July 16, 2017

Stamps dealt first loss of the season

Jameer Thurman during a game against Montreal on July 14, 2017 (Photo by Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)

From Montreal’s Percival Molson Stadium, the Alouettes outlasted the Calgary Stampeders 30-23 in a back-and-forth affair on Friday night.

Five field goals via the foot of Rene Paredes were supplemented with just a single Stamps TD, whereas the Alouettes found pay dirt on four separate occasions.

“We preach in training camp that we need to score touchdowns,” explained head coach Dave Dickenson during his post-game media availability. “We were inside the 10 (-yard line) twice there early and to be honest we had opportunities and we missed them. We feel like we’ve made it an emphasis all training camp as well as in-season here, so it’s something for us coaches to look at.”

The winning score came courtesy of second-stringer Vernon Adam, Jr., by plunging in behind his offensive line with fewer than four minutes remaining in the matchup.

Unable to win in Quebec for the fourth straight time, Calgary dropped to 2-1-1 on the campaign thus far.

“It was a great effort, but effort doesn’t really translate into wins when you don’t play well,” Dickenson said. “Give them credit, they did some good things and they make you earn every point you get. They took over on the ground game late and we just ran out of gas there. It was a good football game but we came out on the wrong end of it. It doesn’t feel good, but it shows us there is work to be done and we need to be better.”

A trio of chip shots from Paredes was the lone source of scoring through two quarters of action for the Red and White. Struggle in the latter stages included five penalties assessed to Dickenson’s squad.

BJ Cunningham’s first-half touchdown of 39 yards finished off a six-play, 100-yard sequence which featured a lengthy carry from Jean-Christophe Beaulieu and two receptions from ex-Stampeder Nik Lewis.

Less than two minutes later, a Jerome Messam fumble was scooped up by Branden Dozier and ran back across the goal line.

The evening’s first play from scrimmage saw Darian Durant connect with Ernest Jackson for an 80-yard gain, however the Stamps defence would quickly recover to then settle for a 13-yard Boris Bede kick through the uprights.

Interception No. 1 on the season for Ciante Evans of the Stampeders was recorded midway through the opening frame, and Tommie Campbell added one of his own in the second stanza.

As for the Alouettes, the offence had not committed a sack this season until Micah Johnson exploded up the middle to bring down their veteran quarterback with 9:57 to go until the break. James Vaughters would register the first sack of his CFL career by following suit after the intermission.

DaVaris Daniels tied things up in the third when he broke the plain by rolling over top of his defender. The touchdown toss was the 99th for Bo Levi Mitchell who became the full-time starter in 2014.

Running back Terrell Sutton also scored along the ground from 14 yards out in the fourth.

“He’s a tough back and they’ve got a good line and Darian ran as well,” praised Dickenson. “It just felt like the field was a little bit slanted or tilted at the end of the game. When you can’t stop a guy when you know they’re going to run, that’s a concern to me. But it happens in football and you’ve got to learn from it and move on.”

A trio of lead changes took place in the final stanza, although three first downs were all that Mitchell’s unit could muster with the game going down to the wire.