Here’s what I filed to the paper tonight on deadline. It’s not much, but I only missed deadline by a little bit.
CALGARY — The Saskatchewan Roughriders are no longer perfect after an improbable comeback by the Calgary Stampeders.
The host Stampeders bounced back from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull out a 41-38 thrilling overtime victory over the Roughriders before 32,228 spectators at McMahon Stadium. The Roughriders fell to 3-1 while the Stampeders improved to 2-2.
“This is going to be a maturity game for us,” Riders rookie head coach Corey Chamblin told reporters. “We’re going to have to grow up after this. We had ’em pretty much the whole game, but all of a sudden at the end, we let it slip away.”
Calgary tied the West Division shootout on a 17-yard field goal by Rene Paredes at 14:31 of the fourth quarter. The Stampeders came within a field goal of the Riders when Larry Taylor scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Bo Levi Mitchell, who was in the game for starter Kevin Glenn. Glenn was injured after being slammed to the turf by Saskatchewan’s Brent Hawkins, but returned for the overtime session. The Taylor touchdown came one play after Riders quarterback Darian Durant was intercepted for the first time in the 2012 season.
“I really think it came down to the turnover,’’ Durant said. “I put that on me. I turned the ball over and it directly led to a touchdown.”
Calgary scored on its first overtime possession on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Nik Lewis. It was Lewis’s third touchdown of the game. Lewis’s second touchdown reception with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter started the Calgary comeback. The veteran Calgary receiver finished with seven receptions for 98 yards.
The Riders had the ball first in the overtime period and scored on a 50-yard field-goal by Chris Milo.
Calgary earned the win by its push down the stretch and by some uncharacteristic drops by the usually ‘sure-handed receiving pair of Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf.
In regulation time, Dressler bobbled a long pass out of bounds that would have set up the Riders deep in Calgary’s zone. In the overtime period, Getzlaf didn’t secure what could have been a touchdown pass in the end zone from Durant, whose pass was slightly behind the receiver.
Durant was 20-of-39 for 238 yards and completed touchdown passes to Dressler (20 yards) and Getzlaf (30 yards). Rookie backup quarterback Drew Willy also completed a two-yard touchdown pass to fullback Neal Hughes.
The Riders had a number of opportunities to ice the game late in the fourth quarter. The Riders’ Cory Huclack recovered a fumble by Taylor on a punt return on Calgary’s 36. It was the Riders ninth forced turnover of the season. The Riders weren’t able to generate any offence after the fumble and were forced to punt. Calgary ran out the clock to force the first overtime session of the 2012 season.
The Stampeders scored the only points in the third quarter on a 44-yard field goal by Paredes. Saskatchewan led 28-18 after the third quarter.
The Riders rallied late in the second quarter to earn a 21-15 halftime lead.
Durant capped a nine-play 83-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown strike to Getzlaf late in the second quarter. The Riders grabbed a 21-15 advantage after Milo’s convert.
Willy recorded his first touchdown completion on a two-yard connection with Hughes as the Riders took a 13-10 lead in the second quarter.
Lewis scored Calgary’s lone first-half touchdown on a five-yard pass from Glenn. Paredes connected on both of his field-goal attempts. The Stampeders also picked up a safety when the ball was snapped over the head of Milo during a punt attempt in the second quarter.