CFL

Clermont's 24-yard TD in double OT sends Riders past Lions

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The Canadian Press
11/15/2010 1:22:10 AM
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REGINA -- Jason Clermont's 24-yard touchdown catch in double overtime gave the Saskatchewan Roughriders a 41-38 win over the B.C. Lions in the CFL West Division semifinal Sunday afternoon.

Darian Durant found the slotback over the middle and Clermont ran in for the winning score, sending the Roughriders the West Division final against the Calgary Stampeders for the second year in a row.

It also capped an afternoon of great drama before a crowd of 29,215 at Mosiac Stadium, as the Lions rallied late to send the game into overtime.

The Roughriders held a 27-20 lead in the final minute of regulation when Travis Lulay, only five games into his tenure as the Lions' undisputed No. 1 quarterback, connected with Emmanuel Arceneaux in the end zone on a 29-yard pass with no time left on the clock.

Saskatchewan running back Wes Cates opened overtime with a one-yard touchdown run after the Roughriders were handed a first-and-goal situation when B.C.'s Ryan Phillips was called for pass interference. Andy Fantuz caught the two-point convert pass from Durant to put the Riders up by eight.

B.C. responded in kind when Lulay ran five yards for a touchdown and completed his two-point convert pass to Geroy Simon.

Paul McCallum then kicked his fifth field goal of the game to open the second overtime series and give B.C. their second lead of the game.

But then Durant found Clermont to seal the victory.

Riders receiver Weston Dressler put an exclamation point on his first playoff game since 2008 early in the fourth quarter, on Saskatchewan's first play following a punt single from McCallum.

Durant found Dressler, who missed the 2009 playoffs with a broken leg, along the near sideline amidst a hodgepodge of orange and white jerseys and Dressler ran the rest of the way for the score.

Warren Kean's fourth field goal of the game, the product of a Lance Frazier interception, put the Riders ahead 27-20 and appeared to cement the victory.

But Lulay continued to look like a seasoned veteran, leading his team on a last-minute eight-play march down the field that culminated in the Arceneaux touchdown.

Lulay had shown considerable poise early as well, completing 15 of 25 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone.

Meanwhile Durant, who led the Roughriders to the 2009 Grey Cup game in his first year as a starting pivot, struggled to overcome Saskatchewan's porous offensive line. Durant was sacked three times in the first quarter (five overall) and completed just six of his 16 passes by halftime.

The Lions led 13-7 at the half but the Riders turned it around, keeping possession of the ball for nearly 11 minutes in the third quarter alone, pulling within 16-14 top set up the fourth-quarter drama.

It was a kickers' showcase in the first half with 10 punts and six field goal attempts on 18 possessions between the two teams.

Kean opened the scoring when B.C.'s Yonus Davis conceded a single after Kean missed from 40 yards.

Kean and McCallum traded field goals and the Riders ended the first quarter with a 4-3 lead.

The Lions scored the first half's only touchdown when Lulay hit a wide-open Steven Black in the end zone from 15 yards out, and McCallum booted two more field goals to give B.C. the 16-7 lead.

McCallum kicked a 45-yard field goal early in the third, and Saskatchewan responded when Durant threw four yards to Dressler in the end zone.



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