Saturday, July 12, 2014

BC Lions beat Riders by 13

Regina, SK. -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders were home Saturday night, hosting the BC Lions at Mosaic Stadium. But, it was the Andrew Harris show, with the BC back getting over 200 yards from scrimmage, in a 26-13 Lion win, their first of the 2014 season.

BC got on the board on their opening possession, getting a 52 yard punt single from former Rider Ricky Schmitt, for a 1-0 lead with just 1:40 gone in the first. Late in the quarter, after forcing Saskatchewan to punt from deep in their own territory, the Lions went on the march, reaching the Roughrider 8, before settling for a 15 yard Paul McCallum field goal and a 4-0 lead, with 2:19 to play in the opening period. A long punt return after a two-and-out would set BC up at their own 52, where, on the first play of the possession, Andrew Harris would shed tackles and slip into the end zone for the Lions' first rushing major of the season, a 58 yard run that shocked the Saskatchewan faithful. McCallum converted with 10 seconds left, propelling BC to an 11-0 lead after one. Harris had 6 touches for 114 yards in the opening quarter.

The Riders would finally get the offence untracked on their first turn with the ball, firing out from their own 27 to deep in the Leos' end of the field, getting an 18 yard field goal from Chris Milo, cutting the deficit to 11-3, 4:10 into the second. Saskatchewan would narrow the gap even further on their next possession. After a spectacular catch by Taj Smith at the 3, Rob Bagg dropped a pass in the right flat, Hugh Charles then had a crack at hauling in a scoring strike, but had the ball stripped at the last second along the left side of the end zone. The play was reviewed, the ruling was confirmed and Milo would come one to kick a 10 yard field goal, climbing to within 5 at 11-6, with 6:51 to go 'til two quarter time. After holding BC to just one first down, the Riders found themselves in business, thanks to a 43 yard punt return by Marshay Green. After a pass to Bagg and a long run by Charles to the Lion 5, Darian Durant would roll out of pressure to his left, finding Smith in the end zone for a Saskatchewan touchdown, ending a 4 play, 47 yard drive. Milo converted with 2:31 left in the half, giving the Roughriders their first lead of the night, at 13-11. Saskatchewan, trying to run out the clock, turned the ball over on a Charles fumble with 5 seconds left, allowing McCallum to come on and kick a 41 yard field goal on the final play, giving BC a 14-13 halftime lead.

Defence ruled in the third quarter, with both teams sputtering on offence. McCallum missed from 40 yards out with just under 4 minutes to play, but the Riders were trapped deep in their own end and ended up conceding a safety touch with 2:56 to go, extending the Lion lead to 16-13. Saskatchewan had 4 2 and outs and just 1 yard of offence in the third quarter.

BC extended the lead on a 30 yard McCallum field goal 3:46 into the fourth, going up 19-13. McCallum appeared to have kicked another 3 pointer with 7 minutes remaining, but a penalty on the Roughriders, their seventh (for 80 yards) of the second half, allowed the Lions to keep the offence on the field. On the next play, Courtney Taylor caught the ball on a crossing pattern and scored from 20 yards out. The McCallum convert was good, putting BC up by 13, 26-13. The Saskatchewan offence, which struggled mightily throughout the second half, finally started to move the ball, reaching the Lion 34, but Durant overthrew a receiver, allowing Josh Johnson to intercept the ball, returning it to the Rider 41, with under 3 minutes to play. Saskatchewan held on third and 3, but weren't able to move the ball and had to punt it away. The Riders got the ball one more time, but ran out of clock and BC would leave with the 26-13 win.

For the victorious Lions, Kevin Glenn was 16-of-27 passing for 170 yards and 1 touchdown, while being sacked twice. Andrew Harris had a big game, with 203 yards total offence, 138 on 18 rushes and 1 touchdown, plus 65 yards on 5 catches. Courtney Taylor caught 3 balls for 34 yards and a major, Paul McCallum was 3-of-4 on field goals and 2-of-2 on converts and Ricky Schmitt punted 9 times for a 44.7 yard average and 1 single. The defence was led by Soloman Elimimian, who made 7 tackles and 2 special teams tackles. For the Roughriders, Darian Durant was 15-of-34 passing for 191 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, while being sacked twice. Hugh Charles ran 13 times for 86 yards, all in the first half. Taj Smith caught 7 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown, Chris Milo was 2-of-2 on field goals and 1-of-1 on converts, Josh Bartel punted 8 times for a 43.8 yard average and Terrell Maze led the Saskatchewan defence, with 7 tackles.

The Riders are off next weekend. Their next action is on Saturday, July 26th, when they host the Toronto Argonauts, in a rematch of their week two game, won by Toronto 48-15. Game time at Mosaic Stadium is 10:00pm EDT, with Rod Pedersen calling all the action. Catch the broadcast on 620 CKRM, the Rider Radio Network and The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on ESPN2. BC hosts Montreal next Saturday, July 19th.

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