Sheets scores two TDs to lift Roughriders over Lions

The Canadian Press

10/5/2013 2:56:26 AM

VANCOUVER -- Kory Sheets ran for two touchdowns as the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the B.C. Lions 31-17 before a disappointed crowd of 37,312 -- the highest of the season at B.C. Place -- on Friday night.

The Riders ended their losing streak at four games as they moved into a second-place tie with B.C. for second place in the West Division. Both clubs have 9-5 records.

The Lions suffered their first regular-season loss at home since July 20, 2012 against Edmonton.

Lions quarterback Thomas DeMarco suffered his first loss in three games filling in for injured starter Travis Lulay (shoulder.) DeMarco threw the first three interceptions of his CFL career and ended the game with 286 passing yards and a touchdown.

Sheets excelled upon his return from a knee injury that had kept him out of two-plus games. He was injured Sept. 14 against Toronto. The running back rushed for 80 yards on 14 carries.

Weston Dressler caught a touchdown pass for Saskatchewan while Chris Milo furnished two field goals and a single off a miss. B.C. also conceded a safety.

Shawn Gore and Nick Moore scored touchdowns for B.C., while Paul McCallum kicked one field goal.

B.C. led 3-0 after the first quarter, but the Riders never trailed after Dressler's second-quarter touchdown.

Many fans came to see Riders slotback Geroy Simon, who played his first game in B.C. since being traded to Saskatchewan in January. The crowd gave him a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game.

But Simon had a quiet night, recording just one catch on the second-last play of the game. He extended his receptions streak to 184 games just seconds before it was in danger of coming to an end.

McCallum put B.C. on scoreboard first as he booted a 35-yard field goal about nine-and-a-half minutes into the game after both teams struggled to get going offensively. The Lions were forced to settle for a field goal after DeMarco plunged for a first down on a third-and-one situation but then threw two incomplete passes.

Saskatchewan put up its first points early in the second quarter as Durant connected with Dressler on a seven-yard touchdown pass, staking the Riders to a 7-3 lead.

The Lions threatened to score, but Dwight Anderson intercepted a DeMarco pass in the end zone and returned the ball 38 yards. Dressler's 49-yard reception put the Riders in scoring position again.

It looked like the Lions had limited the Riders to a 32-yard field goal, but a facemasking penalty to B.C. defensive back Lin-J Shell kept the drive alive and Sheets ran for a one-yard touchdown.

Officials were slow to signal a touchdown, and Lions coach Mike Benevides challenged the call, but lost. The Riders then decided to go for a two-point convert and Durant was successful as he threw to Dressler.

Sheets was hurt in the closing seconds of the first half as he tried to turn across the field while running with the ball after making a catch. His right ankle appeared to give out and he fell without being tackled. He set up a 39-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the second quarter, but Milo was wide and the ball went through the end zone for a single point to give Saskatchewan a 16-3 advantage at half-time.

Sheets returned in the second half, but not before the Lions used their first series to reduce Saskatchewan's lead to 16-10. Receiver Shawn Gore ran in for a one-yard touchdown on a reverse.

The score was set up by a Tyron Brackenridge pass interference penalty in the end zone and a 41-yard rush by another B.C. receiver-turned-rusher, Korey Williams.

But Sheets soon enabled the Riders to go up 23-10 as he ran in for his second touchdown for the game, from six yards out. The Riders went ahead by two more points at the end of the third quarter as McCallum conceded a safety.

Another Williams 41-yard gain, this time on a pass, put the Lions in scoring range in the fourth quarter, but McCallum's field-goal attempt was wide and Dressler ran the ball out of the end zone. Lions offensive guard Patrick Kabongo's unnecessary roughness penalty for contact out of bounds helped set up a Milo 45-yard field goal that put the Riders up 28-10.

B.C. made things slightly interesting as Moore caught a 15-yard touchdown with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter while the Lions were on third down with 15 yards to go.

But on B.C.'s next drive, Gore dropped a pass while open, the Lions were called for illegal procedure and Carlos Thomas knocked down a long bomb intended for Emmanuel Arceneaux on another third-down situation.

Milo closed out the scoring with a 33-yard field goal with 30 seconds left.

Notes: Simon was feted with a video montage showing highlights from his 12 seasons as a Lion. a The Lions wore their gun-metal grey third jerseys for the second time this season. a B.C. offensive lineman Steve Myddelton started at right guard in place of Dean Valli as coach Mike Benevides elected to make a change. Valli dressed as a backup. Korey Williams filled in at wide receiver for Marco Iannuzzi, who missed his second straight game with a leg injury.