Calgary, AB. -- A strong 4th quarter by the Calgary Stampeders was the difference Friday night, in a 40-27 with over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in front of 35,400 at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
Calgary took the opening possession of the game at their own 37, driving to the Roughrider 30, from where Rene Paredes would miss a 37 yard field goal. The ball would stay in the end zone however, with the single giving the Stampeders a 1-0 lead, 4:39 into the contest. On Saskatchewan's second possession, Keith Toston busted his first-ever carry for 41 yards. That would eventually lead to a 32 yard Chris Milo field goal with 3:18 to play in the first, putting the Riders up 3-1. The lead would last 'til the end of the first quarter, when, on the final play of a 6 play, 72 yard drive, Matt Walter would run one in from 23 yards out. The Paredes convert would give Calgary an 8-3 lead after one.
Keyed by a 35 yard pas play from Kerry Joseph to Brett Swain, Jospeh went the final 24 yards with a pass to Rob Bagg for Saskatchewan's first major of the night. The Milo convert, coming at the end of a 4 play, 76 yard drive, gave the Roughriders a 10-8 advantage, with 7:56 to play 'til two quarter time. The lead would grow on their next possession, as Milo would boot a 33 yard field goal with 2:58 to play in the half, giving Saskatchewan a 13-8 lead. The Riders would add more points in the half's final minute, as Brian Peters picked off Bo Levi Mitchell, returning it 15 yards for the score. Milo converted with 54 seconds left, putting Saskatchewan up 20-8. Set up by a good return and a pass interference call in the end zone, Calgary's Drew Tate would score from 1 yard out. Paredes would convert with 6 seconds to play, making the score 20-15 in favor of the Roughriders.
Saskatchewan opened up the scoring in the second half, getting a pass from Joseph into the left flat to Chris Getzlaf for a 40 yard touchdown. Milo kicked the convert and with 8:10 to play in the third, the Riders were up by 12, at 27-15.
The Stamps would put together a drive deep into Saskatchewan end zone, culminating in a Jock Sanders 11 yard touchdown catch from Mitchell. The two-point conversion pass fell incomplete, leaving the Roughrider lead at 6 at 27-21, with 3:18 gone in the final quarter. Trapped deep in their own territory, Josh Bartel conceded a safety touch with 9:45 to go, slicing the Roughrider lead to 27-23. Calgary would take the kick and run the ball out to their own 50. After one first down run, and a 22 yard pass down the left sideline to Eric Rogers, A couple of plays later, Mitchell would roll out of trouble, finding Nik Lewis at the 3. Walter would then go up the middle the rest of the way for the major. With the Paredes convert, the Stampeders went up 30-27, with 6:23 to play in regulation. Saskatchewan would start their ensuing possession at their own 26. On second down, Joseph was picked off by Jamar Wall, who took it back 50 yards for the touchdown. The Paredes convert put Calgary up by 10, at 37-27, with 5:01 to play in the fourth quarter. Brandon Smith picked off Joseph in the next possession, returning the ball to the 18 yard line. They would turn that turnover into an 18 yard Paredes field goal, taking a 40-27 lead with 2:22 remaining in the game. The Riders attempted to mount a scoring drive, but Wall picked off Joseph in the end zone, ending the threat with 50 seconds left. The Stamps ran out the clock from there, winning by 13.
For Calgary, Bo Levi Mitchell was 21-of-31 for 231 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Matt Walter rushed 12 times for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Drew Tate also had a rushing touchdown. Nik Lewis had 9 catches for 98 yards, Jock Sanders caught 1 pass for an 11 yard major. Rene Paredes was 1-for-2 on field goals, 4-of-4 on converts and had a missed field goal single, while Rob Maver punted 7 times for a 45.1 yard average. Buddy Jackson had 6 tackles and Jamar Wall had 2 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. For Saskatchewan, Kerry Joseph was 21-of-37 passing for 322 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Keith Toston rushed 6 times for 72 yards, Chris Getzlaf caught 6 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, Rob Bagg caught 6 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown, Chris Milo was 2-of-2 on field goals and 3-of-3 on converts and Josh Bartel punted 6 times for a 44.3 yard average. The defence was led by Brian Peters, who had 10 tackles, 1 special teams tackle and an interception return for a touchdown.
In team stats, the Riders had 18 first downs, rushed for 76 yards, passed for 322 and had a net of 374. The Stampeders had 23 first downs, rushed for 112 yards, passed for 231 for a net 319. Saskatchewan had 13 penalties for 90 yards, 3 sacks, held the ball for 27:56 and turned the ball over 3 times. Calgary had 6 penalties for 68 yards, recorded 3 sacks, held the ball for 32:04 and turned the ball over once.
Coming up next for the 9-8 Riders is a week 19 bye, followed by a week 20 home game against the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday, November 8th, which wraps up the regular season. Game time at Regina's Mosaic Stadium is 7:00pm EST. Catch all the action with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri on 620 CKRM, the Rider Radio Network and 620ckrm.com. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on ESPN3.com. Calgary next hosts Winnipeg on Saturday, November 1st.