The Saskatchewan Roughriders claimed their third win of the 2012 season, after defeating the B.C. Lions 23-20 on Saturday. Both teams had 2-0 records before the game, making it a first-place showdown.
Brendon LaBatte was back on the field for the Green-and-White, starting as a right guard. He had sustained a shoulder injury in the previous game, when the Riders played Edmonton.
B.C. elected to defend the south end zone in the first quarter, after winning the toss. They got to the Saskatchewan 30 before claiming a 38-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead.
The Riders started their first drive at their 22-yard line. A field goal for the Riders tied up the game. The Lions reclaimed their lead during their second drive by scoring a 69-yard touchdown.
Saskatchewan's first possession of the second quarter started at the Lions' 34-yard line, where they scored a 37-yard field goal to make the score 10-6.
After an incomplete pass that failed to score a touchdown for the Roughriders, they were able to get the ball past the first-yard line for a 13-10 lead. On the final play of the first half, the Lions hit a 29-yard field goal to tie it up.
A 33-yard field goal for the Riders in the second quarter gave them back the lead, and the score remained 16-13 until the fourth quarter. Defensive back Tristan Jackson returned a missed field goal 129 yards for the longest play in Roughriders history to score another touchdown.
The Lions were only able to score an eight-yard touchdown to cut that lead to 23-20.
Not only did the Riders win another game, but before the game the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Roughriders announced that funding is in place for a new stadium. The facility is scheduled to open in 2017 at Evraz Place.
The government committed to 30 per cent of the stadium cost, or an $80 million maximum grant. The projected cost of the new stadium, land, environmental cleanup and landscaping is about $278 million.
"The new stadium has been debated for a number of years," said Dustin Duncan, MLA for Weyburn-Big Muddy and Health Minister. "In total, the City of Regina proposed a $1-billion revitalization project and asked the government for $230 million. We agreed to look at the revitalization for the stadium, and that we would provide a grant for up to 30 per cent, as we have done for other recreational projects in the province."
Once the stadium is in its new location at Evraz Place, which is home of the fair grounds and a hockey arena, the old Mosaic stadium grounds west of downtown would be redeveloped into 700 new housing units, plus commercial space, green space and public areas.