Roughriders 33 Lions 30
REGINA — Casey Printers didn’t see Roughriders defensive back James Patrick in the end zone on Saturday, and it cost him.
Patrick intercepted the Lions quarterback in overtime as Saskatchewan beat B.C. 33-30 in a wild game to clinch a playoff spot.
“I saw Geroy and (Omarr Morgan) lined up one-on-one and I didn’t see anybody else,” said Printers, who completed 19 of 31 passes for 339 yards, two touchdowns and one costly interception.
“I was just going to give Geroy a shot. I mean, he’s made so many plays for us in the past that I just figured ’It’s Geroy, I may as well give him a shot,”’ said Printers, who played in his first game with the Lions since 2005.
“I never saw (Patrick) and it was just my fault.”
With the win, Saskatchewan (9-6-1) tied Calgary for first in the CFL’s West Division.
The three points that separate B.C. and Saskatchewan put the Riders in a great position to host their third consecutive playoff game.
The Lions appeared to be in control of the game with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter when Barron Miles returned a Darian Durant interception 42 yards for a touchdown to give B.C. a 30-22 lead.
But the Roughriders weren’t done.
Durant, who brought Saskatchewan back from a 30-22 deficit to force overtime in Calgary last week, led the Riders on a five-play, 85-yard drive that culminated with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Quinn. Durant then found Chris Getzlaf on the two-point conversion to tie the game 30-30.
“Don’t count this team out ever,” said Durant, who completed 27 of 46 passes for 319 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. “We’ve been in this situation many times and we’ve come through many times.
“We’re a never-say-die team. We’re going to keep fighting until the end. In order to beat us you have to play the whole 60 minutes.”
Luca Congi, who kicked the game-winning 29-yard field goal in overtime, had a chance to end it in regulation, but his 50-yard field goal attempt with one second remaining hit the left upright.
Saskatchewan’s offence struggled out of the gate but Rob Bagg got the team rolling after hauling in a 60-yard pass on the final play of the first quarter. That led to a one-yard touchdown run by Steven Jyles to give Saskatchewan a 7-3 lead.
Durant then connected with Bagg, who led all Saskatchewan receivers with 124 receiving yards, for a 32-yard touchdown later in the quarter to take a 14-3 lead. B.C. was able to move the ball well in the first half but couldn’t find the end zone and were forced to settle for three Paul McCallum field goals and a 17-9 deficit at the break.
The Lions finally got going midway through the third quarter when Printers found a wide-open Emmanuel Arceneaux for a 34-yard touchdown pass. Printers also connected with Michael Bumpus for a 29-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give B.C. a 23-22 lead. Congi kicked one field goal and recorded two singles in the third quarter for Saskatchewan.
Durant believes winning tight games will benefit them in the post-season.
“If this is any sign of this year’s playoffs and how it’s going to go down to the wire, then that’s what it’s all about,” said Durant. “That’s what you play the game for. What quarterback doesn’t want the ball in their hands with three minutes left and a chance to win or a chance to put it in overtime?”