The Saskatchewan Roughriders knew they couldn’t turn the football over, and they knew they couldn’t let the Calgary Stampeders get off to a fast start. They did exactly what they shouldn’t do as they were beaten 34-22 in front of a sold-out crowd at Mosaic Stadium Saturday night.
A Marcus Thigpen fumble on a third-and-one gamble started what was a first quarter to forget as it gave Calgary the ball at the Riders 41. On the next play, Bo Levi Mitchell found Marken Michel behind the coverage for a touchdown giving the Stamps a lead they would not relinquish.
That was followed by a 52-yard field goal by Rene Paredes and a 78-yard punt return by Terry Williams to put Calgary out into a 17-0 lead which turned into 24-0 after Eric Rogers caught a 15 yard touchdown pass from Mitchell after a Jerome Messam fumble making some members of the Rider Nation wonder what type of shellacking their team was in for.
“The first quarter, we shot ourselves in the foot,” quarterback Brandon Bridge said after the game. “We can’t turn the ball over, especially with a team like that. We’ve definitely got to execute on every play and, in the first quarter, it was very hard for our offence to get going.”
The Riders got their game together after that disastrous opening 15 minutes and scored the game’s next 19 points including a pick-six in the second quarter by Tobi Antigha, but Calgary got their game going again with Mitchell finding Davaris Daniels for a 15 yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter which came one play after an illegal contact penalty negated an interception by Crezdon Butler.
Brett Lauther was the offensive star for the Riders as he kicked five field goals including one from 56 yards in the dying moments of the first half.
The loss drops the Riders to a record of 3-3 while Calgary remains unbeaten and are 6-0.
The Riders will be in Edmonton Thursday night and Jones had a message for the Eskimos after the game.
“I can tell Edmonton right now: We’re going to run the football, we’re going to be running bootlegs, we’re going to throw screens and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to get good at that and we’re going to play great defence and special teams.”
- Despite the fact 56 points were scored in the game, both defences were stingy as Saskatchewan actually had more net offence than Calgary (239-226)
- Rider receiver Naaman Roosevelt left the game after a tackle in which he landed on his head. Head Coach Chris Jones said after the game that Roosevelt didn’t appear to be in bad shape and should be alright for Thursday’s game in Edmonton
- Charleston Hughes had two sacks against his former team to give him a CFL league-leading eight on the season
- Brett Lauther’s 56 yard field goal made him the 5th kicker in Rider history to have a three-pointer from beyond 55 yards. The others are Paul McCallum who has the team record with a 62 yard field goal, Paul Watson, Bob Macoritti and Dave Ridgway