Stamps edge past Riders thanks to fourth quarter rally
Bryant Moniz rushed for three quarterback sneaks as the Calgary Stampeders rallied past the Saskatchewan Roughriders 37-29 on Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.
Calgary scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback over the Riders. The Stamps had come close to taking the lead throughout the game but the Riders always managed to stay ahead.
Keith Toston’s 14 yard rush to the goal line led to Moniz’s third plunge of the game and put the Stampeders up by eight points. Drew Tate hit Kamar Jorden with a touchdown pass earlier in the quarter to give the Stamps a 30-29 lead, its first of the game.
Tate connected with Lemar Durant to put the Stamps on the goal line on the first play of the final frame before Moniz rushed in his second score of the game.
Kevin Glenn took over duties under centre from Darian Durant halfway through the third quarter and connected with Alex Carroll on a 21 yard touchdown to go up 26-16. On the last play of the third quarter, Adam Berger recovered a fumble for the Stamps deep in Riders’ territory to threaten the lead that Saskatchewan would carry into the fourth quarter. An O’Neill field goal would put the Riders back up by six.
Saskatchewan kept many of its starters in the game at the beginning of the second half. After Darian Durant led the Riders downfield, the team set up Hugh O’Neill for a field goal attempt. However, the Riders ended up missing a player in the kicking unit and were forced to take a delay of game penalty. That would prove costly as O’Neill ended up missing the now 47 yard attempt.
Tate, the trusty backup quarterback for Calgary, started the second half for the Stamps. He connected on a series of passes, including a 25 yard missile to Lemar Durant. Tyler Crapigna would cap the first drive of the second half with a 31 yard chip shot to reduce the Riders’ lead to only three.
The teams saved much of the scoring action for the first half as the starters would watch the rest of the game from the sidelines after 30 minutes.
Nic Demski took the majority of kick returns for the Riders, a role he could be primarily featured in for Saskatchewan this year. After Rene Parades missed a 50 yard field goal attempt, Demski returned the ball all the way to the 38 yard line to put Durant in good position to try to extend the lead. He would then prove to the hometown fans that he is not worried about taking a hit, going head first on an 11 yard rush. A few plays later, he was intercepted by Jeff Hecht. The Stamps were able to squeeze in a 51 yard field goal as the first half clock ticked down and headed to the locker room in a 19-13 hole.
Bo Levi Mitchell did not start the game on a good note as he threw an interception to Jeff Knox on his second play of the Stamps’ opening drive that put the Riders in great field position early on. Durant would connect with Rob Bagg on a 34 yard pass before Chris Getzlaf hauled in an 11 yard score. On the point after attempt, the ball slipped through Weston Dressler’s hands and the Riders failed to add an extra point to their early lead.
Jeff Knox intercepted Bo Levi Mitchell on the Stamps' opening drive.
The second drive for Mitchell would turn out much better, connecting with Joe West on a 52 yard completion. Moniz would come in under centre for Calgary for a play before Mitchell replaced him to continue the drive. He wouldn’t be able to get the Stamps any further than the 14 yard line where Rene Parades hit a field goal to cut Saskatchewan’s lead in half, 6-3.
After a pass interference call brought the Riders to the goal line at the beginning of the second quarter, Brett Smith’s number was called at pivot and he delivered by diving into the end zone for the second Saskatchewan touchdown of the game to go up 13-3.
Following the score by Smith, Sederrick Cunningham would return the ball 72 yards to shorten the field for Calgary. Jon Cornish would plow through the Riders defence to the goal line but was stopped before being able to score. Moniz would then make his second appearance and complete the drive of rushes by punching it in for Calgary to shorten the Riders lead to only a field goal.
The Riders would rely heavily on Anthony Allen during a drive in the second quarter, going to him on three straight plays but he did not make much headway. Chris Milo connected on his second 47 yard kick to cut the deficit to just six.
Mitchell had a bit of a miscommunication with his running back that resulted in him having to rush the ball. He was tackled and lost the football to Riders newcomer Shea Emry, who recovered the fumble for another Riders start in good field position. The offence could only muster a field goal to extend the Saskatchewan lead.
Kickoff at Mosaic Stadium was briefly delayed for approximately 15 minutes following a light hail storm around the stadium.
It was the first pre-season game for Weston Dressler, who caught three passes for 34 yards.