This was a pretty good game, back and forth through the whole game!!
Two late TDs lift Roughriders over Lions
6/25/2006 11:25:00 PM
REGINA (CP) - Danny Barrett called it a routine play, but Jamel Richardson's late touchdown ignited an improbable comeback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Richardson's 49-yard touchdown romp on a short pass from Kerry Joseph, followed 17 seconds later by a 34-yard interception return touchdown by Eddie Davis, provided the 14 last-minute points that gave Saskatchewan a 32-24 victory over the B.C. Lions.
Saskatchewan, which had lost 45-28 to the Lions on June 16, created a four-way tie for first place with B.C., Calgary and Edmonton, all at 1-1.
''It was a routine play, but a big man like that, running that fast, he's hard to bring down,'' Barrett, the Roughriders head coach, said. ''Hopefully, it shows him what he can do on a football field. It isn't about potential anymore; it's about taking advantage of opportunities and elevating his play.''
Richardson had been mistakenly referred to as ''Jamal'' before this season, his fourth with the Roughriders. Last year he caught 55 passes in the regular season but never reached the end zone.
At the newly-renamed Mosaic Stadium, formerly known as Taylor Field, the six-foot-three, 215-pound Richardson took a short pass over the middle from Joseph and weaved his way through three would-be tacklers before crossing the goal line.
''I turned it up and I saw how deep (the Lions' defenders) had got,'' Richardson said, ''so I figured, if I could make a couple of people miss, I would score. Once I saw I was one-on-one with the safety, I knew he wouldn't tackle me.''
It was exactly the type of yards-after-catch reception that Saskatchewan has projected from the 24-year-old Richardson since his arrival.
Richardson led Saskatchewan receivers with 86 yards on five receptions. Joseph struggled for most of the game, completing 19 of 31 passes for 211 yards but augmenting that with 92 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson, who riddled the Roughriders for five touchdown passes in the season opener, led his team to a touchdown on its first possession but was hard-pressed to finish with 279 yards on 29-for-43 passing. B.C. managed just 56 yards rushing with Dickenson getting 38 of that.
''We're not running the ball as well as we should,'' Dickenson said. ''You need the run to keep them honest, but personally I think you win or lose throwing the ball. We don't need to force-feed things. Saskatchewan is tough to run against no matter what.''
Dickenson threw touchdown passes of one yard to defensive tackle Tyrone Williams (playing tight end on a third-and-goal offensive situation) and four yards to Geroy Simon. In an odd twist of personnel shuffling, former Saskatchewan placekicker Paul McCallum spent the entire game on the sideline resting a hamstring injury while Rob Pikula, whom the Roughriders cut after the pre-season, handled placekicks and punts. Pikula kicked field goals of 35 and 18 yards, one convert, punted for 60- and 55-yard singles, and added another single on an errant 30-yard field goal attempt. Antonio Warren ran for a two-point convert.
Matt Dominguez scored Saskatchewan's other touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Joseph. Luca Congi converted all three Roughrider majors and booted field goals of 37, 41 and 35 yards. Pikula conceded a safety for Saskatchewan's other points.
B.C. returns to action Friday in Toronto against the Argonauts. Saskatchewan has a week off before a home game July 8 against the Calgary Stampeders.