Sunday, June 20, 2010

Calgary blasts Riders in CFL preseason finale

The Saskatchewan Roughriders make their first visit to McMahon Stadium since their crushing Grey Cup loss to Montreal last season, and weren't able to move the ball consistantly, losing to the Calgary Stampeders 41-17 today in the CFL preseason finale for both teams.

Calgary got on the board first, driving 61 yards and a Rider 2-and-out to start the game. Nik Lewis caught a 9 yard touchdown pass and Rob Maver kicked the convert, putting the Stampeders up 7-0 with 9:49 left in the opening quarter. Saskatchewan struck back quickly, marching 73 yards in 8 plays, finishing with a 5 yard scoring run by Wes Cates. Luca Congi converted and the game was tied 7-7 with 5:10 to go in the first.

Calgary regained the lead with a 40 yard field goal by Maver, making it 10-7 just 19 seconds into the second quarter. The Stamps scored for the third time in as many drives, as Burris hit Jermaine Jackson with a 17 yard scoring strike, with Maver's convert increasing the lead to 17-7 with 9:02 remaining in the half. Congi booted a 43 yard field goal for the Riders, drawing them to within 7 at 17-10, but Maver's 19 yard field goal with 49 seconds remaining, regaining the 10 point lead for Calgary at 20-10. Saskatchewan had a chance for points on the final play of the first half, but Congi's 42 yard field goal attempt was no good, leaving the Stampeders' lead at 20-10 at halftime.

Calgary increased the lead once again early in the second half, capitalizing on a intercetion of a Ryan Dinwiddie pass, finishing the drive with an 8 yard Cody Pickett to Mike Cornell touchdown pass. Warren Kean booted the convert and going ahead by 17 at 27-10, with 9:32 remaining in the third quarter. The Stamps got the ball right back, scoring on a 21 yard pass play from Pickett to Ronald Keels. Kean's convert pushed the Stamps' lead to 34-10, with 5:14 to go in the third.

The lead grew larger in the fourth. After a big punt return by Keels set Calgary up at the Rider 15, Rafael Little dove over from 1 yard out for the major score. Kean converted and the Stampeders led 41-10 with 10:25 left in regular time. Saskatchewan put one more score on the board, as Cole Bergquist threw a 21 yard scoring pass to Cary Koch. Congi kicked the convert with 2:14 left and the game ended with Calgary on top with the blow out win, 41 to 17.

The Stampeders finished with 419 total yards, 119 rushing and 300 passing. They turned the ball over 2 times, allowed 1 sack and were penalized twice for 20 yards. The Riders had 298 total yards, 262 passing and just 36 rushing. Saskatchewan had 2 turnovers and were penalized eight times for 45 yards.

The Riders, who finished the preseason at 0-2, open up regular season play on Thursday, July 1st, in a Canda Day Grey Cup rematch against the defending champions, the Montreal Alouettes. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm EDT on 620 CKRM. Calgary, who went 2-0 in the preseason, open up at home Thursday, July 1st against Toronto, starting at 10:00pm EDT.

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