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Jackson's return helps keep Roughriders perfect

Jul 15, 2012 - 12:31 AM
Regina, SK (Sports Network) - Tristan Jackson's 129-yard major return off a missed field goal proved to be the difference as the Saskatchewan Roughriders held off a late rally from the British Columbia Lions to hold on for a 23-20 win at Mosaic Stadium.

When Paul McCallum's 52-yard field goal attempt at the start of the fourth quarter missed, Jackson caught the ball in the end zone and got some key blocks as he scampered down the sidelines for the score that put the Roughriders ahead 23-13.

Kory Sheets was impressive again running the ball for Saskatchewan (3-0) compiling 76 yards on 13 carries and a score in the game. Darian Durant completed 18-of-28 passes for 172 yards as the Roughriders became the last remaining undefeated team in the CFL this season.

Travis Lulay threw for a season-high 345 yards and completed 23-of-40 passes and a pair of touchdowns but also threw two interceptions as the defending Grey Cup champion Lions (2-1) lost for the first time this season. Lulay also led British Columbia with 58 yards rushing.

The scoring opened with both teams trading field goals as McCallum hit on a 38-yard attempt and Chris Milo answered with a 32-yard field goal of his own.

British Columbia did not take long to break the tie getting a major on the first play of it's next drive when Lulay connected with Kierrie Johnson who ran the ball the rest of the way for a 69-yard scoring strike to take a 10-3 lead after the first quarter.

Saskatchewan took advantage of some stellar field position early in the second quarter after a botched punt by McCallum to set up a 30-yard field goal attempt for Milo which he nailed to make the score 10-6.

The Roughriders scored again on their next drive after Craig Butler intercepted a Lulay pass. British Columbia was called for pass interference in the end zone on the first play of the drive and two plays later Sheets leapt over the line to give Saskatchewan it's first lead of the game.

On the Lions' last drive of the first half Lulay locked in and went 7-for-7 to set up McCallum for a 30-yard field goal that knotted the score 13-13 at the half.

After each team failed to score on their first drives of the second half Saskatchewan pulled ahead 16-13 on a 33-yard field goal from Milo.

British Columbia drove into Roughrider territory on it's next drive but stalled and were forced to attempt a long field goal. McCallum's 52-yard attempt sailed left of the goal posts to open the fourth quarter, leading to Jackson's return.

Neither offense was able to get anything going for much of the rest of the quarter until Lulay threw his second touchdown pass of the day to Marco Iannuzzi with just over four minutes remaining.

The Lions then got the ball back with just over a minute to go after a missed Saskatchewan field goal but a desperation throw by Lulay was intercepted by James Patrick to seal the win for Saskatchewan.

Game Notes

Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall announced before the game plans for a new 33,000 open-air stadium to be opened in Regina in 2017...The Lions were guilty of eight penalties for 86 yards in the game...Geroy Simon caught six passes for 75 yards for the Lions...Woodny Turrenne had a game-high nine tackles for Saskatchewan...McCallum went 2-for-4 on field goals in the game...The win snapped a four-game losing streak against British Columbia for the Rough Riders who lead the all-time series 91-80-4.