Thursday, August 12, 2010

Riders run past Lions by 24 in CFL Hall of Fame game

The BC Lions were a bit pesky in Thursday night's first half, but ended up as no match for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who rolled to a 37-13 win in the CFL's Hall of Fame game at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan, in front of a sell-out crowd of 30,048.

BC got the early lead, scoring on their opening drive for the first time this season, as former Rider Paul McCallum kicked a 32 yard field goal with 2:07 gone, giving the Lions a 3-0 lead. Saskatchewan responded, as Lance Frazier intercepted a Jarious Jackson pass at the 27 and returned it 24 yards, giving the Riders a first-and-goal. It took just one play to score from there, as Wes Cates bulled his way into the endzone. Luca Congi converted with 10:10 remaining in the first, giving Saskatchewan a 7-3 lead. McCallum's second field goal, a 12 yarder with 6:10 to go in the first, brought BC to within 1, at 7-6.

The Riders enlarged the lead early in the second, getting a short field and taking advantage. Darian Durant drove his team from the Leos' 51, then scrambled home from 5 yards out, with Congi's convert giving Saskatchewan a 14-6 lead, with 13:37 to go in the opening half. Inside the final minute, a spectacular run after a pass reception by Rob Bagg gave the Roughriders a first down at the BC 1. Cates capped the 9 play, 78 yard drive with a 1 yard run over right tackle with 29 seconds left. Congi converted and Saskatchewan took a 21-6 lead at two quarters time.

The Lions scored first in the second half. On first down in Rider territory, Yonus Davis took a pitch from Jackson, got a block from Dane Randolph, cut back against the grain from left to right, found a seam and galloped 51 yards for a major score. McCallum's convert with 12:51 left in the third, brought BC back to 8 down, at 21-13. The Lions later went 2-and-out at their own 11, and McCallum conceded the safety touch with 4:15 gone in the third, pushing the Saskatchewan lead to 23-13. On the ensuing possession, the Riders marched 62 yards 9 plays, consuming 5:56 of time. Durant was 6-for-7 passing on the drive, Weston Dressler ran the reverse for 7 yards, and Durant went the last 7 for his second touchdown of the night. Congi converted once again with 4:52 left in the third, and the Saskatchewan lead was 30-13.

On their first possession of the final quarter, an 89 yard Rider drive ended with number 89 in the endzone, as Durant found a wide open Ryan Getzlaf for an easy 30 yard touchdown pass. Congi's convert put the Riders up 37-13 with 9:27 remaining. BC threatened late, but a James Patrick endzone interception stopped that threat, and Saskatchewan had the 37-13 win.

For the Riders, Darian Durant was 18-of-27 passing for 223 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, while rushing 9 times for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ryan Dinwiddie saw his first action of 2010, going 1-for-2 passing for 2 yards. Chris Getzlaf caught a touchdown pass, Wes Cates caught 1 ball for 5 yards and ran 13 times for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns. Luca Congi, who had kicked 11 field goals in the previous two games, was called on for just 5 converts. For the Lions, Jarious Jackson was 18-for-31 passing for 194 yards and 2 interceptions. Yonus Davis rushed for the Leos' only touchdown and Paul McCallum kicked 2 field goals and 1 convert. Saskatchewan had 225 yards passing, 141 yards rushing for 352 yards total offense, with 2 sacks allowed and 2 turnovers, while being flagged 12 times for 115 yards. BC had 334 yards total offense, 194 passing and 171 rushing. The Lions allowed 5 sacks, turned the ball over 4 times and committed 12 penalties for 144 yards.

With the win, Saskatchewan improves to 5-2, tied for first with Calgary in the West. BC, after winning their season opener, is now 1-6.

Next up for the Riders and the Lions have their bye weeks next week. Saskatchewan returns to action on Saturday, August 28th at Edmonton, against the Eskimos. Kickoff on 620 CKRM will be 7:00pm EDT. The Lions are home against Calgary on Friday, August 27th. Kickoff is 10:30pm EDT.

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