Friday, July 10, 2015

Riders let late lead slip, fall in overtime at BC

The Saskatchewan Roughriders let an 11-point lead slip away late in regulation, before losing in overtime to the BC Lions 35-32 Friday night at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, BC.

After both teams played for field position on their opening possessions, the Roughriders would get on the board first, taking their second possession 81 yards in 5 plays, capped by a 45 yard strike from Kevin Glenn to Weston Dressler for the touchdown. Paul McCallum converted with 5:31 left in the opening quarter, for a 7-0 Saskatchewan lead. Richie Leone would sneak in a 25 yard field goal with just 23 ticks left on the opening quarter board for BC, making it a 7-3 game in favor of the Riders.

The Lions would drive deep into Saskatchewan territory to open the second quarter and aided by a successful challenge of a pass interference going against the Roughriders, they would threaten, but have to settle for a 14 yard Leone field goal, cutting the deficit to 7-6, with 5:11 gone in the second.

BC took the ball to start the second half and drove from deep in their own territory and drove into the red zone for the third time in the game, reaching the Saskatchewan 4 yard line. However, a no gain on a run and an incomplete pass in the end zone would force the Lions to settle for another short Leone field goal, this one from 12 yards out, giving BC their first lead at 9-7, 4:47 into the third. The Riders would respond, with a 41 yard run by Jerome Messam taking the ball down to the Lion 10. From there, Glenn would toss twice to Dressler, the first for a 10 yard major and the second for the two-point convert, giving Saskatchewan a 15-9 lead, with 4:59 to play in the third quarter. Leone would nail a 42 yard field goal for the Lions on the ensuing possession, cutting the Rider lead to 15-12, with 2:06 remaining in the third period.

A Saskatchewan drive, which started late in the third, found pay dirt early in the fourth. After an offside gave the Riders a first and goal, Brett Smith would roll in around left tackle for the touchdown. McCallum converted and Saskatchewan was up 22-12, 1:59 into the fourth. The score capped an 8 play, 75 yard, penalty aided drive. BC would respond two possessions later,driving deep into Roughrider territory. From the 7, Travis Lulay would flip one out to Rolly Lambala, for the Lions' first touchdown in five trips into the red zone this season, capping an 8 play, 74 yard drive. However, Leone would miss the convert, leaving the Saskatchewan lead at 4, 22-18, with 6:18 remaining in regulation time. Jamel Richardson would haul in a 46 yard pass on the next turn with the ball for the Riders, setting his team up with a first-and-goal from the 10. A holding penalty pushed them back to the 20, then a pass play took the ball back to the 11. A penalty negated a third Dressler touchdown on the next play, then offsetting penalties called for a 2nd down do-over at the three-minute warning. Yet another penalty, this one on BC moved the ball to the 10. From there, Anthony Allen did the rest, going the final 10 for the major. McCallum's convert, with 2:21 left, gave Saskatchewan an 11 point lead at 29-18. The Lions would bounce right back, going 80 yards in just 4 plays, with the major coming on a 46 yard pass from Lulay to Austin Collie. Lulay and Collie teamed up for the two-point convert, cutting the gap to 3 at 29-26 Roughriders, with 1:38 to go in the fourth. BC's defence toughened up, holding Saskatchewan short of a first down. The Riders would roll the dice with 60 seconds left, bringing on the short yardage team for third down. Smith would stretch for the first down, but the ball would get knocked loose and the Lions would recover at the 47, with 43 seconds remaining. Upon review, the ruling of forward progress stopped but no first down gained, gave BC the ball at the Saskatchewan 48. A Lulay first down pass fell incomplete, a penalty moved the ball back to the 53, setting up a second and 15 with 38 seconds left. A pass gained 5, leaving it up to Leone to attempt a 55 yard field goal with 31 seconds to play. The ball barely snuck across the cross bar with 15 seconds remaining, tying the game 29-29. The Riders would run out the clock, sending the game into overtime.

In the first extra session, a penalty and an incompletion, sent Saskatchewan into a second down from the 40. On the next play, a Lion penalty moved the ball to the 30. Messam ran the ball to just short of the 25, McCallum would come on to boot a 33 yard field goal, putting the Roughriders up 32-29. Lulay strong-armed a ball to Shawn Gore on BC's first play for a 29 yard gain to the 6. A run was stopped at the 4, then Lulay found Emmanuel Arceneaux for the major, giving the Lions the 35-32 win.

For Saskatchewan, Kevin Glenn was 23-of-29 passing for 271 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. Jerome Messam ran 8 times for 85 yards, while Anthony Allen carried the ball 10 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. Brett Smith ran twice for 1 yard and a touchdown. Weston Dressler had a big game, with 9 catches for 122 yards and 2 majors plus a two-point convert. Paul McCallum was 1-of-1 on field goals and 3-of-3 on converts and Ray Early punted 6 times for a 47.5 yard average. Jeff Knox, Jr. led the defence with 10 tackles and 3 special teams tackles for a total of 13 stops.

For BC, Travis Lulay was 34-of-44 passing for 404 yards and 3 touchdowns. Andrew Harris ran 12 times for 70 yards, Austin Collie caught 6 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, Emmanuel Arceneaux caught 7 passes for 49 yards and a major and Rolly Lumbala caught a 7 yard touchdown. Richie Leone went 5-for-5 on field goals and 0-for-1 on field goals, while punting 6 times for a 48.2 yard average. The Lion defence was led by Soloman Elimimian, who made 10 tackles.

These two teams meet again next Friday, this time in Regina. BC enters at 1-1, while the Roughriders lug an 0-3 record into the contest. Kickoff at Mosaic Stadium on 620 CKRM and the Rider Radio Network is set for 7:00pm PDT. The game can be seen in Canada on TSN and in the U.S. on


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