Stampeders strike early to grab win over Roughriders
REGINA – Joe West recorded a touchdown on his first career reception and Jon Cornish had another stellar day as the Calgary Stampeders left Mosaic with a 17-10 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday afternoon.
The two teams entered the game looking to get their respective offences in a groove after facing two very stingy defences the week before.
The Stamps faced a Toronto Argonauts secondary last week that was out to hit hard and often, punishing Calgary`s receivers while the Riders went up against a BC Lions front that had been suffocating opponents of late and didn’t ease off Darian Durant last Sunday.
The Stampeders offence wasted little time getting on the board when Kevin Glenn finished off an impressive 8-play, 72-yard opening drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass to receiver Joe West.
West, a product of the University of Texas-El Paso joined the Stamps just prior to training camp and made good on the touchdown, in his first game and first catch of his career.
Not satisfied with a 7-0 lead, the Calgary offence continued to fire on all cylinders on their second possession when Glenn handed the ball off to Jon Cornish for a 32-yard carry before finding veteran WR Romby Bryant over the middle on a crossing route for a 14-yard major.
Cornish, who had been rejuvenated in recent weeks following a career performance in Hamilton and a solid outing against Toronto, racked up 52-yards on four carries on that drive alone to help his team go up 14-0.
Durant entered the game feeling his fair share of heat for not using his mobility to help advance the ball when plays broke down. As the first quarter came to a close, Durant started using his unique skillset to go out and grab first downs, scrambling for 44 yards on three carries, setting up a field goal attempt for newly –signed kicker Sandro DeAngelis. However, the former Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats placekicker hooked the boot right, despite a considerable wind at his back, and the Riders came away with no points to show for their most successful drive of the game thus far.
The Riders seemed to be putting together a productive drive shortly thereafter but a tipped ball at midfield landed right into the hands of DL Charleston Hughes who returned it into Saskatchewan territory. It set up a 30-yard Rene Paredes field goal attempt but the swirlling wind pushed the ball both wide and short.
The wind in Regina was certainly playing a factor, especially in the first half as both teams reverted to the run. Cornish carried the rock with purpose in the first two quarters, running for 113 yards on 12 carries as he and his team entered haltime with a 14-0 lead. Calgary started the second half in similar fashion as the first, with an early score. Glenn led a 10-play, 49 yard first drive finished off by a 34-yard Rene Parades field goal to go up 17-0.
Cornish on a roll
After a career night two weeks ago in Hamilton, Jon Cornish once again was too much for an opposing defence to handle Saturday afternoon, rushing for 159 yards on 24 carries against the Riders. » View more game stats
With their offence continuing to effectively move the ball, it was the Calgary defence’s time to hunker down and maintain their shutout. With Saskatchewan marching into their territory, the Stampeders forced a Durant fumble and took over when Juwan Simpson forced his second turnover of the game, pouncing on a loose ball.
Not to be outdone, the Riders defence stepped up with a big play of their own, forcing Glenn to fumble on a third-and-six gamble on the Saskatchewan 35 yard line to take over possession.
It would help give a spark to the Saskatchewan offence as Durant lead a drive that included a clutch third down-and-medium conversion and was capped off by a 37-yard DeAngelis field goal to cut the lead to 17-3.
Momentum continued to swing in the direction of the Riders about as fast as the wind at Mosaic was howling as Durant handed the ball off to RB Kory Sheets for a 3-yard touchdown run to capp off a four-play drive to pull within a touchdown. The Riders’ first major of the game was set up by a 30-yard reception by receiver Chris Getzlaf on a post route.
The Stamps would take over and kill the majority of the clock to help clinch the 17-10 win.