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When the CFL planned its 2010 schedule and went for a Grey Cup rematch to kick things off, a good game between two top-end opponents was at least what they were hoping for.
The Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders gave them – and football fans – so much more than that. A night of seemingly endless offence needed extra time to decide the winner, but on this night it was the Als who came up short, 54-51, in a contest that at moments resembled the title game last November.
Weston Dressler followed up a 33-yard catch from Darian Durant with a three-yard grab from the Riders’ quarterback to give the men in green their long awaited measure of revenge.
Unlike seven-plus months ago, it was Montreal on top for much of the night. Marc Trestman’s squad staked out a 24-10 advantage by the half and upped its lead to 33-12 in the third quarter. Rookie Tim Maypray turned a Riders missed field goal into his first CFL touchdown to give the Alouettes what seemed to be a very comfortable cushion.
Saskatchewan, however, had other ideas and, just as their rivals had done to them, mounted an impressive comeback.
It began with when Durant connected with Prechae Rodriguez for a 43-yard strike, continued when Rob Bagg found the end zone on an 87-yard pass and run, and completed with Wes Cates’ 10-yard run.
Avon Cobourne’s one-yard run put the Alouettes back on top only briefly. The Roughriders turned a gamble on third-and-10 into an Andy Fantuz touchdown pass to even up the score again.
The home side got first dibs in the opening overtime session and once again found the end zone. The new CFL rule mandating teams go for a two-point convert after a strike – as opposed to the usual field goal single – proved to be a non-issue for Saskatchewan, which had an eight-point lead.
The Alouettes inched closer hoping to extend the game and would after being the beneficiaries of a too-many-men call against the Riders, evoking memories of the Grey Cup match. S.J. Green was Anthony Calvillo’s target for the touchdown and would deliver the two extra points with a remarkable catch that was just barely inside the end zone.
Damon Duval kicked a 42-yarder through the uprights on Montreal’s possession in the second overtime before Dressler’s game-winning touchdown.
Next up: July 11 at Edmonton
- Calvillo completed 28 of 42 attempts for 368 yards, threw four touchdowns and was intercepted once, in the first few minutes of the game.
- Green and Kerry Watkins accounted for all Montreal TDs, accumulating 61 and 106 yards, respectively.
- Matthieu Proulx and Diamond Ferri led the way on defence, with six tackles each. Shea Emry and Chip Cox were next with four apiece.
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