SASKATCHEWAN – Rene Paredes hit a 42-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to defeat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 33-31 in pre-season action at Mosaic Stadium.
Paredes was good on 6 of 6 field goals and offered up the second dramatic Stampeders win of the pre-season. Last week in Edmonton, kicker Rob Maver, sealed Calgary’s first pre-season win with a last second field goal of his own versus the Eskimos.
Drew Tate started for Calgary as the Stampeders played most of their first-string offence in the opening quarter.
His first drive stalled at mid-field which led to a punt single and seemed to be firing on all cylinders on Calgary’s next offensive series but a tipped pass landed in the hands of Riders DE Brent Hawkins on the Saskatchewan 18-yard line.
Tate would be aided by a fumble recovery from LB Malik Jackson a play later and a 36-yard gain by veteran Nik Lewis on the following possession but would have to settle for two Rene Paredes field goals, entering the second quarter with a 7-0 lead.
Darian Durant made the start for the Roughriders as he got his final pre-season reps in the first half. He and the Riders would get on the board when they finished an 11-play, 72-yard drive with a 27-yard Chris Milo field goal.
By the Numbers – Sheets averages over 13 yards per carry
RB Kory Sheets (SSK): 6 RUSH, 81 YDS, 1 TD
Darian Durant (SSK): 9-12, 92 YDS 0 TD, 0 INT
Drew Tate (CGY): 13-21, 174 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT
Nik Lewis (CGY): 7 REC, 121 YDS, 1 TD
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The teams would continue to trade field goals before rookie running back Kory Sheets would take over. After making an impressive cutback move for a 32-yard gain, Sheets would cap off the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run to give the Riders a 13-10 lead.
The Purdue product would lead all players with 81 first half rushing yards as he tries to crack the final roster which is hosting an open battle at tailback.
Lewis would get the last word in the first half as he caught a late touchdown (22 yards) to put the Stampeders up 17-13 at halftime.
Tate would finish the half with 171 yards and one touchdown on 13 of 21 passing. On the other side, Durant would finish with 9 completions on 12 attempts for 92 yards and would be sacked twice.
Drew Willy entered the game at quarterback for the Riders and would waste little time in re-gaining the lead for his team, engineering an impressive 8-play, 85-yard drive finished off by a four-yard Chris Getzlaf touchdown reception.
After the Stamps conceded a punt single, Lewis would continue his big night with a 21-yard gain, setting up a four-yard touchdown rumble by hometown running back Matt Walter. The 6-play drive was generated by veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn who relieved Tate at the beginning of the half.
Milo would cut into the lead with a long field goal, clocked at 52 yards. JT O’Sullivan would then enter the game behind centre for Saskatchewan.
Calgary seemed to be in control, adding another field goal to stretch the lead to 30-24 but a costly turnover just before the three minute warning led to the go-ahead Riders touchdown.
O’Sullivan threw up a desperation toss on third and long and found rookie Canadian receiver Ismael Bamba in the back of the endzone for the major to put the Riders up 31-30.
Just when the game seemed in the books, however, the Stamps led a successful drive, after taking possession with 55 seconds left, and set up a game winning Paredes field goal from 42-yards out to clinch a 33-31 Calgary win.