Sunday, October 16, 2011

Late Lion majors dash Saskatchewan playoff hopes

The B.C. Lions broke open a field goal-fest with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 29-18 in Sunday CFL action at Mosaic Stadium in Regina., snuffing out the Riders' playoff hope in the process.

The teams traded field goals in the first quarter. Paul McCallum hit from 51 out to put B.C. on top 3-0, 4:50 into the contest. The Riders would respond with a Chris Milo 38 yarder with 4:49 left, tying the game 3-3 after one.

The field goal battle continued in the second. Milo's 49 yarder, his longest of the season, put Saskatchewan up 6-3, 17 seconds into the second. McCallum tied it for the Lions with 4:10 gone in the second on a 23 yarder, making it a 6-6 game. Milo would then kick a pair of field goals, one from 21 yards (on the Riders' 54th consecutive drive without a major) with 2:35 left, then from 46 on the final play, giving Saskatchewan a 12-9 halftime lead.

The Riders would open second half action with, you guessed it, a field goal. Milo drilled it through from 30 yards out with 2:48 gone in the third, putting Saskatchewan on top 15-9. 6:53 later, McCallum would respond by kicking a 31 yarder for B.C., bringing them back to within 3, at 15-12 down.

The Roughriders would start a drive in Leos' territory late in the third, then turn it into Milo's sixth field goal of the game, a 32 yarder just 1:23 into the final frame, extending the Saskatchewan lead back to 6, at 18-12. B.C. would take their first lead of the game on the next possession, as Arland Bruce, who hadn't caught a ball all day, broke coverage and a tackle to take it home from 72 yards on a pass down the right side line from Travis Lulay. McCallum converted with 12:08 left in regulation time and the Lions were up 19-18. They would cap a 102 yard drive on their next possession, as Andrew Harris tiptoed up the left sideline 42 yards with a Lulay pass for another major score. McCallum converted with 4:24 left, for a 26-18 B.C. advantage. Sean Whyte would add a 28 yard field goal with 2:05 left and the Lions would cruise to their eighth straight win, 29-18.

For B.C., Travis Lulay was 16-for-28 for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns, while being sacked twice. Andrew Harris caught a 43 yard touchdown pass and Arland Bruce caught a 72 yard pass for a major. Paul McCallum kicked 5 field goals, 2 converts and punted 4 times for a 35.5 yard average for the Lions. Saskatchewan's Darian Durant was 25-for-36 passing for 248 yards, while being sacked 3 times. Weston Dressler caught 6 balls for 82 yards, Wes Cates ran it 14 times for 88 yards and Chris Milo shined, kicking 6 field goals and sending 4 punts an average of 33.75 yards.

B.C. had 18 first downs, 82 yards rushing, 287 passing and 365 net. The Riders had 23 first downs, 108 yards rushing, 248 passing and 332 net. Neither team turned the ball over in the game.

After starting thje season 0-5, the Lions improve to 9-6 on the season while Saskatchewan, which was officially eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, fell to 4-11, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2001. Up next for B.C. is a Saturday, October 22nd road game with the Hamilton Tigercats, beginning at 7:00pm EDT. The Riders, still in search of their first West win this season, travel to Calgary this coming Friday, October 21st for a matchup with the Stampeders. Kickoff is set for 9:30pm EDT on the Rider Radio Network, with live TV on TSN and

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