The 2-0 Saskatchewan Roughriders played host to the 2-0 BC Lions in a first-place showdown at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was the first of a four-game season series against the defending Grey Cup champions. Here's the game log from the broadcast booth:
- It was 26 degrees Celsius and overcast at the 1:10 pm kickoff. The wind was out of the southeast at 28 km/h.
- Prior to the game, CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, Roughrider President Jim Hopson and Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco announced the funding is in place for a new stadium for the Roughriders and the project is a go! The facility is scheduled to open in 2017 at Evraz Place.
- The Riders wore their green home uniforms with white pants and green helmets. The Lions were in their white road uniforms with orange pants and white helmets.
- BC won the toss and elected to take the ball. They defended the south endzone in the first quarter starting at their 37-yard line. They got to the Saskatchewan 30 before Paul McCallum connected on a 38-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead just 3:38 into the game. It's the first time the Riders trailed in a game all season. It was an 8-play, 43 yard drive.
- The Riders started their first drive at their 22-yard line. They got to the Lions' 25-yard line before kicker Chris Milo nailed a 33-yard field goal to tie the game up at 3-3 with 3:53 to go in the first period. It was a 15-play drive which took 7:06 off the clock.
- On the Lions' second drive Travis Lulay tossed a 69-yard touchdown pass to Kierrie Johnson to open up a 10-3 lead with 3:22 left.
- On the first play of the second quarter Chris Milo missed a 43-yard field goal attempt and the Riders came away with no points. Still 10-3 BC.
- Saskatchewan's first possession of the second quarter started at BC's 34-yard line. They capped it with a 37-yard Milo field goal to make it 10-6 Lions with 11:46 to go in the half.
- Rider DB Craig Butler picked off Lulay and returned it to the BC 32-yard line with 9:33 to go in the half. It was Butler's second pick of the season. One play later Weston Dressler hauled in what looked like a 32-yard touchdown pass from Darian Durant however upon review it was called incomplete. But Dressler drew an interfence flag on the play and the Riders got it at the BC 1-yard line. Two plays later Rider tailback Kory Sheets launched himself into the endzone for a 13-10 Rider lead. It's the first time the Lions had trailed all season.
- On the final play of the first half McCallum hit a 29-yard field goal to tie it up at 13-13 at the break.
- The Riders got the ball to start the second half, starting at their 35-yard line after a 26-yard Louis Rankin return. They managed one first down before having to punt.
- BC's first drive of the third quarter commenced at their 35. They defended the north endzone in the third quarter. They got to the Rider 37 before Paul McCallum attemped a 45-yard field goal. He was wide, and the Riders' Tristan Jackson returned it to the 55.
- On the ensuing drive Chris Milo gave the Riders a 16-13 lead with a 33-yard field goal with 4:03 to go in the third period.
- 16-13 Riders going to the fourth quarter.
- Paul McCallum attempted to tie the game on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 40-yard field goal but he was wide left and Tristan Jackson returned it 129-yards for the score making it 23-13 Saskatchewan. It was the first Rider return touchdown since 2007 and the longest in franchise history.
- The attendance was 32,080.
- With 3:44 to go, BC's Travis Lulay threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Marco Iannuzzi to cut the Riders' lead to 23-20.
- The Riders marched the other way on the next drive and got to the BC 38 before lining up a 45-yard Milo field goal with 1:07 to go. He missed and it was returned out for no points.
- BC took over at their 12 with 0:58 to go. With 0:14 left Travis Lulay was picked off by Eddie Russ at the Saskatchewan 47 yard line. For the third straight game and the Riders ended the game in the victory formation.
GAME OVER: SASKATCHEWAN 23 BC 20
RIDER DT TERRIUS GEORGE
- It felt good. The guys on the back-end had a big game. It feels like we won the Grey Cup but we gotta bare down and get ready for next week in Calgary!
BC RB STU FOORD
- It was extremely intense. This is what we wanted. Two 2-0 teams. You couldn't ask for more just for it to end on the BC end. We didn't get what we wanted so we gotta go back to BC and fix what went wrong.
RIDER COACH COREY CHAMBLIN
- We played together. That was a tough win. They're a quality opponent. We had to dig deep on a short week and we got it done.
- Like I told Tristan, you'll learn to trust me. I don't want guys splitting duties and he focused on that. We had a lot of big plays and we won it.
- Our o-line was big. Asiata was good. It was a good team win. The credit goes to the players and coaches but especially the fans.
- At times I knew the team was tired but once the crowd got into it, it gave us extra energy.
- We talk about how we want to play and discipline is a part of it. We were fortunate to keep drives going without penalties.
- Rob Bagg fights through adversity and stands tall. He's the mark of this team. He keeps battling for us.
- They're so tired they don't have time to know they're number one. We're not looking at the rankings right now. I usually give the guys 24 hours to celebrate but I said this time it's only 12. We have to get our bodies ready for Calgary.
* The Riders look to go to 4-0 Thursday in Calgary against the 1-2 Stampeders.