Lewis caught the last of his three touchdowns in overtime as the Calgary Stampeders rallied from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit for a 41-38 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday.
"We’ve lost some close games," said Lewis, whose team snapped a two-game losing streak with the thrilling victory. "We finally came back and won a close game. Fans with heart problems are probably dying right now, so we need to get out of these close games and just play complete games."
Calgary coach and general manager John Hufnagel praised his veteran receiver for coming through in the clutch once again for the Stamps (2-2).
"Nik’s had an outstanding year so far," Hufnagel said. "He’s been solid. He’s worked awfully hard and he’s healthy and we need him to continue to play at that high level."
Larry Taylor also had a touchdown reception, Rene Paredes kicked four field goals, while Calgary also recorded a safety.
Calgary quarterback Kevin Glenn completed 27 of 42 passes for 385 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions one week after throwing a costly late interception during a 33-32 road loss to the Montreal Alouettes.
"I wasn’t surprised at all," said Hufnagel in regards to Glenn’s bounce-back performance. "Kevin is a veteran quarterback that can win football games and is an active passer."
Glenn said the comeback victory as very satisfying.
"It shows a lot of character from the guys in this locker room of sticking together and still fighting and beating a very good team out there," Glenn said. "The one thing that we want to do is always stay in the game and stay positive and I think that’s what we did on the sidelines."
Kory Sheets ran for a pair of touchdowns for the Roughriders (3-1), who had the first possession in overtime, but had to settle for a 50-yard field goal by Chris Milo.
Saskatchewan's Chris Getzlaf and Weston Dressler caught touchdown passes from starting quarterback Darian Durant, while backup QB Drew Willy threw a TD pass to Neal Hughes.
Durant went 20 for 38 for 238 yards with two touchdowns, but also threw a costly interception to Calgary linebacker Malik Jackson late in the fourth quarter that resulted in Glenn tossing a 20-yard touchdown to Tucker on the next play.
"You can’t turn the ball over right there in that part of the field," Durant said. "They scored the very next play to cut it to three. Then it was like a snowball effect from there. I put it on my shoulders."
Calgary trailed 35-18 after Sheets plunged into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown five minutes into the fourth quarter. But Lewis then caught a 21-yard TD pass from Glenn with 5:17 left in the game before Calgary linebacker Jackson intercepted Durant’s errant pass and ran it back 23 yards into Saskatchewan territory.
"If the play comes to you, you’ve got to make that play," Jackson said. "It’s not always a guarantee, but I made the play and I was able to put us in the position to come back."
After the Riders went two-and-out on their next possession, Taylor fumbled the ball on the ensuing kick return to give Saskatchewan the ball back on the Calgary 39-yard line.
Two plays later, Calgary defensive lineman Charleston Hughes sacked Durant for a 13-yard loss to force another punt. The Stamps drove the ball 83 yards down the field, but had to settle for a 17-yard field goal by Paredes to tie the game at 35-35 with 29 seconds left and force overtime.
The Stamps had opened the scoring Thursday with a 46-yard field goal by Paredes, but the Riders responded with a two-yard touchdown run by Sheets to cap off a six-play, 54-yard drive.
Early in the second quarter, Glenn engineered a six-play, 62-yard drive that he finished off by tossing a five-yard touchdown pass to Lewis.
The Riders answered right back with a quick four-play, 73-yard scoring drive that culminated with a two-yard TD pass by Willy to Hughes.
Calgary then took a 15-14 lead from a 37-yard field goal by Paredes followed by a safety when Saskatchewan punter Chris Milo was tackled in the end zone after Cory Huclack snapped the ball over his head.
The Stamps appeared to stall Saskatchewan's next drive after just four plays, but a costly 15-yard penalty to Calgary defensive lineman Torrey Davis gave Durant and his offence another opportunity.
Durant made the Stamps pay by driving the Riders downfield and ultimately tossing a 30-yard touchdown strike to Getzlaf to give Saskatchewan a 21-15 lead heading into halftime.
Tristan Jackson gave the Riders great field position in the third quarter by running the opening kickoff 63 yards back into Calgary territory. Six plays later, Durant completed a 20-yard TD pass to Dressler to extend Saskatchewan's lead.
Calgary's undisciplined play continued in the second half as Dmitri Tsoumpas was ejected from the game for rough play before fellow offensive lineman Jon Gott took an objectionable conduct penalty. Defensive lineman Chris McCoy was then penalized for piling on after a late hit on Durant.
Paredes also kicked a 44-yard field goal for Calgary with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
Notes: Heading into the contest, home teams had won 12 of 13 games so far this CFL season and 12 in a row, a streak that ended with Calgary's loss. ... The Riders had gone three straight games without a turnover before Jackson picked off Durant in the fourth quarter. ... With UFC 149 slated to take place at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night, Calgary fighter Nick Ring helped conduct the pre-game coin toss.