Double loss for the Roughriders on Saturday night. Saskatchewan defeated by Calgary on final play of game and lose QB Trevor Harris to injury.


For the second week in a row, the Saskatchewan Roughriders staged a late comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter at Mosaic Stadium, but this time, it wasn’t enough as the Calgary Stampeders defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 33-31 on Saturday night.

Rene Paredes 50-yard field goal on the final play of the game gave the Stampeders the victory.

The Roughriders thought they had a pulled a rabbit out of a hat, facing a 3rd and 24, Riders backup Mason Fine scrambled heaved a Hail Mary to Tevin Jones, with three Stampeders around him, Jones bounced the ball to himself and caught the pass into the end zone with 32 seconds remaining, but the Stampeders were able to march the ball setting up Paredes field goal.

The immediate concern for Saskatchewan following the game is the health of their starting quarterback, Trevor Harris. In the fourth quarter, Harris attempted to scramble for a first down but when fell awkwardly on the tackle. The cart was brought on to the field to help the Roughriders quarterback on the field.

One week after having a touchdown wiped off the board due to a penalty, Mario Alford registered his first punt return touchdown of the season, a 66-yard major that gave the Roughriders the early advantage. The touchdown also moved Alford into a tie for first place with Corey Holmes for the most returns touchdowns in franchise history.

Saskatchewan stifled Calgary’s offence throughout the first quarter, including a pair of possessions that lasted two plays. The Stampeders were able to land their first points of the evening thanks to the leg of Paredes, who kicked a 30-yard field goal just before the end of the quarter to cut the score to 7-3.

Brett Lauther replied for the green and white with a 36-yard field goal as the Roughriders regained their seven-point lead.

After the Roughriders controlled the play in the opening quarter, momentum swung in the Stampeders in the second quarter, outscoring them 17-3. Paredes began the scoring charge with a 51-yard field goal in the early stages of the quarter.

Calgary pulled ahead for the first time of the game when Tommylee Lewis made his CFL debut a memorable thanks to a seven-yard touchdown moving the Stamps ahead by a field goal.

The first turnover of the game was a costly one. Harris had the ball knocked out of his grasp and recovered by the Stampeders Mike Rose. Calgary capitalized on the fumble recovery with a 14-yard touchdown connection between Maier and Luther Hakunavanku in the final moments of the half.

Lewis nearly achieved his first CFL punt return, but his 76-yard effort was nullified due to Marken Michel’s illegal block.

Down by ten,  Saskatchewan’s sputtering began making progress on their second possession of the half. Shawn Bane Jr. made his first three receptions of the game to set up the Roughriders inside of Calgary territory, but a third-down sneak by Shea Patterson came up short.

Another two-and-out by the Stampeders offence, Alford moved on top of the Riders record books with his sixth return for a touchdown as a member of the green and white, as the Riders trailed by three.

In the fourth quarter, Saskatchewan’s defence forced an interception as Deontai Williams grabbed the Maier’s pass to give Saskatchewan possession.

With Harris injured, Mason Fine entered the contest with nine minutes remaining, unable to make any additional progress, Lauther attempted a 54-yard field goal that was short. Clark Barnes returned the missed field goal to Saskatchewan’s 24-yard line. The Stampeders would finish the drive off with a Dedrick Mills touchdown.

On his second series, Fine managed to move the chains with his feet, making a run for a 24-yard gain. Morrow finished off Saskatchewan’s drive with a six-yard touchdown reception to move the Roughriders within three points.

Calgary added to the lead with Paredes third field goal of the game to push the advantage to six points, which set up the fourth quarter dramatics.

Before suffering his injury, Harris was 16 for 26 with 115 passing yards.

Head Coach Craig Dickenson didn’t have an update on his quarterback’s injury but noted that it didn’t look promising.

In relief, Fine was 6 for 8 for 116 yards and a touchdown.

Moments after the contest, Shawn Bane Jr. told 620 CKRM’s Daniella Ponticelli, that he had mixed emotions from a roller coaster of a game.

“We ket it get too close, but I mean it’s the game where he had people fall down, we had people step up, that was a crazy game.”

Watching Harris go down, was a tough moment for the Roughriders receiver.

“It almost brought me to tears, just seeing how much preparation he puts into everything.”

He added, “For him to drop like that, it hurts my heart.”

During the 5th quarter with Michael Ball and Luc Mulliner, Dickenson said he was proud of the team’s resiliency, but added the execution needs to better.

“I told the team I was proud of the effort, proud of the moxie they showed, but I do feel like we need to play better. That’s something we’re going to focus on tomorrow and move on.”

Defensively on Calgary’s final drive, Dickenson felt the Roughriders were not aggressive enough in preventing the Stampeders from advancing into field goal range.

The Roughriders head coach felt Fine did a good job coming in relief for Harris.

“Next man up, that’s what we tell our guys to do, Mason (Fine) he did a nice job, he knows the offence like the back of his hand and when he’s called upon we feel like he can do a good job.”

Not winning the turnover battle has cost Saskatchewan according to Dickenson.

“I think that’s getting us in a little bit of a jam, we’re playing from behind because we don’t have the ball as much as the other guy.”

It was bittersweet for Alford with a pair of punt returns for touchdowns and a place on the top of the all-time list for punt returns in Saskatchewan Roughrider history.

With the Roughriders likely moving forward without Harris for the foreseeable future, Alford expressed confidence in Fine.

“I believe in Mason, the team believes in him,”

Alford added the entire green and white sideline was in shock following Jones touchdown reception, but gave kudos to the Stampeders and Paredes.

“Hats to them, hats off to the kicker.”

Defensive End Pete Robertson had the lone sack for the Roughriders on Saturday along with six tackles. He said after the game, the defence needs to be more consistent.

He believes the strong rapport in the Roughriders locker room is something the team can build off.

“We try be on brothers on all levels on offence and defence, that’s the biggest thing, keep this brotherhood together, and right now one of our brothers are down and we’re going to try and lift him up most we can.”

There was another milestone on the evening besides Alford’s, Larry Dean collected his 500th career tackle. The veteran linebacker had five tackles against the Stampeders.

Offensively, Morrow had 100 combined yards on offence with 63 receiving yards and 37 rushing yards.

Jones had 84 receving yards to lead Saskatchewan receivers.

On the other sideline, Maier was 26 for 37 with 315 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Hakunavanhu led Stampeders receivers with 94 yards and a touchdown reception.

Saskatchewan drops down to 3-2 on the season and finish off their opening run of divisional opponents to start the season next Saturday when they travel to Vancouver to meet the BC Lions.

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