Sunday, September 23, 2012

Riders hold on, beat Stamps by 5

Regina, SK. -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders played all in throughout the day, holding Jon Cornish under 100 yards as promised and holding Calgary out of the endzone at the end, taking an important 30-25 CFL win over the Stampeders before a sell-out crowd of 33,427 at Mosaic Stadium.

The Riders turned the ball over on their first offensive play to start the game, as Chris Getzlaf had the ball punched out as he tried to advance after a catch, the 20th time they've turned the ball over this season. Calgary would capitalize on the opportunity, getting a 33 yard field goal from Rene Paredes with 3:19 gone, for a 3-0 Stampeder lead. Saskatchewan would appear to turn the ball over on their next possession as well, as Charleston Hughes forced a Jock Sanders fumble, but after being ruled down by contact, the call was upheld after appeal and the Riders retained possession at the Calgary 32. The green-and-white would punch it in five plays later, as Drew Willy snuck the ball across the goal line. Sandro DeAngelis converted with 5:18 to go in the first, for a 7-3 Saskatchewan lead.

The Stamps would open up the second by taking advantage of a failed fake punt near midfield by the Riders. Marquay McDaniel would take a pass from Kevin Glenn just across the goal line from 10 yards out for the major score with Paredes converting for a 10-7 Calgary lead with 2:55 gone in the quarter. Saskatchewan would mount a drive late in the half, but would settle for a 37 yard DeAngelis field goal with 2:55 remaining, for a 10-10 tie. They'd have more more crack at a score, starting at their own 23 with 1:10 to play, but did little with the ball and were forced to punt. The Stamps would get a shot at a hail mary pass on the half's final play, but the ball fell incomplete at the goal line and the two teams retired to the half-time dressing room, tied 10-10.

Calgary would take the opening possession of the second half down field and get a 37 yard field goal from Paredes 2:05 in, to grab a 13-10 advantage. The Roughriders, highlited by a 36 yard run by Kory Sheets, reached the 14, before settling for a 22 yard DeAngelis field goal and a 13-13 tie. Saskatchewan got the ball right back on a Joe Lobendahn interception, setting up shop at the Stamps' 30. Darian Durant hit Weston Dressler in the left flat for 19 yards, then hit Dressler again, this time over the middle, for the major score, his 7th of the season. DeAngelis converted and with 7:35 gone in the third, the Riders went back on top, 20-13. After forcing Calgary into successive 2-and-outs, Saskatchewan would get a big return from Tristan Jackson, who reached the corner and turned up field, stumbling his way up the left sideline to the Stampeder 30 yard line. After an pass intended for Dressler down the right side fell incomplete, Durant went to Taj Smith down the left side. Smith made an adjustment to the outside shoulder in the endzone, hauling in the pass for the touchdown. DeAngelis converted with 1:43 to play in the third, boosting the Rider lead to 27-13. It also boosted the Saskatchewan season scoring advantage in the third quarter, to 96-42.

Calgary would cut into the lead just under halfway through the fourth quarter, on a 44 Paredes field goal, making the score 27-16 Riders, with 7:54 to play in regulation time. On their next possession, the Stamps would be forced into a third-and-8 at their own 46 with just over 5 minutes to play. The gamble paid off, as Nik Lewis took a pass to the Saskatchewan 39. The Stampeders would turn the drive into points, as McDaniel caught a 7 yard pass at the goal post for the touchdown. Calgary would get a two-point convert, with Romby Bryant catching the pass from Glenn. That would cut the Roughrider lead to 27-24, with just 2:44 remaining in regulation time. Paredes would boot the ball into the endzone for a single point, cutting the deficit to 27-25, with just one second ticking off the clock. Saskatchewan would answer with one first down, but then be forced to punt, as a second and 10 pass to Chris Getzlaf netted just 8 yards. Milo would kick the ball just 32 yards, but Paul Woldu took a 5 yard no yards penalty, giving the Stamps the ball with 1:56 left, at their own 24. Jerelle Maze nearly intercepted a deep ball down the right side on second down, then on third down, the Riders' Jackson would close from the corner, knocking the ball away from Johnny Forzani, giving Saskatchewan the ball on downs. The Riders would run around 30 seconds off the clock, then grow the lead to 30-25 on a DeAngelis 37 yard field goal, leaving Calgary with just 36 seconds to go 75 yards for the major they would need to win the game. Odelle Willis would get flagged for a roughing the passer penalty on second down, moving the ball to the Saskatchewan 51. A Glenn pass down the left side would fall incomplete with 11 seconds to go, but Glenn would take a ferocious hit as he threw, forcing him from the game. Bo Levi Mitchell would come in and throw an incompletion, but an offside penalty on the play would move the ball back to the Stampeder 54 with 6 seconds to play. The bombs away pass from midfield was intercepted at the 10 yard line by Jackson as time expired, giving the Riders the 30-25 win.

For Saskatchewan, Darian Durant was 22-of-35 passing for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns. Weston Dressler caught 8 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, a banged-up Chris Getzlaf caught 5 balls for 47 yards and Taj Smith caught 3 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Kory Sheets ran 9 times for 58 yards, Drew Willy scored a major on a 1 yard run and Sandro DeAngelis kicked 3 field goals and 3 converts. Chris Milo punted 6 times for a 36.8 yard average and Milt Collins had 7 tackles and a sack. For Calgary, Kevin Glenn was 24-of-38 passing for 270 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 2-point convert and 1 interception, Bo Levi Mitchell was 0-of-2 with a game-ending interception. Jon Cornish ran the ball 12 times for 67 yards, Marquay McDaniel caught 5 passes for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns, Nik Lewis caught 5 balls for 61 yards, Romby Bryant caught a 2-point convert pass, Rene Paredes kicked 3 field goals, 1 convert and 1 kickoff single, Rob Maver punted 5 times for a 51.2 yard average and Tad Kornegay had 6 tackles.

The Roughriders passed for 264 yards and ran 107, for 371 total yards. The Stampeders passed for 270 yards and ran for 81, for a net of 320 yards. Saskatchewan had 21 first downs, lost 1 fumble, were penalized 6 times for 55 yards, didn't allow a sack and held the ball for 31:21. Calgary had 20 first downs, turned the ball over twice on interceptions and once on downs, were penalized 5 times for 25 yards and held the ball for 28:39.

The win squares the Saskatchewan record at 6-6 for 12 points, 2 points behind the 7-5 Stampeders in the CFL West. Next up for the Riders is a home game this coming Saturday, September 29th against the West-leading BC Lions, a team they beat 23-20 in week #3 and lost to 24-5 in week #8. Kickoff at Mosaic Stadium is set for 10:00pm EDT. Hear the game on 620 CKRM, or via the listen link on the left side of this page. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. online at Calgary plays at home against Edmonton this coming Friday, September 28th, with kickoff set for 10:00pm EDT.

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