Canadian Football League News
Roughriders rally to beat Stampeders in West Semifinal
Nov 6, 2006, 1:35 GMT
Calgary, AB - Kenton Keith's 14-yard touchdown run with 2:20 remaining cemented a second-half comeback, as the Saskatchewan Roughriders pulled out a gritty 30-21 win over the Calgary Stampeders in the Western Division Semifinal at a chilly McMahon Stadium.
Kerry Joseph threw for 180 yards on 17-of-31 completions and one touchdown, and Keith finished the day with 141 yards on 16 carries and two scores.
Defensive back James Johnson recorded two interceptions for the Roughriders, who ran off 25 unanswered points, 18 coming in the second-half. They advance to the West championship on the road against the B.C. Lions.
Henry Burris completed 16-of-32 passes for 198 yards, no touchdowns, and was picked off four times and fumbled once. He did run for Calgary's only offensive touchdown in the game.
Marcus Howell also took a punt 57 yards for a touchdown for the Stampeders, who hurt their cause by committing six turnovers.
Down nine with a little more than two minutes left, Calgary could not score on either of their last two possessions. On the first chance, kicker Sandro DeAngelis pushed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide right. Their final charge saw Burris throw two balls into the end zone that were batted down by defenders, and the third-down attempt picked off to end the game.
Calgary led after one quarter, 4-3, on a DeAngelis 39-yard kick and a single.
Things picked up in the second, as the Riders went ahead, 5-4, on a safety concession. The Stampeders regained the lead, 11-5, when Howell electrified the home crowd with his punt return touchdown. The lead was boosted to 14-5 on a successful 25-yard DeAngelis field goal attempt.
Calgary increased the margin to 21-5 when Burris snuck over the goal line amidst a mass of bodies from two yards out, but the Riders closed out the first half strongly. Joseph led the charge from his own 35 yard line and hooked up with Matt Dominguez for a 22-yard strike, capping an eight-play, 75-yard drive which closed the gap to 21-12 at the break.
The Riders came out blazing in the second half. After taking the opening kickoff to their own 34, Keith found a seam up the middle on the first play from scrimmage and bolted 76 yards for the score, cutting the Calgary lead to two at 21-19.
The lead was trimmed closer to 21-20 when Howell decided to run out of the back of the end zone rather than fielding a Luca Congi punt, granting Saskatchewan a valuable point.
When Congi split the uprights from 41 yards out with 10:26 left in the fourth, the Riders had their first lead since the second quarter. His three points were set up when Eddie Davis intercepted a Burris pass which gave Saskatchewan the ball in Calgary territory.
Joseph and the Roughriders then put the nail in the Stampeders' coffin. A four-play, 66-yard drive was highlighted by Corey Grant's 37-yard reception down to the Calgary 25. Two plays later, Keith's run provided insurance for the victory.
Calgary closes out their season with two consecutive losses and a combined 10-9 record.
It is the second straight season Calgary has been eliminated in the West semifinal, having lost to Edmonton in 2005.
The Stampeders and Roughriders split their regular season series, with each team winning on their home field.
Saskatchewan returns to the West championship for the first time since doing it in back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004.
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