A statement win for the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday night at Mosaic Stadium as they knocked off the West Division leading BC Lions 27-21. The win moves the Riders to 7-6 on the year and drops BC down to 9-4. Just two games separates the top three team in the division with Calgary one up on Saskatchewan at 8-5.
The wild game came down to the final minutes after the Lions came storming back from an 18-1 deficit at halftime to pull within six points with just three minutes to go. Riders’ quarterback Darian Durant found receiver Greg Carr over the middle for a 46-yard touchdown, his first as a Rider, to go up 27-14 and seal the win for the Green & White.
Durant finished 26-of-34 for 371 yards, three touchdowns and one interception for a second straight solid game since he missed the Riders game in Montreal.
The two teams started off slow and went through a scoreless first quarter, but Saskatchewan got on the board quickly in the second when Durant connected with slotback Weston Dressler for a 13-yard touchdown.
The Roughriders struck again on their next play when Dressler hauled in a 53-yard score for his second touchdown of the day.
Dressler had a third touchdown later in the quarter called back on an offside penalty by Carr and kicker Sandro DeAngelis kicked a 30-yard field goal for a 17-1 lead. Dressler finished the game with nine catches for 160 yards and the two first half touchdowns. He now has 1,000 yards on the season, which puts him 3rd in the league.
The Lions were dealt a big blow in the first half as they lost both Geroy Simon and Arland Bruce III. Simon suffered a hamstring injury, while Bruce left with an apparent concussion.
BC never really started to make their charge until the fourth quarter when they finally got into the red zone. They settled for a 25-yard field goal by kicker Paul McCallum.
Their next drive finally resulted in a touchdown when quarterback Travis Lulay hit Marco Iannuzzi for a 24-yard touchdown just before the three-minute warning to cut the Riders lead to six.
After the Riders responded quickly with the Durant-to-Carr touchdown, their defence needed to come up with a stop, but couldn’t as Lulay hooked up with Iannuzzi for another TD with just 1:18 to go.
A successful onside kick gave the Lions back the ball, but Chris McKenzie intercepted Lulay to give the Riders a 27-21 victory.
Lulay finished a decent 19-for-36 with 232 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Kory Sheets led the ground attack for Saskatchewan with 17 carries for 103 yards. The second 100-yard game of his CFL career puts him at 922 for the season, good enough for 2nd place behind Calgary’s Jon Cornish.
The Riders are off until Thanksgiving Monday when they head to Toronto for a meeting with the Argonauts.