Saturday, November 2, 2013

Riders edged by Edmonton in regular season finale












Regina, SK. -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Eskimos played see-saw football in the final game of the regular season for both teams at Mosaic Stadium in Regina and it was the men in Green-and-Gold who came away with the 4 point win, 30-26.

After a pair of two and outs for both teams, Edmonton finally got the game's first points on a Grant Shaw 25 yard field goal and with 7:25 to play in the opening quarter, the Eskimos had a 3-0 lead. The lead grew moments later, on a 56 yard interception return touchdown by Rennie Curran. Shaw converted and with 6:22 to play in the first, Edmonton was up 10-0. The Roughriders finally put together a drive, reaching the 17 yard line, before settling for a 23 yard Chris Milo field goal with 1:13 to go, making it a 10-3 game.

Saskatchewan would tie the game in the latter stages of the second quarter, as Drew Willy rolled right and found Eron Riley for a 6 yard touchdown, capping an 8 play, 95 yard drive. Milo converted and with 3:57 left until halftime, the game was tied 10-10. Jamal Miles would take the ensuing kick to the Rider 35 and the Eskies would turn it into a Shaw field goal from 40 yards out with 2:20 left in the half, putting Edmonton back on top, 13-10.

Saskatchewan got the ball to open the second half and aided by a pass interference call at the 9, drove for the tying points on an 11 yard Milo field goal with 7 minutes gone in the third and the game was knotted at 13-13. The Eskimos took the lead back on the ensuing possession, on a 26 field goal by Shaw with 4:12 remaining in the third, putting them up again by 3, at 16-13. On Edmonton's next possession, Jonathan Crompton was intercepted by Craig Butler, giving the Roughriders the ball deep in Eskimo territory. After a pass from Tino Sunseri to Robb Bagg put the ball at the 7, Chris Garrett's spinning, twisting run put the ball in the end zone for the major on the next play. Milo's convert put Saskatchewan on top 20-16 with 1:38 to go in the third. Crompton would bounce back, leading Edmonton to a major on the quarters' final play. The 12 yard pass to John White, coming at the end of a 6 play, 61 yard drive, along with the Shaw convert, put the Eskimos back on top, 23-20.

In the fourth, Sunseri drove the Riders into scoring position with a 9 play, 55 yard drive, where Milo would come on to kick a 22 yard field goal and 3:35 into the final quarter, the game was tied once again, 23-23. On their next possession, aided by a trio of big runs by Garrett, plus a pass interference call in the end zone, Saskatchewan would regain the lead on an 8 yard Milo field goal, to go back on top 26-23, with 3:24 to go in regulation time. Miles would put Edmonton back on top with a 79 yard punt return touchdown late in regulation. Shaw converted with 1:06 to play and the Eskimos were back in the lead, 30-26. The Roughriders had one more crack on offense, reaching the Edmonton 25, but ran out of time, losing by 4.

For Saskatchewan, Tino Sunseri was 14-of-18 passing for 167 yards and Drew Willy was 15-of-22 for 157 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Chris Garrett rushed 23 times for 152 yards and a major, Taj Smith caught 9 passes for 106 yards to go over 1,000 yards for the season and Eron Riley caught a touchdown pass. Chris Milo kicked 4 field goals and 2 converts and Ricky Schmitt punted 7 times for a 41.9 yard average. Mike McCullough led the defense with 4 tackles and a sack. For the Eskimos, Mike Reilly was 5-of-12 passing for 50 yards, Jonathan Crompton was 2-of-4 for 33 yards, a major and an interception and Kerry Joseph was 2-of-3 passing for 29 yards. Reilly rushed 7 times for 60 yards, Adarius Bowman caught 2 passes for 36 yards, Grant Shaw kicked 3 field goals and 3 converts and punted 7 times for a 45 yard average. Rennie Curran scored on an interception return, Jamal Miles got a major on a punt return and Curran had 11 tackles. The Riders had 36 first downs to Edmonton's 12, out rushed the Eskimos 201 to 128 and out gained them in total yards, 525 to 240.

With the win, Edmonton finished the season at 4-14, while Saskatchewan finished 11-7.

Next up for the Roughriders, is the Western Semifinal at home, against the BC Lions. The game, to be played on Sunday, November 10th, kicks off at 4:30pm EST. Catch the game on 620CKRM and the Rider Radio Network, 620ckrm.com, TSN and ESPN3.com.

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