November 11, 2012

Tate collects first playoff win

By Jonathan Anderson

One down, two to go.

The Wild West shootout that was the CFL West Division semifinal saw the Stampeders come out on top with a 36-30 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, with Drew Tate at the Calgary controls.

“The second half was just getting our guys together, weather the storm and just keep fighting for the whole game,” says Tate.

Calgary scored 17 second-half points — including the game-winning TD in the final minute — and Tate finished the contest with 363 yards through the air and two touchdown passes.

The victory marks Tate’s first in two playoff tries, but the quarterback knows there’s still a lot to work to do.

“It’s big,” he said, “but the reality is we have about 10 hours left to celebrate, then we have to wake up and get ready for BC.

“We’re going to have to be on top of our game next week. I’m sure they didn’t like how things ended last time they came out here (a 41-21 Stamps win over the Lions).”

Tate points to composure in the semifinal victory.

“None of us on offence were ever flustered,” he said. “Second half, I was feeling really good. I missed some throws, without a question, but just the way we were able to rally was really nice to see.”

Tate was playing with a heavy heart as his grandmother passed away earlier in the week.

“It was the most emotional game I’ve ever been apart of in my entire life,” he said. “A lot of stuff going on through the week and a lot of changes through the game.”

Tate found himself using veteran receiver Romby Bryant as his primary target in the second half.

“Romby is as solid as they come,” he said. “You’ve got to just keep feeding the guy. He may of missed one, but he’s not going to miss the next one.”

As the Stamps prepare for next week, Tate is eager to remain focused on the task at hand.

“The road to the Grey Cup ­— one down, two more to go,” he said. “That’s just where were at.”