Injuries were the story once again for the injury-depleted Saskatchewan Roughriders as they lost two more key players in their first loss of the season, 30-25 to the Calgary Stampeders.
Offensive linemen Belton Johnson will be out six to eight weeks as he is the fourth Rider to sustain a broken fibula. Cornerback Omarr Morgan also left the game and did not return.
Both the defense and offense started off the game very poorly for the Riders and Calgary took advantage as they took a 23-4 lead going into halftime.
The Riders would jump out of the gate with a early 4-0 lead but it quickly went downhill from that point on.
Calgary came back quickly. On second-and-three from the seven-yard line, Burris dropped back. He was pressured and found an open spot in the line and scampered across the goal line to lead 7-4.
The Stamps would go on to add three field goals and a three-yard touchdown rush by Joffrey Reynolds after a Michael Palmer fumble gave them a commanding lead at halftime.
Calgary would also tack on another touchdown in the third quarter after Ken-Yon Rambo caught a nine-yard pass from Burris, extending Calgary's lead to 26 points.
At that point the situation seemed dire for the Riders, but they almost put together a fourth quarter comeback that would have been remembered for decades.
Saskatchewan began the fourth quarter comeback with Marcus Crandell connecting on a 52-yard pass to receiver Adarius Bowman to make the score 30-11.
The Riders' Renauld Williams then blocked a Calgary punt from the 27-yard line. The ball bounced into the end zone and Chris Szarka jumped on the ball for the major.
A Weston Dressler touchdown catch with just 2:24 left in the game made it 30-25 and it was then that a comeback seemed possible.
Unfortunately, the defense that played perfect throughout the fourth quarter couldn't stop the Stampeders from getting a couple of first downs and Calgary was able to hand Saskatchewan their first defeat.
Crandell completed 20 of 33 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. Burris completed 22 of 33 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown. He threw two interceptions.
Despite the loss, the Riders still possess a very good record at 6-1 and showed promising signs with their fourth quarter surge. They have a bye next week which gives them ample time to heal some injuries (Johnson, Chick) but they won't be getting any receivers back until the start of the playoffs.
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