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(Thursday, July 1st)
Final Score: Saskatchewan 54, Montreal 51 (2-OT)
Regina, SK (Sports Network) - Darian Durant threw for five touchdowns, including the game-winning TD pass to Weston Dressler in the second overtime, as the Saskatchewan Roughriders rallied past the Montreal Alouettes, 54-51, in a rematch of last year's Grey Cup title game at Mosaic Stadium.
After regulation time expired with the score tied at 40-40, the Roughriders got the ball first to start the first overtime. Saskatchewan struck quickly, as Durant hit Andrew Fantuz with a 10-yard TD pass on the fourth play. Chris Getzlaf then hauled in the two-point conversion to give the Roughriders an eight-point edge.
The Als were faced with a 3rd-and-10 on their possession in OT. The game seemed to be over on an incomplete pass. However, a too many men on the field call haunted Saskatchewan again. Montreal was awarded a first down and Anthony Calvillo took advantage by hitting S.J. Green with a one-yard TD pass. An amazing catch by Green on the two-point conversion kept the game going. A pass to the back of the end zone seemed to be out of the reach of Green, but a one- handed grab was completed by the wideout. The play was reviewed and upheld, sending things into another OT period.
Montreal started the second overtime with a 42-yard field goal by Damon Duval. But Saskatchewan needed just two plays to get the win. Dressler made a great 32-yard catch on first down, which he followed up with a three-yard touchdown catch to give Roughriders the thrilling win.
Durant completed 30-of-44 passes for 478 yards for Saskatchewan, which lost 28-27 in the title game last season due to a costly too many men on the field penalty. Durant also rushed for 52 yards and a score.
Wes Cates added 112 yards on the ground with a touchdown for the Roughriders, whose 10-7-1 record a year ago was good for a tie of first in the CFL West Division. Dressler ended with 154 receiving yards for the victors.
Calvillo connected on 28-of-42 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns for the Alouettes, who cruised to a franchise-best 15-3 regular-season record last year.
Kerry Watkins led the receiving corps with five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Green also hauled in two TD passes for Montreal, which got 39 yards and a score on the ground from Avon Cobourne.
Down 33-12 late in the third quarter, Durant brought the Roughriders back with a pair of TD passes. He first connected with Prechae Rodriguez on a 43-yard score. On the first play of their next drive, Durant threw an 87-yard bomb to Rob Bagg to make it a 33-26 contest heading to the fourth.
"I need a breath! I told the men it was unbelievable but it really was believable because we've done it before," Roughriders head coach Ken Miller said. "The game changed at halftime. We hurt ourselves in the first half but we didn't do that in the second. The play of the game, where it opened up, was the deep pass to Bagg."
Saskatchewan tied the game on its first possession of the final period. Cates capped the 91-yard drive with a 10-yard TD run with over 10 1/2 minutes to play.
Following a punt by each club, the Als took over at their own 39 with 6:37 to go. Facing a 2nd-and-5 at the Roughriders 20, Calvillo launched a pass to the back of the end zone. The pass fell incomplete but a pass interference call put the football at the one. Cobourne plowed into the end zone on the next play to give Montreal a 40-33 advantage.
Saskatchewan was faced with a key 3rd-and-11 from the Montreal 25. Durant dropped back and hit Fantuz in the middle of the field for a first down. After Cates ran for three yards, Durant found Fantuz on the right side of the end zone for a TD. The play was reviewed and upheld, making it a 40-40 contest with 42 seconds remaining.
The Als couldn't do anything with the last possession of the game, sending things into overtime.
Calvillo's first pass of the 2010 campaign was picked off and returned to the Montreal 35. The Roughriders, though, were forced to settle for a 17-yard field goal by Luca Congi.
The Alouettes took a 7-3 lead on Watkins' 39-yard TD catch with about 6 1/2 minutes to go in the first quarter. On the first play of Montreal's next possession, Green hauled in a 48-yard touchdown pass for a 14-3 margin.
Saskatchewan's first drive of the second period resulted in a nine-yard TD run by Durant. However, Watkins caught a 35-yard pass for a touchdown on the Als' next possession to make it a 21-10 game.
A late fumble by Durant led to a Duval nine-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining. The make put Montreal ahead 24-10 at the half.
Following a safety by each team in the early stages of the third, Congi missed a 43-yard field goal wide right. Tim Maypray gathered the miss and sprinted to an opening on the left side of the field before cutting back to the middle. The play was complete 122 yards later when Maypray scampered into the end zone for a 33-12 lead.
In terms of the series between these two clubs in 2009, Montreal swept all three meetings with a 43-10 rout on the road in the middle of July and a 34-25 victory at home the third week of August, before squeezing by in the season finale....This was the third highest scoring game in CFL history and the highest-ever opening day total score...Calvillo's third TD pass was his 300th as an Alouette...This was the Alouettes' first overtime game since the 2005 Grey Cup.
07/02 01:14:03 ET
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