Saturday, October 17, 2009

Riders tie Calgary in OT thriller

The Saskatchewan Roughriders battled from behind all game long, earning a hard-fought 44-44 tie against the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary opened the scoring with a 14 yard field goal by Sandro Deangelis, taking a 3-0 lead with 6:23 left in the opening quarter. After a Luca Congi field goal attempt that missed wide right with 2:50 left in the 1st resulted in a single point for the Roughriders, Joffrey Reynolds scored on a 38 yard run, capping a 6 play, 67 yard drive. Deangelis converted, giving the Stampeders a 10-1 lead after the opening quarter.

Saskatchewan scored first in the second, as Chris Czarka ran up the middle for 6 yards and a touchdown. Congi coverted with 11:51 remaining in the half, cutting Calgary's lead to 10-8. Congi conceded a safety touch with 7:16 to go, then Reynolds ran it in from 3 yards out with 3:36 left, and the Stamps, with the Deangelis convert, led 19-8. The Riders' Czarka scored on a 1-yard run, finishing off a 4 play, 80 yard drive that featured a 65-yard catch and run by Jason Clermont. Congi's convert, with 2:27 remaining, made it 19-15 Calgary. Burke Dales booted a 56-yard punt single with 1:13 to go in the half to increase the Stampeder lead to 20-15, and Congi rounded out first half scoring with 7 seconds to go, kicking a 15 yard field goal for Saskatchewan, to leave the Calgary lead at 2, 20-18.

The third quarter was a defensive battle, with a Deangelis 30-yard field goal with 4:45 to go the only scoring, putting the Stampeders up 23-18 lead through three quarters.

Congi kicked a 71-yard punt single to start the 4th, cutting the deficit to 23-19. Congi then booted another field goal, this one with 6:37 remaining in regulation time, slicing the Calgary lead to 23-22. With 3:06 still on the clock, Reynolds scored his third touchdown of the night on a 5-yard run. Deangelis converted and the Stamps were up 30-22. The Riders would roar back to tie the game and force overtime. Darian Durant flipped a short pass to Andy Fantuz who did the rest, scoring from 35 yards out. Durant then hit Robb Bagg for the two-point conversion with 41 seconds to go in regulation, tying the game 30-30.

In the first overtime series, a suspect call for unnecesary roughing against the Riders' John Chick gave Calgary a fresh set of downs at the 22, instead of being faced with a 3rd-and-forever. The Stampders would scored three plays later, on a Henry Burris to Rob Cote 7-yard touchdown pass. The Deangelis convert put Calgary back on top 37-30. Saskatchewan scored on a Czarka 1-yard run and Congi convert, tying the game 37-37.

In the second overtime series, Durant connected with Chris Getzlaf on a 35-yard touchdown. Congi converted and the Riders led 44-37. But, Burris found Brett Ralph with a 5-yard touchdown pass and Deangelis converted and the game finished in a 44-44 tie.

Darian Durant had a solid game for Saskatchewan, going 35-for-45 passing for 427 yards and 2 touchdowns and was sacked once. Andy Fantuz caught 10 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, and Chris Getzlaf also caught a touchdown pass. Chris Czarka rushed for 3 touchdowns and Luca Congi kicked 2 field goals, 4 converts and 2 singles. For the Stampeders, Henry Burris was 23-of-34 passing for 285 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and was sacked 3 times. Rob Cote and Brett Ralph caught touchdown passes, Joffrey Reynolds rushed 19 times for 137 yards and 3 touchdowns, Sandro Deangelis kicked 2 field goals and 5 converts and Burke Dales had a punt single. Each team had one turnover.

Both teams are now 8-6-1 for 17 points and remain tied for first in the CFL West, 3 points ahead of both BC and Edmonton. And there's one more game in the season series between Saskatchewan and Calgary, that coming on November 7th in Regina, which will close out the regular season for both teams.

The Riders next action comes on Saturday, October 24th, as they host the BC Lions. Kickoff is set for 5:30p.m. EDT, with the live broadcast on CKRM and the Rider Radio Network beginning at 4:30p.m. EDT. Calgary is next in action on Friday, October 23rd, at home against the Edmonton Eskimos, with kickoff set for 10:00p.m. EDT.

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