When two of the league’s most dynamic offences face off, no one expects the score to be 15-9, but that’s exactly what fans got when the Riders played the Stamps on Sunday afternoon.
In fact, it was the teams’ defences that played their hearts out during this one. The Riders stopped all of Calgary’s touchdown opportunities, limiting them only to field goals.
Calgary, on the other hand, limited the Riders to a late-game touchdown and conceded a safety.
“(Calgary) lined up and whipped our butt,” Riders head coach Chris Jones stated plainly about his offence.
“When you run the football and you can’t get a yard, that’s a little bit of you can’t block them and they’re a little better than you.”
The Riders offence struggled to find their rhythm all game, according to quarterback Kevin Glenn who was pulled in the fourth quarter in favour of Brandon Bridge.
“We got to figure it out against (the Stamps). For some reason, we just can’t get it going against them, but it’s over with so we got to move on,” Glenn said.
The Stampeders opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal after Crezdon Butler stopped Marquay McDaniel short of the first down, to put the Stamps up 3-0 with 6:37 remaining in the first quarter.
The next scoring drive didn’t come until the second quarter when the Riders held the Stamps to a 36-yard field goal.
The Riders took the ball back on their own 35 and Glenn found Devon Bailey for a 19-yard first down, but it was the next play that left Mosaic Stadium in shocked silence.
Glenn hit Naaman Roosevelt for what would be a first down, but he was tackled hard by Tunde Adeleke and didn’t get up. Players streamed onto the field taking a knee and waited.
Several moments passed before Roosevelt was aided off the field, obviously woozy from the hit. Roosevelt did not return to the game and the severity of his injury was unknown post-game.
Adeleke was charged an unnecessary roughness penalty, but the Riders Spencer Moore was also hit with an objectionable conduct penalty, canceling it out. The Riders were given a first down but were unable to capitalize when Glenn was intercepted on the Jamar Wall on their own three-yard line.
The Rider defence held the line, however, pinning Calgary in their end and the Stamps conceded a safety.
Calgary took a 6-2 lead into halftime.
The second half didn’t shake out much better for either offences. While Jerome Messam was able to rush for 71 yards in the third quarter, the Stamps settled for two field goals in the quarter from 17 yards and 40 yards out.
Brandon Bridge entered the game for the Roughriders first possession of the fourth quarter and didn’t fare much better than Glenn to start, however, on the Riders second drive of the quarter he was able to find some magic.
Bridge hit Bakari Grant with an 18-yard pass, then followed it up with a 38 yarder to Caleb Holley. A spectacular one-handed grab by Rob Bagg set up the 14-yard touchdown pass to fellow Canadian Devon Bailey.
The Riders finally scored points of their own and with the convert trailed the Stamps by six.
A quick two and out by the Roughrider defence gave the offence the ball back with time to score, but Bridge fumbled the football with 54 seconds left on the clock.
The Stampeders ran the clock down to seal the game in their favour at 15-9.
The Roughriders will take Monday off before returning to practice on Tuesday.