Even when things go right for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they go wrong this season.
The Riders are now 0-8 following a 34-31 loss to the Calgary Stampeders at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday.
This despite the fact the defence finally caused a turnover, the special teams came up with a huge blocked punt for a touchdown and the offence was strong led by some solid performances from some young players.
“I thought we had some good momentum in the fourth with the block punt and the interception. One or two more plays after those and we’re setting ourselves in a good spot to win the game,” said Weston Dressler.
“You’re not going to make every play, I guess.”
Once again the difference in this game came down to mistakes here or there by the Riders. The defence ultimately couldn’t get the ball back in the final few minutes of the game.
Young quarterback Brett Smith, despite throwing three touchdowns, was again intercepted, giving the Stampeders excellent field position.
Even kicker Paul McCallum missed the first extra-point attempt in his career.
On this night, not one single play sunk the Riders ship. But, everything ultimately added up another notch in the loss column.
“There was a lot of positive in that game. We just have to cut out the negatives,” said defensive end John Chick.
EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING
This game will long be remembered for a wild finish to the first half.
With 30 seconds left in the second quarter, head coach Corey Chamblin sent out kicker Ray Early for a 65-yard field goal attempt . If good, it would have been the longest completed kick in league history. Early had previously made a 62-yard field goal with the wind in the same direction at the end of practice on Thursday.
The kick would come up short and returned by the Stampeders Tim Brown. Brown would end up getting clothes-lined by Riders offensive lineman Randy Richards, who was ejected from the game for the hit.
“It was field goal cover. I shed the guy and I ran down and I just tried to make a tackle. Just tried to save the touchdown, that’s all I did,” said Richards.
For his part, Richards didn’t feel he deserved the ejection.
The penalty also moved the Stampeders 25 yards down field. That allowed quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell to throw a 46-yard hail mary pass into the end zone, which was caught for a touchdown by Eric Rogers.
“I don’t have any regrets about it,” said Chamblin.
“I don’t think (the penalty) was the right call. Like anything else, when things happen so fast they have to make a call on what they see.”
“I don’t think (the penalty) was the right call. Like anything else, when things happen so fast they have to make a call on what they see.” – Chamblin on Richards ejection
Even with the penalty, the play in the end zone could have and should have been covered better by the defensive back around Rogers.
Chamblin felt as an 0-7 team it was time to go for it and create something to finally win a game.
Smith finished the night 13-for-24 for 178 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Nic Demski led the team with 72 yards receiving, all on the same catch and run.
Dressler had six catches for 34 yards. Dressler’s third catch of the game was number 500 in his career.
Jerome Messam led the team in rushing yards with 75; Smith scampered for another 54 himself.
Defensive back Marshay Green intercepted Bo Levi Mitchell on a two point convert. The play counts as an interception for Green and Mitchell but not a turnover for the Riders.
Tyron Brackenridge also recorded an interception.
Linebacker Jeff Knox Jr. led the team with eight tackles.
Up next for the Riders are the Ottawa Redblacks next Sunday at TD Place in the nation’s capital.