SPORTS

B.C. loses control late in CFL West semifinal to Saskatchewan Roughriders

11/10/2013 09:19 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST
REGINA - For the first three quarters of the CFL West Division semifinal, quarterback Travis Lulay appeared on the verge of leading the B.C. Lions to victory.

But the fourth quarter belonged to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and quarterback Darian Durant.

"In the fourth quarter, there were two drives that ended just out of field goal range and that ultimately that was the difference," said Lulay after the Lions fell 29-25 Sunday.

"That's tough, but that's playoff football. It's never going to be easy, you know. It's always going to be a game of just a handful of plays here or there. And unfortunately for us, their offence made the plays late that our offence couldn't."

It was the first time Lulay had faced the Riders this season because he was out with a shoulder injury.

Saskatchewan was on the scoreboard first with a field goal in the first quarter, but the Lions roared back with a touchdown.

B.C. held the lead until late into the fourth quarter, controlling the tempo of the game.

But a field goal with 4:57 left put the Roughriders on top, 26-25. Another field goal with 28 seconds left clinched the Riders' win.

There was stunned silence and players were hanging their heads in the B.C. locker-room after the game.

"Things felt in control and it just kind of slipped away in the very end and it's not something that you know, we were slacking off because we had control. It just happened to be that they made plays and we didn't," said B.C. linebacker Adam Bighill, who was playing middle linebacker in place of the injured Solomon Elimimian.

"It's really tough to swallow. I mean it's a playoff game, we're done ... we're not ready to be done," he added.

When asked if there was anything that B.C. could have done differently, Bighill said: "Stop Darian Durant from running the ball."

At halftime, B.C. had rushed for 162 yards, while holding the Riders to just 35 yards. The Lions had more total rushing yards in the game, 213 yards to Saskatchewan's 170 yards.

Durant rushed for 76 of his 97 yards in the fourth quarter.

The Lions also sacked Durant four times, while the Riders only sacked Lulay once.

"I think our team did a good job in the first three quarters to make sure that we managed the situation," said a subdued Lions head coach Mike Benevides.

"We moved the football well and certainly did the things we needed to do.

"Then in the fourth they made plays that were plays that we weren't able to stop. They got some field position on certain things, they made some plays and at the end of it, when they put it in Darian's hands, he got the field position they needed to get the three points."

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