Stamps QB outplayed

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

REGINA -- Canada's game, Saskatchewan's party.

Get ready for a green invasion, Calgary.

With a 27-17 win yesterday afternoon over the visiting Calgary Stampeders, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are off to the Grey Cup at McMahon Stadium next Sunday.

"There should be some green and white there," said Riders left tackle Gene Makowsky of what will be the first meeting between the Riders and the Montreal Alouettes in the modern era of the Grey Cup. "Maybe we can turn the Red Mile into the Green Mile this week.

"It should be fun. In the regular season, there's a pretty good contingent of fans there. I'm confident we will have lots of green there next week."

Darian Durant threw touchdowns to Chris Getzlaf, Andy Fantuz and Rob Bagg, while Luca Congi booted two field goals as the Riders defence stole the show from the defending Grey Cup champs.

The Riders erased an early 10-point deficit and kept the pressure on Stampeders pivot Henry Burris until the end.

Riders middle linebacker Rey Williams had three sacks and 10 defensive tackles, while Eddie Davis and Lance Frazier had second-half interceptions.

Burris finished 22-of-34 for 278 yards passing and hit Jeremaine Copeland for a late touchdown, but he was outplayed by the Riders quarterback, Durant.

Durant didn't make any key mistakes and showed poise under pressure, and Burris gave him a long congratulatory hug after the final gun.

"I told him this is the hard one and next week is the fun one," Burris said. "You are playing for all the marbles. I want to see the kid go in there and do good things.

"Hat's off to him. Him and his team did what they needed to do to get a victory. He played within himself and made good decisions."

The Riders' Jason Armstead was the story of the third quarter.

At 10-10, Armstead came out and got the home side going to start the second half. He took the kickoff back 75 yards to get into position for a Fantuz TD.

When the Riders next got the ball, Armstead took a handoff and tossed a bomb to Bagg for a 42-yard gain. Bagg finished off the drive to give the home team a 24-11 lead.

From there, the hosts never looked back.

"Once they got the momentum, we couldn't get it back," Burris said. "Once we got it back in the fourth, it was too late. We lost the game. We dominated in the first half and the line of scrimmage. But they showed more fight, and that's the reason why they won."

The Stamps then started to implode going down by 13.

Burris tossed up an interception to Frazier and then to Davis. Just after the three-minute warning, the Stamps turned it over on downs and basically sealed their fate.

"Big-time players make big-time plays in big games," Williams said. "We came to play. In the past, the third quarter stopped us. Not today.

"We want this Grey Cup, and we're going to Calgary to get it."

Joffrey Reynolds, the West Division's most outstanding player, was effective again, rushing for 90 yards and getting another 30 on catches, and he scored a 17-yard TD to give the visitors an early 10-0 lead.

But that was the peak of the Stamps scoring, as Sandro DeAngelis missed a 47-yard field goal.

"Credit to them," Reynolds said. "They had a great season. They deserved to be the West champs.

"Unfortunately for us, we couldn't and didn't make the plays we needed to make. As a consequence, we're not playing in the Grey Cup. Hat's off to them."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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