Revenge sweet for 'Riders

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Winning ugly sure beats losing pretty.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders did what they had to do to steal a 23-20 road win before an Eskimos' record regular-season home crowd of 62,517 last night.

Ultimately, backup QB Steven Jyles' fourth-quarter touchdown plunge was the decider as the Saskatchewan Roughriders avenged last week's narrow loss to the Eskimos.

Saskatchewan's only regular-season win against the Eskimos this season improved their record to 7-5 and into a first-place tie in the wild CFL West with the Calgary Stampeders.

"It's a big win for us," said 'Riders coach Ken Miller. "It keeps us in first place. It keeps us out of the pack in second place or worse.

"Certainly there were a lot of miscues, but the weather was a major factor in some of the errors."

Saskatchewan scored just one offensive TD, but their timing was perfect.

Right after the Eskimos (6-6) scored early in the fourth quarter for a a 20-15 lead, QB Darian Durant responded.

Durant picked apart the Esks' defence as he put together a seven-play, 65-yard TD drive.

"We made drives into the wind when we needed to and that was huge on a day like this," said Durant. "It was tough, man. The past few games we played in Regina were windy but the wind is nothing like out here. It swirls a bit and you never knew where the ball was going to go. It was pretty tough.

"We definitely didn't want Edmonton to win all three games, so it was good to win this one."

Eskimos QB Ricky Ray's final pass with 60 seconds left bounced off the fingers of Jamaica Rector.

"You can't always put yourself in a situation where it's always going to come down to the last drive of the game one way or the other," said Eskimos coach Richie Hall. "When it's all said and done, we didn't make enough plays to win the football game."

Ray's 15-for-29 passing performance was about as sub-par as they come, and Durant didn't fare much better completing 23-of-33 with three interceptions. Neither threw a touchdown in wind that gusted over 50 km/h.

Saskatchewan caught a huge break with two minutes to go in the first half after seemingly shooting themselves in the foot. A pair of sacks and two ill-timed penalties took them out of field-goal range, but a punt slipped through Bradley Robinson's fingers. Saskatchewan's Renauld Williams fell on the ball in the end zone to put the 'Riders ahead 12-10.

That seven-point gift loomed large for the rest of the night.

CON.GRIWKOWSKY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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