Roughriders lose preseason finale in final seconds
The Saskatchewan Roughriders lost Friday night's game against the Calgary Stampeders 33-31.
The Roughriders took the lead with 50 seconds left when J.T. O'Sullivan avoided a sack and found rookie Ismael Bamba wide open in the end zone.
The Stampeders were able to march the ball into field goal range and with no time on the clock, Rene Parades kicked the game winning field goal.
It was the final preseason game for the Riders before they make their final cuts this weekend. The team has to whittle down their roster to 53 players plus injuries. Saskatchewan finished the preseason with an 0-2 record.
"Some guys may have played themselves on the roster, and some guys may have played themselves off," said head coach Corey Chamblin. "We have to go back through and look at the film, and sit down with management and see how to shape it."
The Riders offense looked a lot more comfortable after their 44-10 loss to the B.C. Lions in their preseason opener.
'I still thought we started out kind of slow," said Quarterback Darian Durant. "We picked up, made some plays and I was happy with the rhythm we got into."
Darian Durant threw for 92 yards and was nine for 12 passing in the first half. Kory Sheets also impressed for the second straight game. He picked up 82 yards on the ground, including a 12-yard touchdown run.
The other bright spot on offense was back-up quarterback Drew Willy. The first year CFLer followed up on his impressive debut last week by throwing for 101 yards and a touchdown in just over a quarter behind centre.
"I feel good about what I did out there," said Willy. "I was proud of what we did as an offense, we just need to touch up a few things."
It was another good game for running back Kory Sheets, running for 81 yards and picking up another 13 through the air. Despite the success on the field, he still wasn't completely satisfied.
"It was a bitter-sweet thing, I feel like I played well, again we lost," said Sheets. "If I was to play bad, and we win, I'd feel great."
That being said Sheets is pretty confident he's done enough to be the number one running back.
On defense, it was the debut for defensive end Odell Willis, but he limped off the field in the second quarter and missed the rest of the game with what is believed to by a thigh bruise. Chamblin says Willis should be fine.
"It was one of those things to where, there's no use in putting him out there and pushing thought it," said Chamblin. "If it was a regular game we would have, but it was just pre-season."
Regina Thunder product Zack Evans also got the crowd going with a sack in the second half, Chamblin basically said after the game that Evans has made the team, by saying he will likely be delivering some bad news to the Thunder.