Roughriders ride second half momentum to 36-21 win over Calgary

Riders 2-0 on the season
Reported by Joel Gasson
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Momentum was the name of the game Friday night as the Riders downed the Stamps 36-21 at Mosaic Stadium.

The game was almost like two games in one: the first half was a back and forth affair, while the second half was all Riders.

Calgary jumped out to an early 7-0 lead thanks to a touchdown on the first drive of the game, while the Riders would settle for a field goal on theirs. Soon after the Stamps would make it 14-3, but the Riders would eventually tie it at 14 before giving up a last minute touchdown to head into half-time down 21-14.

"We gave them some stuff that first half," said linebacker Rey Williams, who admitted that there was maybe some nerves from the defense early on. "There was a little bit of that, it's emotional, the crowd is loud."

After that first half Williams felt the Riders settled down, and did they ever. Chris Milo would connect on another field goal to open the half, cutting the lead down to 4. He would add another on the Riders' next drive, cutting the lead to one.

As time wore on the Stampeders wore out. They mustered up little in that time, allowing the Riders to really take over. Johnathan Hefney would be called for pass interference on Weston Dressler in the third, putting the Riders at the goal line. Kory Sheets would make no mistake, fighting to find the end zone and give the Riders their first lead of the night, 28-21, after the second of two two-point conversions made by the Riders on the night.

The offense didn't end there. On the next Riders drive a too many men call on third down kept things going, and another unnecessary roughness call would extend it again, ending with Darian Durant finding Chris Getzlaf for a touchdown to make it 35-21.

The momentum had swung too much in the Riders favour and there was little the Stamps could do to stop it. They even tried putting Kevin Glenn in at quarterback late in the game after Tate threw for only 10 yards during most of the second half.

"You could definitely feel it, you could feel it in the crowd, on the bench," said defensive lineman Tearrius George. "Everything was coming together."

Both the offense and defense were building off the momentum the other was creating too.

"It was so big, I was probably one of the biggest cheerers on the side line for (the offense)," said George.

"I'm proud of my defense," said Sheets. "Them guys came out flying around and did what they said they'd do."

The Riders would add a rouge in their last offensive possesion, meaning they scored on every single drive of the second half, and the defense pitched a shutout.

"We came out and executed, we made some plays. That's what it's all about," said Durant. "They're not going to give you anything, you have to earn it. We did that."

Once again it was an all-around effort for the Riders as Durant threw to seven different recievers, adding up to 258 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

For the second week in a row Sheets set a new career high in rushing yards for his CFL career, this time going off for 133 yards. Unlike last week he realized early this week would be a battle.

"It was more of a put your head to the grindstone and just keep working until something breaks," said Sheets.

The fact that Sheets kept coming and working hard certainly had something to do with the Stampeders wearing down as the game went on.

On the other side of the ball the Riders did what they had to do and kept Jon Cornish at bay. He only had eight carries for 42 yards.

The team is now off on Saturday. Their next game is Thursday night in Toronto against the Argos.

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