad. And it was Gradel, a midfielder who plays for Saint-Etienne, who provided some key goals in the group stage.He came on as a substitute and scored a late equalizer against Mali, and then the winner against Cameroon a few days later.On Sunday, it was all about Bony, who recently completed a move from Swansea to Man City shortly before the African Cup started.I think the Ivory Coast team is very lucky, Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard said. He was the best scorer in England in 2014. I think when you just said that, you can explain everything.With Drogba, the Ivorians twice reached the African Cup final, but both times lost on penalties. The last time was in 2012, when Renard led Zambia to a surprising title. ' ' '