Stampeders knock Roughriders out of playoffs with road win

The Calgary Stampeders knocked the Saskatchewan Roughriders out of the CFL playoff draw with a 32-21 victory Saturday in Regina.

Heading into the weekend, Saskatchewan had a slim chance of qualifying for the playoffs. The Riders were tied with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for third and final playoff spot in the East Division. Any combination of Tiger-Cats wins and Riders losses totaling two in the final two weeks of the season would eliminate Saskatchewan.

Hamilton defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 30-27 on Friday night and Saturday’s loss to the Stampeders sealed the Riders’ fate. While it’s possible for the Ticats and Riders to finish the season with identical records, Hamilton holds the tiebreaker against Saskatchewan. The last time the Riders missed the playoffs was in 2016.

The Riders, who went 2-10 in their last 12 games, are now 6-11 this season after losing their sixth straight game at home. Calgary improved to 11-6 with the win.

After a first half that featured six field goals, four from Calgary’s Rene Parades and two from Saskatchewan’s Brett Lauther, the teams combined for three touchdowns in the third quarter. Ka’Deem Carey and Dedrick Mills each scored on two-yard runs for the Stampeders while Shaq Evans completed a 23-yard pass from Mason Fine.

Richie Sindani, a Regina product, caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Maier in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Mario Alford thrilled the crowd in the final minute with a 104-yard punt return for a touchdown. He is the first player in Riders history to score touchdowns in the same season on a kickoff return, a punt return and a missed field goal return.

The game marked the first CFL start for Fine who replaced veteran Cody Fajardo. Riders head coach Dave Dickenson said the change was made in an effort to spark the offense. Fine was 18 of 28 for 196 yards with a touchdown.

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