Saturday, October 26, 2013

Calgary clinches first with win over Riders

Calgary, AB -- The Calgary Stampeders clinched a spot in the Western Final Saturday night, with a close, hard fought 29-25 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary took the opening kick and started at their own 35, but on second down they fumbled, with Alex Hall recovering for the Riders, the first Stampeder fumble lost in six games. Saskatchewan would use the turnover  to get a Chris Milo 23 yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 3:32 played in the opening quarter. Calgary would come right back, driving into Rider territory, but Diamond Ferri would steal the ball away from Jon Cornish, ending the Stampeder drive at around the 40. Calgary would tie the game3-3 on their next possession, with a 16 yard field goal from Rene Paredes with 3:14 to play in the opening quarter.

The Stamps would take the lead on their first possession of the second quarter, as Kevin Glenn would roll to his right and find Anthony Parker 5 yards deep in the endzone for the major. Paredes added the convert with 11:11 to play in the half, putting Calgary on top 10-3, capping a 5 play, 64 yard drive. After holding Saskatchewan to a 2 and out, the Stampeders would take the ball deep in their own territory, but cough up a fumble at the 5, recovered by Tearrius George. The Riders could do nothing with the gift however, settling for a Milo 20 yard field goal with 7:29 left, slicing the Calgary lead to 4, at 10-6. Milo would tack on a 32 yard field goal with 1:17 to go until halftime, making the score 10-9 in favor of the Stampeders. George would recover another fumble, this one at the Calgary 12 with 1:06 to play, set Saskatchewan up to grab the lead back. After going on a 3rd and short from the 2, Darian Durant would roll to the right and score untouched, with :36 seconds left, his first major of the season. The surprise two-point conversion would fail, leaving the Rider lead at 15-10 at halftime.

The second half started out poorly for Saskatchewan, as they fumbled away the opening kick at their own 35. However, they would hold the Stamps to a 2 and out, forcing Calgary to settle for a 34 yard Paredes field goal 1:24 into the third, cutting the Rider lead to 2, at 15-13. A 63 yard Drew Tate pass to Marquay McDaniel set the Stampeders up at the 1 1/2. From there, Tate slid left behind tackle and bulled his way into the end zone for the major, capping a 6 play, 100 yard drive. The two-point conversion failed and with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter, Calgary was back on top, 19-15. It became a one-point game on a 36 yard Milo field goal with 1:57 left in the third, the Stamps on top 19-18.

In the fourth, Paredes would come on for a 42 yard field goal 4:35 into the quarter, upping the Calgary lead to 22-18. Later on in the quarter, Saskatchewan put together a long drive, culminating in a 28 yard touchdown pass from Durant to Taj Smith in the right side of the end zone, the 125th scoring strike of Durant's career. Milo converted with 4:52 remaining in regulation time, putting the Riders back on top, 25-22 at the end of a 6 play, 78 yard drive. The Stampeders responded with a long drive of their own on the ensuing possession, capped by a 3 yard touchdown run by Jon Cornish. Paredes converted, putting Calgary on top 29-25, with 1:48 to play. Durant would throw an interception on third and long with 65 seconds left and the Stamps would then run out the clock, clinching first in the West with the 29-25 win.

For Calgary, Drew Tate was 11-for-16 passing for 181 yards, Kevin Glenn was 11-for-17 for 120 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Jon Cornish ran 20 times for 109 yards and a major, Tate rushed for a touchdown and Jeff Fuller caught 6 passes for 113 yards, while Anthony Parker caught a touchdown pass. Rene Paredes was 3-for-3 on both field goals and converts. For Saskatchewan, Darian Durant was 17-of-30 passing for 202 yards, a touchdown throwing and passing and an interception. Kory Sheets ran 11 times for 42 yards, Taj Smith caught 3 passes for 53 yards and a major and Chris Milo was 4-for-4 on field goals, with two converts. Rob Maver punted 5 times for the Stampeders with a 49.4 yard average and Ricky Schmitt punted 8 times for the Roughriders for a 43.5 yard average. Juwan Simpson paced the Calgary defence with 6 tackles and a sack, Tyron Brackenridge had 6 tackles for Saskatchewan. The Stampeders had 26 first downs to the Riders 16. Calgary out rushed Saskatchewan 125 to 54 and out gained the Riders overall, 426 to 256.

With the win, the Stampeders improve to 14-3 and clinch the home spot in the Western final. Saskatchewan slips to 11-6 and will face BC in the Western semis. But first, it's the regular season finale for the Riders against the Edmonton Eskimos at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday, November 2nd, at 5:00pm EDT. The game can be heard on 620CKRM and the Rider Radio Network, as well as The game can be seen on TSN in Canada and in the U.S. Calgary closes their regular season on Friday, November 1st at BC.

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