CFL

Turnovers help Roughriders beat Lions, earn home playoff game

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The Canadian Press
10/19/2013 10:40:10 PM
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REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders scored 28 points off turnovers as they clinched their first home playoff game since 2010 with a 35-14 win Saturday over the B.C. Lions.

It was the third straight win for Saskatchewan (11-5), which can now finish no lower than second in the CFL's West Division.

The Riders secured at least the chance to host the CFL's West Division semifinal by virtue of holding the tiebreaker against B.C (9-7) in the event of a tie in the standings at season's end. They could also host the West final should they win their final two games combined with two Calgary losses.

Saskatchewan was shaky off the start Saturday with B.C. linebacker Adam Bighill causing both Kory Sheets and Geroy Simon to fumble.

The former erased a 41-yard run by Sheets and the latter led to an 11-yard touchdown pass from Thomas DeMarco to Nick Moore, who reached 1,000 yards receiving for the first time on the play.

Then it was the Saskatchewan defence's turn to shine.

DeMarco fumbled under pressure from John Chick and the returning Weldon Brown returned the loose ball 46 yards for a touchdown and a 10-7 Saskatchewan lead.

Middle linebacker Mike McCullough created his first turnover of the game on the very next play when he forced B.C. running back Stefan Logan to fumble at the end of an 11-yard run, setting up a 14-yard field goal from Chris Milo.

Two plays later, DeMarco threw over the middle right into the arms of Riders halfback Carlos Thomas, leading to a 20-yard touchdown pass from Darian Durant to Weston Dressler.

On the play after that Courtney Taylor was stripped by McCullough near midfield. Dressler then caught a 42-yard pass from Durant to set up a one-yard TD run from Sheets and a 27-7 lead.

And just when it looked like things couldn't get worse for the Lions, B.C. turned the ball over for the fourth time in five plays. Taylor bobbled a catch on the first play from scrimmage and linebacker Craig Butler made a diving grab for the interception near midfield.

Milo missed the ensuing field-goal attempt but the ball went deep enough for a single, and he nailed a 15-yard kick before halftime to extend the lead to 31-7.

Milo had kicked his longest score, from 30 yards out, on Saskatchewan's third possession of the game to get the Riders on the board.

The Lions let Saskatchewan know they were still alive when Lin-J Shell intercepted Durant in the third and turned that into a seven-yard TD catch by Shawn Gore, but Ricky Schmitt added a punt single for the Riders to close out the scoring.

Tristan Jackson and Dwight Anderson added interceptions for Saskatchewan in the fourth quarter, and B.C. turned the ball over on downs late in the quarter allowing Milo to kick a 38-yard field goal to put the game away.

Durant finished 13-of-29 passes for 187 yards. DeMarco was also 13 for 29, but for 147 yards.

Craig Butler  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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