Nick Marshall scored two touchdowns – one on offence and one on defence – and the Saskatchewan Roughriders upended the previously unbeaten Calgary Stampeders 40-27 on Sunday.
Calgary (7-1) was looking to become just the fourth team to start a CFL season with eight consecutive victories in the past 50 years.
Saskatchewan evened its record at 4-4.
Marshall, who normally lines up as a defensive back, was a part of a spirited Riders defensive effort that flustered Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell for much of the contest.
Mitchell was intercepted once, sacked four times, with one of those sacks causing a fumble. He finished 20 of 33 attempts for 275 yards with four TDs.
DaVaris Daniels Daniels led the Stampeders with five catches for 83 yards and two TDs. Kamar Jorden had 66 receiving yards and a TD, while Juwan Brescacin had 29 yards and a TD.
Saskatchewan quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 270 yards.
Marshall’s first-half interception of Mitchell was returned 67 yards for the Riders’ first touchdown. The score, plus a two-point convert, put the home team up 14-0.
Following a Calgary touchdown, the Riders’ special teams unit got into the act. Linebacker Sam Eguavoen blocked a Rob Maver punt and returned it 30 yards for the second Saskatchewan touchdown.
Brett Lauther’s third field goal of the first half gave the Riders a commanding 24-6 lead heading into halftime.
Though, Mitchell and the Calgary offence would make things interesting in the second half.
After the Riders defence set up Marshall’s touchdown run to put Saskatchewan ahead 31-6, Calgary responded with 14 unanswered points.
Mitchell threw touchdown passes to Jorden (32 yards) and to Brescacin (29 yards), with Jorden adding a two-point convert.
Calgary trailed 31-20 after three quarters. Mitchell’s fourth touchdown pass, this one to Daniels, brought the Stampeders to within 10 (37-27) with 2:30 remaining.
However, that’s as close as they would get.
The Riders were playing their first game without receiver Duron Carter, who was a league all-star in 2017. Carter was released earlier in the week. Jordan Williams-Lambert picked up the offensive slack with a team-high 10 catches for 150 yards. Shaq Evans had five receptions for 69 yards and Lauther kicked six field goals.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday with inter-division matchups. Calgary will return home to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, while Saskatchewan is on the road to tangle with the B.C. Lions.