Friday, October 3, 2008

Riders stop Stamps, snap skid









Michael Bishop passed for one score and Neil Hughes ran for two, leading the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a 37-34 upset win over the Calgary Stampeders in CFL West Division Friday night in front of 30,945 fans at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Calgary took the opening possession 60 yards in 11 plays, getting a 25 yard fieldgoal from Sandro DeAngelis to take a 3-0 lead. The Riders quickly struck back on their first possession, hitting a couple of big pass plays to set up Neil Hughes' 3 yard touchdown run. Luca Congi kicked the convert, putting Saskatchewan up 7-3. The first quarter fireworks continued on the Stamps next possession, as quarterback Henry Burris quickly led Calgary deep into Rider territory, rolling right for a 1 yard touchdown run, his third rushing score of the season. DeAngelis kicked the convert, putting the Stampeders up 10-7, with 1:24 left in the opening quarter. Calgary added a single on the ensuing kicking, increasing their advantage to 11-7.

Saskatchewan came right back with a Congi 47 yard fieldgoal early in the second quarter, drawing the green and white to within one, at 11-10, just under two minutes into the period. Then, after forcing the Stampeders to punt for the first time on the night, the Riders regained the lead with a lightning-quick march down the field, ending with a 9 yard touchdown pass from Michael Bishop to Chris Getzlaff. Getzlaff's first career CFL score, along with Congi's convert, put the good guys back on top 17-11, with 9:21 left in the half. Calgary scored again with 1:58 left in the half, after recovering a Saskatchewan fumble. The Horseys went 60 yards to score, as Burris hit Kenyon Rambo with a 19 yard pass on a post pattern. DeAngelis added the convert, putting the visitor's back up by 1 at 18-17, with 1:58 remaining in the second. The Riders took the next possession and moved quickly into Calgary territory, but the drive stalled at the 26. Congi was able to boot a 33 yard fieldgoal, putting Saskatchewan back on top 20-18, with just over a minute left on the first half time clock. The Stampeders elected to take the ball at the 35, instead of having the Riders kick off. Aided by a couple of penalties for objectionable conduct, Calgary got another chance to score. Saskatchewan stiffended defensively, forcing a DeAngelis 14 yard fieldgoal. The kick put the visitors up 21-20 at the half.

In the third, Burris fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Kitwana Jones scooped up the ball and ran 15 yards for the score. Congi tacked on the convert, putting the Roughriders back on top again, at 27-21. DeAngelis kicked a 39 yard field goal for the Stamps with 8:55 remaining in the third, cutting the Saskatchewan lead to 27-24, an advantage that would last into the 4th quarter.

A DeAngelis 30 yard field goal, his third three pointer of the game for Calgary, knotted the score at 27-27, with just over 13 minutes left in regular time. The Roughriders regained the lead with 7:39 left, as Hughes bulled his way to paydirt on third and goal from the one, shortly after a Calgary turnover. Congi's convert put Saskatchewan on top by 7, at 34-27. The Riders forced a punt, then took the ball downfield on their most important possession of the game, winding precious time off the clock and setting Congi up for a 34 yard field goal attempt. The Simon Fraser grad kicked it home, putting Saskatchewan up 37-27, with 2:22 remaining on the Mosaic Stadium score clock. The Stampeders scored with 1:15 left, as Burris hit Ryan Thelwell from 33 yards out. DeAngelis kicked the convert, cutting the Riders lead to 37-34. Calgary attempted an onside kick, but the ball bounced out of bounds without being touched. Saskatchewan was awarded possession and was able to run out the clock, holding on for the 37-34 win.

Michael Bishop led the Riders, completing 20 of 27 passes for 242 yards and one touchdown. Weston Dressler caught 7 passes for 128 yards, Chris Getzlaff had 5 catches for 47 yards and a score. The ground game was paced by Neil Hughes, who had two scores. Henry Burris completed 29 of 45 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns the Stamps. He also threw an interception. Kenyon Rambo caught 12 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Thelwell caught a touchdown pass, while Burris rushed for a score. Luca Congi was 3 of 4 on field goals and 4 of 4 on converts, scoring 13 points for Saskatchewan. DeAngelis scored 15 points for Calgary, going 3 for 3 on field goals and 4 of 4 on converts.

The win snaps the Riders three game skid and ties them for first in the West with the Stampeders and B.C. at 9-5 for 18 points. B.C. also tied for the top spot in the West Friday night, with their 24-20 win at Toronto.

The Riders and Calgary meet again on Monday, October 13th at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta. Kickoff on http://ww.620ckrm.com is set for 3:30p.m. Get more news from Rider Nation by logging on to http://rodpedersen.blogspot.com.

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