Sunday, November 24, 2013

Riders rout Ti-Cats in 101st Grey Cup

Regina, SK.-- The Saskatchewan Roughriders hosted the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 101st Grey Cup game at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan and won going away 45-23, for the teams' fourth Grey Cup in it's history.

On their second possession of the night, Hamilton got the first points of the game on a 45 yard Luca Congi field goal 5:16 into the opening quarter, for a 3-0 Ti-Cats lead. On their second possession, Saskatchewan's Darian Durant fumbled, but Kory Sheets picked it out of mid-air and rambled 41 yards to the Hamilton 33. Durant then scrambled for a first down to the 16. After a gain of 1 by Sheets, Durant threw to Geroy Simon, who got behind coverage to haul the ball in in the back of the end zone for the game's first major. Chris Milo kicked the convert with 6:39 to play in the opening quarter, capping a 6 play, 75 yard drive and putting the Riders on top, 7-3.

At the end of a drive that started late in the opening quarter, Milo kicked a 20 yard field goal with 2:14 gone in the second, stretching the Rider lead to 7, at 10-3. On their next possession, Saskatchewan got more points on a 7 play, 50 yard drive, which ended with a 3 yard run by Jock Sanders. Milo converted 6:11 into the quarter, putting the Riders on top 17-3. Disaster struck Hamilton on their next possession, as a bad snap gave Saskatchewan the ball at the Ti-Cat 8 on the recovery by Jermaine McElveen. It all balanced out for the good for Hamilton though, as they recovered a fumble two plays later at their own 8. The Tiger-Cats went two-and-out and the Riders took the punt back to the Hamilton 30. Durant passed to Getzlaf, who went out at the 1, then Sheets blew through right tackle for the major on the next play. Milo converted and with 5:22 left to play in the opening half, Saskatchewan was up 24-3. The Ti-Cats responded with a 24 yard Congi field goal with 2:47 left, slicing the deficit to 24-6. Instead of settling into halftime, the Riders went out and got more points, as Durant found Simon down the left sideline. Simon broke a tackle at the 8 and strolled into the end zone for his second major of the night, this one from 42 yards out. Milo converted with 1:56 to go 'til two-quarter time and Saskatchewan was up by 25, at 31-6.

Neither team got much going on offense until the latter stages of the third quarter, when a promising Hamilton drive was cut short by a Weldon Brown interception. After holding the Roughriders to a two-and-out, the Tiger-Cats would benefit from a short punt, getting the ball at the Saskatchewan 40. Moments later, Henry Burris would get his team on the board, scrambling 18 yards for the major. Congi converted with 2:39 to play and the Rider lead was down to 31-13.

Congi opened the fourth quarter with a 33 yard field goal 12 seconds in, cutting the Saskatchewan lead to 15, at 31-16. In the second half of the quarter, the Riders, aided by the running of Sheets and a roughing the kicker penalty, ate up yards on the field and time off the clock. The back breaker came after the penalty, with Durant hitting Weston Dressler over the middle down to the 4 yard line. Sheets ran around left end on the next play for the touchdown and with the Milo convert, Saskatchewan was up 38-16, with 5:02 to go after the 11 play, 82 yard drive. John Chick got a take away moments later, giving the Riders the ball at the 29. On the next play, Durant found Dressler for the major on the left corner of the end zone. Milo converted at with 3:48 to go the celebration was on, with Saskatchewan up by 29, 45-16. Hamilton wouldn't go quietly, as C.J Gable scored from 3 yards out. The Congi convert, with 1:56 to play, made it 45-23. Then, after recovering a short kick, Neal Hughes took over, running the football and running the clock, taking the team's fourth-ever Grey Cup with the 45-23 win.

For the Roughriders, Darian Durant was 17-of-24 passing for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kory Sheets rushed 20 times for a Grey Cup record 197 yards and 2 touchdowns, winning the Most Outstanding Player award in the process. Neal Hughes ran 3 times for 32 yards and Jock Sanders rushed for a touchdown. Weston Dressler caught 5 passes for 81 yards and a major, Chris Getzlaf won the Most Outstanding Canadian award, catching 3 passes for 89 yards and Geroy Simon caught 3 passes for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chris Milo kicked a field goal and 6 converts, Ricky Schmitt punted 7 times for a 35.1 yard average and Weldon Brown had 5 tackles and an interception. For the Tiger-Cats, Henry Burris was 20-of-43 passing for 272 yards, an interception and a team-high 34 yards rushing and a touchdown. C.J. Gable rushed for a touchdown, Andy Fantuz caught 7 passes for 76 yards, Luca Congi kicked 3 field goals and 2 converts, Josh Bartel punted 9 times for a 39.4 yard average and Rico Murray had 6 tackles and a special teams tackle.

Saskatchewan had the edge in first downs 19 to 11, in rushing 179 yards to 37, passing 359 to 228 and in take aways, 3 to 1.

The Roughriders' win gives them their fourth-ever Grey Cup, to go along with titles won in 1966, 1989 and 2007.

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