Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saskatchewan Roughriders: 2013 Grey Cup Champions

REGINA - There is jubilation in the Rider Nation.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders won the fourth Grey Cup championship in franchise history on Sunday, defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 before a sellout crowd of 44,710 at Mosaic Stadium.
The victory was the third straight by a home team in the Grey Cup, following the B.C. Lions (2011) and Toronto Argonauts (2012).
Saskatchewan also made history by winning for the first time at home, in the third Grey Cup game played in Regina. In the previous two Regina-based Grey Cups, the winning teams were the Baltimore Stallions (1995) and Edmonton Eskimos (2003).
Tailback Kory Sheets powered the Roughriders to victory, rushing for 197 yards on 20 carries to earn Grey Cup MVP honours. The game’s outstanding Canadian was Roughriders slotback Chris Getzlaf. Both awards choices were unanimous.
The Roughriders led 31-6 at halftime, setting a Grey Cup record for the most points over the first 30 minutes. 
Saskatchewan’s 25-point lead was the second-largest by a team at halftime in Grey Cup history. Hamilton set the record in 1986, when it led the Eskimos 29-0 at halftime.
The Roughriders scored four first-half touchdowns, courtesy of 15- and 42-yard scoring strikes from Darian Durant to Geroy Simon, along with short runs by Sheets and Jock Sanders. The Riders also got a 20-yard field goal by Chris Milo.
The Tiger-Cats’ Luca Congi had field goals of 45 and 24 yards in the first half.
Hamilton quarterback Henry Burris scored the only touchdown of the third quarter, running 18 yards for a major. The Tiger-Cats trailed 31-13 at three-quarter time. Congi’s 33-yard field goal on the first play of the first quarter made it 31-16.
The Riders’ offence eventually got rolling again, when Sheets punctuated an 82-yard drive with his second major of the game. Milo’s convert put the Riders ahead 38-16 with 5:02 remaining.
The Roughriders promptly recovered a fumble, whereupon Durant threw his third touchdown pass of the day – a 26-yarder to Weston Dressler.
Hamilton responded with a two-yard touchdown run by C.J. Gable, who scored with 1:56 remaining and the outcome no longer in doubt.
The Roughriders had previously won Grey Cups in 1966, 1989 and 2007. Kent Austin, the Tiger-Cats’ current head coach, was the winning starting quarterback in 1989 and the victorious head coach in 2007.

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