Sunday, September 1, 2013

Riders beat Winnpeg in Labour Day Classic 47












Geroy Simon caught a pair of touchdown passes and Darian Durant threw for 310 yards and 4 scores, leading the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a 48-25 win in the Labour Day Classic, before a crowd of 44,910 at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Winnipeg, at the end of their third possession, punted the ball out of bounds at the Rider 1, then turned it into points on the next play, as Cauchy Muamba nailed Kory Sheets in the end zone for a safety touch, putting the Bombers on top 2-0, with 6:19 to play in the opening quarter. Saskatchewan, on their next turn, finally started moving the football, quickly moving down field with medium length passes. After a scramble by Darian Durant advanced the ball to the Winnipeg 3, Drew Willy came on in the short yardage offence, pitching the ball to Sheets, who jogged into the end zone for the major. Chris Milo converted with 28 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, putting the Roughriders on top, 7-2.

Mike Renaud kicked a 55 yard punt single with 2:04 gone in the second, cutting the deficit to 7-3. Then the Bombers, aided by a pass interference call on Dwight Anderson near the goal line, got a 1 yard major on their next possession from Jason Boltus to regain the lead. Sandro DeAngelis kicked the convert and with 9:45 to play in the half, Winnipeg was back on top, 10-7. After an interception by Muamba, the first thrown by Durant this season and aided by three penalties against Saskatchewan, Justin Goltz would roll to the left and score from 6 yards out. DeAngelis converted and with 2:01 to go 'til halftime, the Blue Bombers had a 17-7 lead. The Riders, on their next chance with the ball, went 57 yards in 3 plays. After a circus catch by Taj Smith, Durant would find Geroy Simon from 22 yards out and with the Milo convert, Saskatchewan was back within three, at 17-14, with 1:30 left until two quarter time. Renaud would then boot a 58 yard punt single with 45 seconds to go and Winnipeg would take an 18-14 lead.

The Roughriders would take the opening kick of the second half and quickly march to the shadow of the Bomber goal line. The big play was a scramble out of trouble by Durant, who then found Chris Getzlaf, who took the ball to the 2. After a Winnipeg penalty, Sheets would go in standing up for his second touchdown of the day. Milo kicked the convert and with 4:13 gone in the third, Saskatchewan was back on top, 21-18. The lead would grow on a 47 yard Milo field goal with 5:40 to go in the third, putting Saskatchewan up by 6, at 24-18.

The Riders would break it open in the fourth, scoring early in the fourth on a 12 yard swing pass from Durant to Smith, that capped a 10 play, 92 yard drive, that took 5:10 off the clock. Milo made the convert and with 1:55 gone in the final quarter, Saskatchewan had their biggest lead of the day, 31-18. The Blue Bombers responded as Goltz scooped up a bad snap and ran right up the middle for 46 yards and a touchdown. DeAngelis converted and with 3:59 gone in the fourth Winnipeg was back in it, trailing 31-25. Goltz was picked by Anderson on the Bombers' next possession and Sheets, on two consecutive runs starting at the Winnipeg 42, got the ball to the Winnipeg 10. Two plays later, Smith caught his second TD pass of the game, this an 8 yarder from Durant. Milo converted and with 5:24 left in regulation time, the Riders were back up by 13, at 38-25. Spencer Moore of Saskatchewan blocked a Renaud punt at the end of the Blue Bombers' next possession and with 2:38 remaining, Milo would put it out of reach with a 23 yard field goal, which gave the Riders a 41-25 lead. Terrell Maze grabbed an interception on the next Winnipeg turn with the ball, returning it to the Bomber 10. Two plays later, Durant would flip a 5 yard pass to Simon for the major, Simon's 1,006th career reception, tying him for second place on the all-time CFL list. Milo converted again and Saskatchewan was up 48-25, with 2:07 to play. The Riders would get the ball back with 38 seconds left and ran out the clock, winning the game 48-25.

For Saskatchewan, Darian Durant was 24-of-35 passing for 310 yards, 4 touchdowns and an interception. Kory Sheets ran 18 times for 82 yards and 2 majors, Chris Getzlaf caught 7 passes for 112 yards, Taj Smith and Geroy Simon each caught a pair of touchdown passes, Chris Milo kicked 2 field goals and 4 converts and Ricky Schmitt pented 6 times for a 44.2 yard average. Craig Butler helped pace the defence, with 4 tackles and 2 special teams tackles. Macho Harris chipped in with 5 tackles. Dwight Anderson and Terrell Maze had interceptions. ForWinnipeg, Justin Goltz was 17-of-28 passing for 185 yards and 2 interceptions. He also rushed 5 times for 73 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jason Boltus, the short yardage QB, also rushed for a touchdown. Cory Watson caught 3 passes for 74 yards, Sandro DeAngelis kicked 3 converts, Mike Renaud punted 9 times for a 46.1 yard average and Cauchy Muamba paced the defence, with 8 tackles, 1 special teams tackle and 1 interception. The Riders had 27 first downs to the Bombers 17, outrushed them 117 to 100 and won the total yards stat, 427 to 285.

With the win, the Roughriders improve to 8-1 for the first time in franchise history, which is also the best record in the CFL so far this season. With their 7th straight loss, the Blue Bombers fall to 1-8.

These same two teams meet again next Sunday at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg in the annual Banjo Bowl contest. Kickoff is set for 4:00pm EDT with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri on 620CKRM, the Rider Radio Network and 620ckrm.com. You can watch the game on TSN and ESPN3.com.

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