Sunday, August 24, 2014

Riders win tough one at BC by 4

Vancouver, BC -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders earned their fifth straight win Sunday night, as they came from behind to edge past the BC Lions 20-16, in front of a Guaranteed Win Night crowd of 33,196 at BC Place Stadium.

BC hit the ground running, as Tim Brown returned the opening kick 48 yards to the Roughrider 50. The drive went to the 30, where Paul McCallum came on to boot a 38 yard field goal, giving the Lions a 3-0 lead 2:27 into the contest. After going two and out to start, Josh Bartel kicked the ball to the BC 35, where Brown gathered it in and went right up the middle, going 75 yards for the games' first major. McCallum converted and the Leos were up 10-0, with just 4:28 gone in the opening quarter. Saskatchewan finally got the offence untracked late in the first quarter, moving into BC's side of centre field for the first time as the first quarter drew to a close.

The drive stalled at the 35 and Chris Milo came on to sneak a 42 yard field goal just inside the right upright, cutting the deficit to 10-3, 14 seconds into the second quarter. The Lions would start an early 2nd quarter possession at their own 13 and drove the ball deep into the Riders' half of the field. The drive, after a Tyron Brackenridge sack, would reach the 8, where McCallum would come on to kick a 16 yard field goal, restoring their 10 point lead at 13-3, with 5:35 to play in the half. Saskatchewan elected to scrimmage the ball from the 35 and the decision proved wise, as Will Ford bounced outside and galloped down the right side line for 37 yards to the BC 38. They would continue to pound on the Lion defence, reaching the 5 at the three minute warning. A second down pass into the end zone fell short and Milo came on to drill a 12 yard field goal with 2:31 left, slicing the BC lead to 13-6. Another Milo field goal, this one bouncing in off the right upright on the half's final play, tightened the score to 13-9 in favor of the Leos, as the game reached two-quarter time.

After two incomplete passes by Tino Sunseri, in for an injured Darian Durant to start the second half, BC's Stefan Logan would break another punt return, taking the ball to the Rider 16. Three plays later, the Lions, who were called for a procedure penalty with the ball at the 7, settled for a McCallum field goal from 21 yards away, upping their lead to 16-9, 2:44 into the second half. Saskatchewan answered on their next possession, as Milo blasted a 48 yard field goal with 9:16 to play in the third, cutting the Lion lead to 4, at 16-12. The Riders would take their first lead of the game, capping a long drive with a 2 yard lob pass from Sunseri to guard Dan Clark in the back half of the end zone. For Sunseri, it was his first career touchdown pass and for Clark, it was his second career major. Milo's convert was good and Saskatchewan was on top 19-16, as the third quarter came to an end.

In quarter number four, the defences on both sides tightened up and the game became a battle of field position. Late in regulation, Bartel boomed a punt to the back of the end zone. Brown elected not to bring it out, conceding the 63 yard punt single, nudging the Rider lead to 20-16, with exactly 2:00 to play. BC went 2 and out, punting the ball away with 1:42 to go. Saskatchewan would grind yards and time, finally surrendering the ball on a Bartel punt with 40 seconds remaining. Brown almost broke another long return, but was tripped from behind at the 33 by Dylan Ainsworth with 29 seconds left. Travis Lulay, in for an injured Kevin Glenn, tried moving his team, getting one first down, then, with no time left, a desperation pass was knocked down at the 11. With no time outs to use, BC could not challenge for pass interference and the game ended, with the Roughriders victorious, 20-16.

For Saskatchewan, Darian Durant was 9-of-15 passing for 104 yards, while rushing 3 times for 25 yards. Playing the second half in relief, Tino Sunseri was 8-of-13 for 86 yards and 1 touchdown. Will Ford ran 10 times for 108 yards, while Anthony Allen ran 17 times for 83 yards and catching 4 passes for 22 yards. Chris Getzlaf caught 5 balls for 78 yards, Rob Bagg 2 for 55 and Dan Clark 1 for 1 yard and the night's only major for the Riders. Chris Milo was solid, going 4-of-4 on field goals and 1-of-1 on converts. Josh Bartel did his past too, punting 10 times for a 46.2 yard average and 1 big single. On defence, Tyron Brackenridge had 3 tackles, 2 special teams tackles and 1 sack and Tristan Jackson added 5 tackles, with Rickey Foley and Derek Walker contributing sacks. For the Lions, Kevin Glenn was 15-of-21 passing for 146 yards and Travis Lulay was 4-of-8 for 27 yards. Shawn Gore ran twice for 29 yards, Courtney Taylor caught 4 passes for 56 yards, Tim Brown returned a punt for a 75 yard touchdown, Paul McCallum was 3-of-3 on field goals and 1-of-1 on converts and Ricky Schmitt punted 10 times for a 41.4 yard average. Solomon Elimimian led the Tabbies defencively, with 11 tackles, 1 special teams tackle and 2 sacks. Saskatchewan had the edge in the stats summary, leading in first downs 23-12 and in total yards 398 to 214. Both teams were penalized twelve times, the Riders for 90 yards, BC for 104. Each team had 3 sacks, Saskatchewan won the time of possession 34:26 to 25:34 and neither team committed a turnover.

Next up for the 6-2 Riders is a week 10 home game against the 6-3 Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday, August 31st. Kickoff at Mosaic Stadium in Regina is set for 4:00pm EDT. Catch all the action with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri on 620 CKRM, the Rider Radio Network and The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on The next game for the 5-4 Lions is at Ottawa on Friday, September 5th.

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