Friday, October 2, 2009

Late field goal helps BC beat Riders










Sean Whyte kicked a 33-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining in regulation time Friday night, pushing the BC Lions past the Saskatchewan Roughriders 19-16 in a CFL West Division contest in front of 31,958 fans at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia.

BC controlled the game in the first half, but could only muster 6 points on a pair of Sean Whyte field goals, the first a 10-yarder with 10:45 left in the first half after being denied following an advance to the 1, and the second, a 43-yarder, with 7:03 to go. The Lions, who had little trouble moving the ball in the first half, but were stopped on two scoring opportunities by some rock-hard Rider defense, reaching the 1 on the first possesion but being stopped on downs, then seeing Whyte's 45-yarder sail wide left with just under three minutes remaining in the first half. Saskatchewan's Luca Congi lit the scoreboard with a 49-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining in the second, and the Riders trailed 6-3 at the half.

BC increased the lead to 13-3 with 9:18 to go in the third, as Travis Lulay hit Paris Jackson with a 38-yard touchdown pass, followed by a Whyte convert. Saskatchewan made it a one-score game with five quick points. Whyte conceded a safety with 5:38 left in the third quarter, and a 47-yard field goal by Congi with 2:41 still to go in the third.

After an exchange of turnovers near the midway point of the final quarter, the Lions quickly moved into scoring position, but once again had to settle for three, with Whyte kicking a 25-yard field goal with 4:08 remaining in regulation time, upping BC's lead to 16-8. The Riders, mostly dormant on offense, woke up in a hurry, going 75 yards in 4 plays for the major score. Andy Fantuz skied over a defender to haul in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Darian Durant. Durant then found Gerran Walker for the 2-point conversion, tying the game 16-16, with just 2:33 to go in the 4th quarter. However, the Lions chewed up yardage and clock, getting a Whyte 33-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining, to win the game 19-16.

Buck Pierce led BC, with 29-of-43 passibng for 349 yards. Backup quarterback Travis Lulay threw just one pass, but completed it to Paris Jackson for a 38-yard touchdown and Sean Whyte booted 4 field goals and a convert. Darian Durant was 18-of-29 passing for 240 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 2-point convert and 2 interceptions for Saskatchewan. Andy Fantuz caught a touchdown pass, Gerran Walker pulled in a pass for a 2-point conversion and Luca Congi kicked 2 field goals. The Lions rolled up 507 yards total offense to 268 for the Riders, who allowed 3 quarterback sacks and committed 3 turnovers. BC allowed 1 sack and committed 2 turnovers.

The Lions improve to 6-7 for 12 points, tying Edmonton for third in the West, 2 points behind co-leaders Calgary and Saskatchewan. The Riders slip to 7-6 for 14 points, tied for first with Calgary, depending on the outcome of Saturday's Hamilton at Calgary game.

Saskatchewan returns home on Saturday, October 10th, to face the Toronto Argonauts. Kickoff is set for 9:00p.m. EDT, with the live broadcast on CKRM and the Rider Radio Network beginning at 8:00p.m. EDT. BC plays at Edmonton next Friday, October 9th.

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