Calgary came into this game playing very good football. Last week they pulled off an amazing fourth quarter comeback versus the B.C. Lions and were just hoping to continue their fine form in this game. Saskatchewan came into this game angry after a 41-3 drubbing at the hands of the Montreal Alouettes. Darian Durant made his return to the line-up for the Roughriders after an injury in Saskatchewan’s first game of the season.
Calgary got points on their first possession of the game. This one 35-yarder from Rene Paredes got through the uprights for an early 3-0 lead.
Darian Durant was eager to help stabilize a Roughriders team that has struggled on offense at points this season. He was able to get a major score out of his first drive of the game via a 45-yard touchdown strike to Rob Bagg for a 6-3 lead.
The Roughriders continued the trend this year of teams going for 2 points more often than I’ve ever seen in previous seasons, but were unsuccessful and the scored stayed at 6-3.
Bo Levi-Mitchell was able to engineer a response to the Durant touchdown pass, taking his team down the field to find Anthony Parker for a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 9-6. After a convert kick by Rene Paredes it was a 10-6 game heading into the second quarter.
The defenses locked it down until late in the second quarter. With an injury to regular kicker Tyler Crapigna, the Roughriders turned to Johnny Mark who nailed a 42-yard field goal to make it a 1-point game with a 10-9 score line.
A top class team like Calgary had an answer right away. On their next drive, they were able to get a 24-yard field goal by Rene Paredes gave the Stampeders a 13-10 lead.
On their next drive, the Roughriders were able to get themselves within a point again as Johnny Mark hit another field goal, this time from 40-yards out to make it a 13-12 game.
Calgary got the ball back very late in the first half and Bo-Levi Mitchell drove his team into field goal range and Rene Parades kicked a 31-yard field goal to give the Stamps a 16-12 lead going into halftime.
Getting Darian Durant back should have been a big boost to the Saskatchewan offense and while they were still trailing, they were well within striking distance of the lead. Calgary just needed to do more of the same and keep playing at a high level to see this game out.
A Johnny Mark field goal once again brought the score to within a point for Saskatchewan, continuing his solid night to make it a 16-15 game.
Calgary once again responded with yet another field goal in a game that was being dominated by the special teams as Paredes nailed yet another field goal to make it a 19-15 game. The score remained just that heading into the fourth quarder.
Calgary went on a long sustained drive midway through the fourth as back-up quartback Andrew Buckley came into the game in a short-yardage situation as he took the ball in from 5-yards out for a 25-15 lead after a good drive that chewed a lot of time off of the clock. The 25-15 lead stood after a failed 2-point convert attempt.
fter shutting down the Roughriders again on defense the Stampeders went to the well again. Jerome Messam ran the ball in from 1-yard out after another good Calgary drive that gave them a 32-15 lead, virtually icing this game late in the final quarter.
A 17-yard field goal as time expired capped off an emphatic 35-15 victory for the Stampeders.
The Stampeders did show flashes of brilliance, but to their hallmark, they just kept wearing down the Roughriders all day with long drives that taxed the Rider defense to concede touchdowns late in the game to seal a victory. They played very well in all 3 areas of the game, especially with their kicking, where Rene Parades had a 5/5 night through the uprights. With the win Calgary moves into the top spot overall in the CFL standings. Bo Levi-Mitchell went 25/37 with 312-yards and 1 touchdown pass.
The Roughriders still have some growing to do, even with Durant back under centre this team is still learning how to win with its current group and no matter how many bold claims are made before the season, this is still a process. The team was at least able to get 12 more points than they did last week, but that may be the only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing performance. Darian Durant went 17/28 for 247-yards with 1 touchdown pass.
These 2 teams will meet again next week for a rematch in Regina on August 13th at 7:00pm EST.