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Mitchell, Stampeders down Roughriders 34-31

REGINA – Bo Levi Mitchell threw three touchdown passes and the Calgary Stampeders kept the Saskatchewan Roughriders winless on the season with a 34-31 victory Saturday at Mosaic Stadium. Calgary snapped a 24-24 tie when Mitchell and Tory Harrison hooked up on a 32-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Mitchell used play-action in the backfield and found Harrison wide open in the flat. Harrison sprinted to the end zone untouched for his second touchdown of the game.

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The Stamps’ next possession ended with Rene Parades’ fourth field goal, a 40-yard boot that put Calgary ahead 34-24 with 10:33 remaining.

READ MORE: Riders look to turn page against Stamps

The Riders made it interesting mid-way through the fourth quarter. Backup fullback Carl Fitzgerald blocked a Rob Maver punt attempt and Junior Mertile scooped up the loose ball and stepped into the end zone for the touchdown. Paul McCallum missed the convert, and the Riders trailed 34-31 with a little more than six minutes remaining.

Calgary controlled the ball in the game’s final minutes and ran out the clock to extinguish any Saskatchewan threat.

Saskatchewan’s rookie quarterback Brett Smith, who was making his first start on home field, threw three touchdown passes, including a 24-yard strike to Devin Wilson and a 15-yard toss to Alex Carroll. His third touchdown of the day, a three-yard pass to Weston Dressler – and a two-point convert from Robb Bagg – knotted the score at 24-24.

Eric Rogers hauled in a 46-yard pass from Mitchell for a touchdown as time expired in the first half. Six Riders defenders were in the vicinity when the six-foot-three Rogers leaped for the ball. Matt Walter added a two-point convert and the Stampeders marched into halftime with an 18-9 lead.

Thanks to an Edmonton Eskimos loss earlier in the week, the Stampeders now occupy first place in the West Division with a 6-2 record. Saskatchewan falls to 0-8, six points behind the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Riders will travel to Ottawa to take on the Redblacks in Week 10, while Calgary will visit Winnipeg.

©2015The Canadian Press