The Saskatchewan Roughriders won 27-21 on Saturday over the B.C. Lions, the best team in the Canadian Football League.
It was a battle between the two West division teams, as the Riders went into the game at 6-6 and the Lions were 9-3.
Rider left guard Brendon LaBatte, former Weyburn athlete, was unable to play for the second week in a row. LaBatte had sustained an upper body injury during the game against Montreal on Sept. 16. As of Monday, there was no information about LaBatte’s status for the upcoming game in Toronto on Monday, Oct. 8.
During the game against B.C., the Riders won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Lions opened at their 40-yard line, and were two-and-out.
The Riders’ first drive started at their 21-yard line, and they managed one first down before punting. Through the team’s opening three possessions, neither one was able to score any points in the first quarter.
A 13-yard touchdown was scored by the Riders early in the second quarter. It was a nine-play, 78-yard drive.
The Riders held the Lions to two-and-out, and on their next series scored a 54-yard touchdown to lead 14-0.
With four minutes left in the first half, the Riders hit a 30-yard field goal. Then in the last minutes, the Riders scored a 58-yard punt single. The first half ended with an 18-1 lead for the Riders.
The Roughriders opened the second half defending the south endzone. They started at the 38-yard line and punted at the B.C. 54-yard line.
At the 9:18 mark, the Riders turned over the ball, making the turnovers 2-1 for the Lions. The Lions scored a 40-yard field goal. Saskatchewan scored a 40-yard punt single with 4:16 left in the third quarter. The Lions responded by scoring a 30-yard field goal, and the score was 19-7 at the end of the third.
The Riders opened the fourth quarter with a 55-yard punt single to take a 20-7 lead. With less than three minutes in the fourth quarter, the Lions scored a 23-yard touchdown pass, after an 11-play, 72-yard drive.
At the 2:11 mark, the Riders scored a 46-yard touchdown to claim a 27-14 lead. At this point, quarterback Darian Durant was 26/34 for 360 yards, three touchdowns and a pick.
The Lions cut the Riders lead at the 1:18 mark, scoring a 15-yard touchdown after a 78-yard, three-play drive.
The Lions then attempted on onside kick and recovered at the 55-yard line. On the third down, with less than a minute in the game, their quarterback was picked off by the Riders. The Riders offence ran out the clock and earned the 27-21 win.