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October 20, 2018

STAMPS FALL TO RIDERS

They put up a fight, but in the end the Stampeders fell 29-24 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders at McMahon Stadium Saturday night.

Bo Levi Mitchell went 18-for-25 and threw for 221 yards during the game, Markeith Ambles led receivers with eight catches for 84 yards, and Brandon Smith topped defenders with six tackles.

“It felt like playoff game, it really did,” said head coach Dave Dickenson. “It just had that feel, back-and-forth, we just couldn’t get our head above water. It was close, but close wasn’t enough.

“I feel like there was some progress, but unfortunately the D that’s been holding us in all year just couldn’t get off the field…But you know what there’s still a lot of fight…yeah it may not always be pretty but I really like our team.”

Saskatchewan got on the board first, following a 50-yard field goal from Brett Lauther on their opening drive.

The Stamps wasted no time answering back, as Romar Morris ran 78-yards on a punt return for a touchdown just 2:37 later.

On the following series, Tre Mason capped off a 47-yard series with a four yard run for a Riders score.

Shortly after, a 25-yard field goal from Rene Paredes evened the score at 10 for the last scoring drive of the first quarter.

A Riders field goal from Lauther opened the second frame.

10:53 later, he kicked another 49-yards to make it 16-10. Lauther then nailed another on the last drive of the quarter to give the Riders a nine point lead heading into the second half.

“In the first half I felt like we had the ball for maybe three-or-four minutes,” Mitchell said. “That’s on us to not give two-and-outs, that’s on the defence not to let them drive all the way down the field, that’s on special teams to not give up big plays, it’s an entire team effort.

“Everybody as a group has to get better.”

The Red & White looked to even the score early in the third as Lemar Durant caught an endzone strike from Mitchell at 10:29. Don Jackson ran for a two-point convert close in at 19-18.

But, a field goal 20-yard from Lauther at 4:46 widened the gap once again for the last scoring drive of the third, making it 18-22 heading into the final frame.

Nick Marshall then opened scoring in the fourth with a 1-yard touchdown run for the Riders.

“They got in some areas that attacked us,” Dickenson explained. “I didn’t feel we tackled overly well though, so we have to look at that. Defensively we have to be careful because once a team finds some weaknesses on you, the other teams are going to be copying that.”

Then, after 4:51, Markeith Ambles made it 29-24 following a 13-yard touchdown. What was originally called a successful two point convert was overturned after review.

“There was a lot of fight in Markeith,” Dickenson said. “I thought he played well…I did feel like Markeith is showing flashes of the guy we thought he could be.”

With just a few seconds left on the clock, a last ditch hail mary attempt found the turf instead of its intended target, eliminating any chance of a Stampeders comeback.

Next up, the Stamps head to Winnipeg to take on the Blue Bombers on Friday, Oct. 26.

“We’ve lost two in a row,” Dickenson said.

“But I think personally we’re going to make a good run at it here and hopefully clinch the West.”