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Roughriders smother Lions 37-13

REGINA - The struggling Saskatchewan Roughriders' defence got just what it needed on Thursday night — a visit from the B.C. Lions.

REGINA - The struggling Saskatchewan Roughriders' defence got just what it needed on Thursday night — a visit from the B.C. Lions.

Having allowed the most points in the CFL so far this season, the 'Riders smothered B.C.'s anaemic offence in a 37-13 blowout win.

Saskatchewan often only rushed three or four but still managed to get pressure on Lions quarterback Jarious Jackson, who was sacked five times.

"We've been trying to execute and do everything we can all week," said Saskatchewan linebacker Jerrell Freeman. "I guess everything started clicking and hopefully it can continue."

Freeman was harassed by teammates leading up to the game for not having a sack this season but made up for it with three against B.C.

"I think he had his best game as a (Roughrider)," said Saskatchewan head coach Ken Miller. "He was special on special teams and he was just as present on the defence as well."

B.C., which was again without injured starting QB Casey Printers, has scored the second fewest points (135) this season and has lost six in a row.

Saskatchewan's offence also made life difficult for the Lions, who dropped to a league-worst 1-6. The 'Riders scored four touchdowns on the ground from inside B.C.'s 10. Saskatchewan (5-2) has settled for field goals from similar positions in recent weeks.

"It was good play-calling and just execution," said Wes Cates, who rushed for a pair of touchdowns. "We knew we needed to go in and get sevens after we had a couple weeks of too many field goals. We wanted to go out and get sevens this week and we did that."

Cates, who rushed for 61 yards in the game, got the 'Riders on the board early in the first quarter with a three-yard run to give Saskatchewan a 7-3 lead. Lance Frazier set up the touchdown by stepping in front of Geroy Simon to intercept the ball and returning it 25 yards to B.C.'s three.

Paul McCallum kicked his second field goal of the game to cut the lead to 7-6 before Saskatchewan took over.

Durant, who led the 'Riders in rushing with 67 yards, capped a six-play, 51-yard drive — which included five rushes and an offside penalty — with a nine-yard touchdown run 1:23 into the second. Cates found the end zone for a second time with 29 seconds left in the first half from a yard out to give Saskatchewan a 21-6 at the break.

B.C. running back Yonus Davis rushed for 84 yards and gave the Lions life on their first offensive play of third quarter with a 51-yard TD scamper. But that would be it for the Lions offence.

McCallum conceded a safety before Durant scored on a seven-yard touchdown run in the third and found Chris Getzlaf on a 30-yard touchdown pass in the fourth to round out the scoring.

Durant completed 18-of-27 passes for 223 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Jackson finished the day 18-of-31 for 194 yards and two interceptions.

Lions running back Jamal Robertson also rushed for 84 yards.

Both teams have a bye next week, and the 'Riders were happy to head into the break on a positive note.

"We wanted to bounce back after that loss last week and we did that," said Cates. "We just wanted to come out and get the win and we did that pretty convincingly. We have a lot be proud about and just gives us some things to smile about on our way home to see our family and go on vacation."

NOTES: Bob Cameron, Tracy Ham, Donald Narcisse, Elfrid Payton and Joe Pistilli were honoured as the 2010 inductees into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame at halftime. ... Geroy Simon caught the 800th pass of his CFL career on the Lions' first offensive play of the game.

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