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(Saturday, July 10th)
Final Score: Saskatchewan 37, British Columbia 18
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Darian Durant threw for 252 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in Saskatchewan's 37-18 win over the BC Lions in the first regular season game played at Empire Field in 27 years.
Durant completed 18-of-29 passes, while Wes Cates rushed 16 times for 93 yards and a TD for the Roughriders (2-0), who needed two overtimes to beat Montreal, 54-51, last week.
British Columbia starting quarterback Casey Printers suffered an apparent leg injury in the final minute of the first half. Printers was taken down by defensive end Brent Hawkins when he was hurt and limped gingerly off the field. Travis Lulay played under center for the second half.
"I could've played, but I couldn't risk making it worse," Printers said. "It was a precautionary thing to sit back. It's a long season."
Prior to suffering the injury, Printers completed 10-of-14 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Lulay ended 9-of-15 for 197 yards and a TD through the air for the Lions (1-1), who were coming off a 25-10 win at Edmonton.
"I think things changed a little bit with Travis in there," said Saskatchewan slotback Jason Clermont. "He's more of a pocket passer; he can sit back there and read the defense, whereas Casey is a guy who gets out of the pocket and makes things happen."
Geroy Simon caught six passes for 169 yards and two scores in defeat.
"To lose your home opener in a big game like this to a tough opponent, it's tough," Simon said. "You've got to give those guys credit. They came in, they played hard, they played well. They took the game from us."
Holding a 13-10 lead at the half, the Roughriders widened the margin after BC turned the ball over on downs. Cates' two-yard TD run made it 20-10 with nearly four minutes left in the period.
Luca Congi kicked a 28-yard field goal on the first play of the final quarter before Paul McCallum's single made it 23-11.
Durant then found Prechae Rodriguez for a four-yard TD pass to essentially seal the win with just over five minutes remaining.
Hawkins sacked Lulay, forced the fumble and rumbled 40 yards to the end zone for a 37-11 margin.
"We were a little bit sloppy for a while. We needed to pick things, but we finished when it counted and had a big play on defense to turn the tide and to spread out that lead," said Clermont.
Simon got behind the secondary for a 98-yard TD catch with nearly two minutes left to account for the final margin.
Congi kicked a 31-yard field goal and Durant's 14-yard TD run gave the visitors a 10-0 lead in the opening quarter.
Printers rolled to his let and threw the ball to the end zone for Simon, who made a leaping grab between two defenders for a 32-yard score on the final play of the first period.
A 32-yard field goal by Congi expanded the lead to 13-7 early in the second, but McCallum's 16-yard boot made it a three-point game going into the half.
This was the first regular season game played outdoors in Vancouver since November 6, 1982...The Lions are playing at Empire Field for this season and a part of 2011 before a renovated BC Place reopens next summer...In 2009, the clubs split their four-game series with each club winning two games on home turf...Saskatchewan offensive lineman Wayne Smith suffered a torn patella tendon...Rodriguez had five catches for 58 yards, while Derick Armstrong made six receptions for 76 yards for the Lions...Jamal Robertson had 10 carries for 54 yards in defeat.
07/11 02:16:58 ET
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