Win­nipeg spoils Regina’s home opener with 43-40 OT win

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - CRAIG SLATER

REGINA — Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers kicker Tyler Crapigna summed up his team’s 43-40 over­time loss to the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers on Satur­day with two words.

“It’s foot­ball,” said the for­mer McMaster Ma­rauder.

The game has been es­pe­cially cruel to the Rid­ers kicker the first two games of the 2017 Canadian Foot­ball League reg­u­lar sea­son.

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive week, Crapigna had an op­por­tu­nity to put his team in the lead late in the game. A week ago in Mon­treal, he saw his po­ten­tial game-win­ning field goal sail wide as time ex­pired. The Alou­ettes pre­vailed 17-16.

On Satur­day on his home turf, Crapigna heard his 33-yard field­goal at­tempt slam into the up­right and drop short. It was the clank heard around the prov­ince and one that de­flated the sell­out crowd of 33,350 at Mosaic Sta­dium.

“Just un­lucky,” said a frus­trated Crapigna, his team fall­ing to 0-2.

“I’m pretty sure you saw (the ball) hit the post. That’s what hap­pened. It felt good … hit the top of the post, so obviously it wasn’t a (bad) kick. It hit the post.”

The miss set the stage for Win­nipeg’s Justin Med­lock. His 29-yard field goal just min­utes later proved to be the win­ning points for the Blue Bombers (1-0). Med­lock was 5for-5 in field goal at­tempts.

“They were up early, we were up later. Both teams made good come­backs to get back into the game. Luck­ily, we made one more play at the end than they did,” said Blue Bombers slot­back We­ston Dressler.

Prior to that miss, Crapigna was 4-for-4 in field goal at­tempts in the game.

“(Crapigna) miss­ing that kick doesn’t mean we hang this loss on him,” said the Rid­ers’ Caleb Hol­ley. “We had things that we could have done bet­ter so he wouldn’t have to be in that po­si­tion to make that kick.

“We’re still with him. I’ll stand be­hind him to make that kick ev­ery time. But that (miss) is what hap­pens some­times. It’s foot­ball.”

Quar­ter­back Kevin Glenn ral­lied the Roughrid­ers from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quar­ter to set the stage for over­time.

The teams were tied 37-37 at the end of reg­u­la­tion.

Trail­ing 37-23 early in the fourth quar­ter, Glenn hooked up with Nic Dem­ski (27 yards) and Naa­man Roo­sevelt (15 yards). The sec­ond touch­down evened the score at 3737 with less than two min­utes re­main­ing.

Glenn fin­ished the night with 377 yards pass­ing and four touch­downs. His coun­ter­part, Matt Ni­chols, was equally im­pres­sive with 331 pass­ing yards and four touch­downs.

Win­nipeg trailed 17-13 at the half, but erupted for 21 points in the third quar­ter to take a 34-23 lead.

Dressler’s two touch­downs — one for 87 yards and the other for nine yards — came 35 sec­onds apart in the open­ing min­utes af­ter half­time.

MARK TAY­LOR, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers wide re­ceiver Caleb Hol­ley goes up to make a grab dur­ing first-half CFL ac­tion at the brand-new Mosaic Sta­dium.

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