The Calgary Stampeders rallied from a 24-0 deficit after one quarter to defeat the Montreal Alouettes 38-27 at McMahon Stadium on Saturday.
The rally established a Canadian Football League record for biggest deficit erased after one quarter en route to a victory. The old mark of 20 was set by the BC Lions in 2004.
“It was a heckuva comeback,” said Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “We weren’t playing real good football in the first quarter and (the Alouettes) were playing excellent football. But we were able to do it — it was a team effort. Offensively, we started moving the football in the second quarter and defensively, we were getting off the field. We were getting some field position with our special teams and our coverage was good.”
The Stamps scored 19 points in the second quarter and 16 points in the third quarter to mount the historic comeback.
“The play of the game was Freddie Bennett,” said Hufnagel.
After Jon Cornish’s 11-yard TD reception had given Calgary a 28-24, Montreal’s Noel Devine returned the ensuing kickoff deep into Stamps territory and was threatening to score until a hustling Bennett punched the ball loose and allowed teammate Alvin Bowen to recover in the end-zone.
“That was a 14-point swing,” said Hufnagel. “It took seven points off their scoreboard and we got the ball at the 25 and matched it down for a touchdown. That was an indication of our football team tonight — no matter how it looked, we weren’t giving up. We played to the last whistle.”
The teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
Cornish had his second 100-yard game of the season — 109 on just 11 carries — and scored a pair of touchdowns — one on the ground and one through the air.
Kevin Glenn threw for 204 yards and hooked up with Nik Lewis for a touchdown before leaving the game with an arm injury. Bo Levi Mitchell came in and threw for 49 yards and touchdowns to Tim St. Pierre and Cornish.
Rene Paredes booted four field goals to extend his streak of consecutive makes to 29. A late field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter was blocked, but that goes into the books as a fumble and not a miss, which means the streak remains intact heading into next week’s game in Winnipeg.
Montreal dominated the first quarter getting rushing touchdowns from Brandon Whitaker and Jerome Messam, a receiving score by S.J. Green and a 43-yard Sean Whyte field goal to build a 24-0 lead.