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Saskatchewan opens Grey Cup defense with win over Hamilton

Jun 30, 2014 - 2:23 AM Regina, SK ( - In a rematch of the 101st Grey Cup, the Saskatchewan Roughriders once again took care of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with a 31-10 win in each team's season opener on Sunday.

Darian Durant completed 15-of-22 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns to help the Riders pick up right where they left off last season, with a win over Hamilton on their home turf.

The Roughriders are the reigning CFL champs thanks to a 45-23 win in last year's Grey Cup over the Tiger-Cats.

On Sunday, in a much soggier setting with heavy rains soaking the surrounding area, the result remained the same.

Anthony Allen, making his CFL debut, rushed for 158 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown and also caught three passes for 18 yards and a score.

Zach Collaros, who was sacked nine times in the setback, threw for 159 yards on 19-for-33 passing with a touchdown and an interception.

The Riders' opening drive culminated with a successful 35-yard field goal from Chris Milo.

Hamilton couldn't muster anything on its first drive and Saskatchewan used an 8-play, 71-yard drive to take a 10-0 lead.

Durant connected with Allen on an 11-yard completion, then a 15-yard facemask penalty put the ball on the Hamilton 33. Allen capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown reception.

The Tiger-Cats were forced to take a safety on their next possession after a poor snap had punter Justin Medlock waltz out of the back of the end zone.

Durant opened the second quarter with a 32-yard completion to Chris Getzlaf, and Allen plunged in from a yard out on the next play to stretch the margin to 19-0.

Another bad snap on a punt saw Medlock kick the ball out of the end zone later in the second for a safety.

Hamilton, which had just 17 total yards in the first half, got on the board with a single after a 57-yard punt from Medlock midway through the second.

Milo added a 21-yard field goal to give the Roughriders a 24-1 lead at the break.

The Riders orchestrated a nice drive in their first possession of the second half that resulted in a field goal try from Milo, who was short on the kick, but Brandon Banks fumbled trying to return it.

Levi Steinhauer recovered the fumble, and Durant found Brett Swain for a 10- yard score on the ensuing play.

The Riders conceded a safety deep in their own end on their next drive.

Durant's pass to open the fourth was intercepted by Rico Murray, however, Hamilton couldn't turn it into points, as Collaros was picked off inside the Riders 20-yard line.

Hamilton finally crossed the goal line on 3rd-and-goal when Collaros rolled out 25 yards backward and eventually found Luke Tasker on the far sideline for 4-yard score to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

Hamilton is 0-10 in season openers over the last decade ... Collaros made his Hamilton debut after playing the past two seasons with Toronto ... The Roughriders travel to play Toronto on Saturday, while Hamilton will visit Edmonton on Friday.