Comeback in 4th quarter key to Calgary Stampeders win
The Calgary Stampeders evened their record with a thrilling 41-38 overtime victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday night at McMahon Stadium.
Down 35-18, the Calgary Stampeders scored 17 unanswered points to tie the game and force overtime. After Saskatchewan took a 38-35 lead on a Chris Milo 50-yard field goal on the Roughriders’ first possession of the OT, Nik Lewis scored his third touchdown of the night to give the Calgary Stampeders the victory.
“This team hasn’t quit yet,” remarked Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “They hung in there all four quarters in the games this year. It was going to be a litmus test . . . we hung in there and found a way to win the football game. It may be a little pit of poetic justice after what occurred last week (a last-minute, one-point loss in Montreal).”
The Calgary Stampeders improve to 2-2 while the Roughriders suffer their first loss and fall to 3-1.
The comeback started with just a little more than five minutes to play as Kevin Glenn — who threw for 385 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions — and Lewis hooked up for their second score of the night, a 21-yard play.
Then a Malik Jackson interception — the first turnover committed by the Roughriders this season — set up a 20-yard touchdown catch by Larry Taylor.
“You need a momentum-changing play to get wins,” said Hufnagel of the Jackson interception, “and that was definitely one of them.”
A fumble by Taylor on a punt return slowed the Calgary Stampeders rally but a big defensive stand gave the offence one last chance and Calgary managed to put together a drive that resulted in Rene Paredes’ game-tying field goal with 29 seconds to go, a 17-yarder that went through after clanking the upright.
For a time, it appeared penalties would lead the Calgary Stampeders to a third straight loss as Calgary was slapped with 11 fouls including flags for unnecessary roughness, facemasking and objectionable conduct.
“I was very concerned and disturbed,” said Hufnagel. “We were fortunate we were able to win the football game but my message (to the players after the game) was we need to cut out the (garbage). That point has been made numerous times.”
The Roughriders took the lead with 10 seconds left in the first half as Darian Durant connected with Chris Getzlaf on a 30-yard touchdown pass. The Saskatchewan scoring drive was kept alive thanks to a facemasking penalty to defensive lineman Torrey Davis.
Saskatchewan extended its lead on the opening drive of the second half with Durant hitting Weston Dressler on a 20-yard score.
After a 44-yard Paredes field goal make the score 28-15, Saskatchewan found the end-zone again as Kory Sheets scored on a one-yard run as Saskatchewan gambled on a third-and-goal play.
The Calgary Stampeders got on the board first thanks to a 46-yard field goal by Paredes.
The Roughriders took a 7-3 lead on a six-play, 54-yard drive that culminated with a two-yard touchdown run by Sheets.
The Stampeders replied with a six-play, 62-yard march that featured a 39-yard reception by Johnny Forzani and was capped by Lewis’ five-yard touchdown reception.
The back-and-forth scoring continued with the Roughriders scoring a second touchdown, this time on a two-yard pass from Drew Willy to Neal Hughes.
A 37-yard Paredes field goal and a safety after an errant snap on a Saskatchewan punt attempt gave the Stampeders a 15-14 lead.
The Calgary Stampeders are at McMahon again for their next game as they will face the BC Lions on Saturday, July 28. Kickoff is 7 p.m.