REGINA - Keon Raymond's big interception return for Calgary put an exclamation point on another ugly night for the slumping Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Raymond intercepted Riders quarterback Darian Durant seven yards deep into the Stampeders' end zone and ran back for a 117-yard touchdown for the fourth-longest interception return in CFL history.
The play was just one of several by a hot Calgary offence that rolled to a 45-35 victory Friday.
"I thought it was a pretty good effort," said Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel. "(Raymond) wouldn't be denied. He zigzagged and did whatever to get into the end zone. It put a smile on my face."
Hufnagel's smile was one of only a few at Mosaic Stadium, where Saskatchewan is still winless this season.
Riders head coach Greg Marshall, who classified the game as "almost rock bottom," was frustrated with his defence for allowing Calgary to move at will in the first half and said he can't blame the fans for booing during the game.
"I understand the fans' frustrations and that they're upset," he said. "They have a right to be upset, but I don't think there's anyone more upset than I am right now."
The Stampeders (5-2) scoring 24 points on their first four possessions, largely due to Henry Burris throwing for 258 yards in the first 30 minutes. He finished the game 21 of 29 for 298 yards and three touchdowns.
"We were being patient," said Burris, who connected with Jabari Arthur and Nik Lewis for first-quarter touchdowns. "We ran a lot of our basic stuff and were patient on everything. When they were in man, we took advantage of the man routes we had on our play calling and when they were in zones, we took what they would give us.
"The offensive line did a great job protecting me and really that's what enabled us to get to a fast start was their protection. They did a great job tonight and we got into a rhythm and it snowballed from there."
Despite jumping out to a dominating 31-14 lead at the break, Calgary's offence was stymied in second half despite a brief momentum boost in the third quarter by Raymond's return.
Saskatchewan (1-6) replied two possessions later when Durant, who was 24-of-34 for 325 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, led the Roughriders on a 79-yard touchdown drive capped by a 15-yard pass to Hugh Charles to cut the deficit to 38-21.
Charles scored Saskatchewan's previous two touchdowns on an 11-yard pass and a 14-yard run. He finished the day as the game's top rusher with 94 yards on 11 carries.
Neil Hughes closed the gap to 10 points when he finished a 102-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
But an unnecessary roughness penalty to Saskatchewan offensive lineman Chris Best on the same play killed the Riders' momentum. It forced Christopher Melo, who replaced an injured Eddie Johnson, to kick off from his own 20-yard line and give Calgary outstanding field position at midfield.
Joffrey Reynolds scored 10 plays later from one yard out to seal the game for Calgary.
"In the second half after they scored and came within 10 points, you saw the boys on our team come alive and be able to milk the clock and score a touchdown," said Burris.
"We do a great job being resilient when facing adversity. We're a resilient bunch and we're able to respond to it. That's what we pride ourselves on."
Saskatchewan added a late touchdown on a three-yard pass from Ryan Dinwiddie to Weston Dressler.
Drew Tate and Ken-Yon Rambo also scored touchdowns for Calgary while Rene Paredes added one field goal and six converts. Melo added five converts for Saskatchewan.
The win also kept Calgary undefeated on the road for the first time since 1998 when they went on to win the Grey Cup.
Burris credited his team's resiliency for being successful on the road, but he isn't booking a trip to the championship game just yet.
"We're keeping things in perspective," he said. "The Grey Cup is way off in the distance and you have to earn your way to that show. Right now it's all about winning one game at a time and preparing one game at a time because we have three big ones coming up after the break."