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Rough Riders use turnovers to topple British Columbia

Oct 20, 2013 - 2:17 AM Regina, SK ( - Kory Sheets tallied 148 yards and a touchdown to push the Saskatchewan Rough Riders to a 35-14 victory over the British Columbia Lions in a key Western Conference bout at Mosaic Stadium.

Sheets carried the ball 25 times for Saskatchewan (11-5) as it clinched a home playoff game and its third consecutive win. Darian Durant completed 13-of-29 pass attempts for 187 yards and a touchdown. Weston Dressler scored a major and finished with 107 yards on three receptions.

The Lions (9-7) suffered their third consecutive setback as Thomas DeMarco completed just 13-of-31 pass attempts for 147 yards. Although DeMarco completed two touchdown passes, he was also picked off four times. Nick Moore made five catches for 73 yards and a score while Shawn Gore also caught a pass for a major. Stefan Logan paced British Columbia on the ground with 51 yards on 11 attempts. Solomon Elimimian anchored the defence with a game-high seven tackles.

Saskatchewan got off to a slow start as it lost a pair of fumbles in the opening five minutes. Sheets lost the ball after a 41-yard rush and Geroy Simon fumbled in Rough Rider's territory to give the visitors a short field. DeMarco took advantage and completed an 11-yard pass to Moore for a major to give British Columbia a 7-0 lead.

After Chris Milo put the hosts on the board with a 30-yard field goal, DeMarco made a costly error and let the ball slip out of his hand as he was getting ready to attempt a pass. Weldon Brown scooped up the loose ball and returned it from mid-field to the end zone for the Rough Riders' first major and lead of the contest.

Milo added another three points with a 14-yard field goal less than a minute into the second stanza to give the hosts a 13-3 lead. Carlos Thomas intercepted DeMarco on BC's next possession, which set the Rough Riders' offense up with a short field. They took advantage as Durant completed a 20- yard touchdown pass to Weston Dressler on the second play of the ensuing drive.

BC continued to struggle offensively as it turned the ball over on its next drive when Courtney Taylor fumbled. Craig Butler jumped on the loose ball to return possession to the hosts. Sheets made up for his early miscue with a one-yard run for a major that extended Saskatchewan's lead to 27-3.

DeMarco was intercepted again on BC's next drive. The Rough Riders could not capitalize, but they added a single after Milo missed a 51-yard field goal try. Milo sent the hosts into the intermission with a 31-7 lead as he made a 15-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the first half.

The Lions' defence came up with a much needed stop early in the second half as Lin-J Shell intercepted Durant to stop Saskatchewan's first drive of the third quarter. DeMarco then completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Gore a few plays later.

After being held scoreless for the entire third quarter, Saskatchewan added a single on a 70-yard punt by Richy Schmitt at the 11:12 mark of the fourth frame.

Milo made a 38-yard field goal with 1:30 left in regulation to finalize the score with the hosts ahead, 35-14.

Game Notes

Durant now has 30 touchdown passes on the season...Saskatchewan now leads the all-time, regular-season series by a count of 94-83-4, dating back to 1954...The Lions had won three games in a row prior to their current losing slide...The Rough Riders were on a four-game losing slide before starting their current winning streak...Durant also gained 33 yards on five carries...DeMarco came into the contest with four interceptions through 12 games...Sheets now has 12 rushing touchdowns on the season...Thomas registered a team-best four stops in addition to his interception to lead the Rough Riders' defence.