CFL: Saskatchewan Roughriders stun undefeated Calgary Stampeders

REGINA – The Saskatchewan Roughriders got points from their offence, defence and special teams to stun the Calgary Stampeders and end their undefeated start to the season with a 40-27 victory.

Despite four touchdown passes by Bo Levi Mitchell, the Stamps could not stop Zach Collaros or the Roughriders defence, who left the Calgary quarterback uncomfortable all game.

Saskatchewan jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.

Back to back catches by Jordan Williams-Lambert got the ball rolling early for the Riders who looked to score early against the league’s top team. Naaman Roosevelt’s 200th career reception put the Riders just outside the end zone and Brett Lauther booted a field goal for the quick 3-0 lead.

Tre Mason led the next Riders drive with a first down rush before Shaq Evans put the offence past midfield on a pair of grabs. Collaros found Caleb Holley to keep moving the chains and Lauther kicked another field goal to increase the lead to 6-0.

Going for it on 3rd-and-4 to close out the first quarter, Mitchell’s pass ended up in the hands of Nick Marshall who took the interception 65 yards back for the major as the Riders entered the second quarter leading 14-0 after a successful two-point conversion.

Responding on their next possession the Stamps offence used a series of short rushes and passes to move the ball downfield. It paid off with a Davaris Daniels touchdown, a wide open 45-yard reception to put Calgary on the board. Rene Paredes missed the point after attempt as the Stamps trailed 14-6.

All parts of the Riders were working to put up points as Sam Eguavoan blocked the Stamps punt attemptand took it back to the end zone as the Riders lead increased to 21-6.

Collaros connected with Evans deep that immediately put the Riders in field goal range as Lauther kicked another field goal.

The Stamps defence didn’t let up as the first half ticked away. Alex Singleton forced a Mason fumble and got the ball back in Mitchell’s hands at midfield with just under two minutes remaining.

Starting the second half with the ball, the Stamps aimed to turn the momentum around. Pinned in their own zone, Mitchell was sacked in the pocket by former teammate Charleston Hughes and fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Zach Hughes. Marshall, a defensive back, took the snap just outside the goal line and punched in the touchdown as the Riders were now up 31-6.

The next possession went much better for Mitchell, who found a groove and marched the Stamps offence downfield. Facing a 2nd-and-15, Mitchell hooked up with Kamar Jorden for a 32-yard touchdown grab. The two-point convert attempt was unsuccessful as Calgary still trailed 31-12.

A 26-yard catch by Marken Michel kept the momentum rolling as the Stamps put together another touchdown drive, this one capping on a 29-yard grab by Juwan Brescansin. Jorden hauled in the two-point convert as the Stamps still trailed at 31-20 at the end of the third frame.

Collaros and Williams-Lambert continued to work together to move the Riders offence downfield. A disqualification penalty against the Stamps put the Riders outside the red zone but they had to settle for another field goal to extend their lead, now 34-20.

The duo continued to be a thorn in the side of the Stamps defence, connecting for a 38-yard gain as the Riders looked to put the game away. Lauther booted another field goal, his fifth of the game, to put the Riders even further ahead.

With just over three minutes remaining in the game the Stamps were running out of time to mount a comeback.  A 17-yard Daniels touchdown, his second of the game put the Stamps down by just 10. The Riders would add a late field goal to secure the 40-27 victory.

At halftime, Jim Hopson and John Terry were inducted into the Saskatchewan Plaza of Honour.

Next week the Riders travel to BC to take on the Lions while the Stampeders host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

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