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For the first time since Oct. 10, 2015, Calgary was unable to seal the deal at McMahon.
The Stamps struggled all throughout the 30-7 defeat to the Roughriders and totaled their fewest points in a single outing since the regular-season finale in 2013.
“It’s the way things work in the CFL and all pro sports – sometimes you have a stinker,” offered head coach Dave Dickenson, whose team is now 13-2-1. “I’ve been around them lots, but I didn’t see it coming tonight. I really didn’t. But we haven’t been practicing well and we haven’t been practicing with urgency. We haven’t really, in my opinion, been improving in practice. I harp about ‘you play like you practice’. Well, we did tonight.”
Dickenson lost his first home game as the Stamps head coach, although the Red and White can still wrap up the West tomorrow afternoon with a BC Lions win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Prior to tonight’s encounter, the Stampeders had been victorious in their past 10 games against the Riders and were 10-0 versus Saskatchewan in Southern Alberta since 2010.
“Everyone has got players and everyone has got good coaches,” Dickenson acknowledged. “You just have to lock in and the little things matter, the little details matter. A lot of it just came down to one-on-one matchups and we lost basically all of them. And then we lost our composure which is tough for me to handle as a coach. I don’t like to see that. But they outplayed us thoroughly and they deserved to win.”
Major scores on the evening were Christion Jones’ 61-yard punt return, Vernon Adams Jr.’s one-yard plunge and Duron Carter’s pick-six.
In addition, a pair of field goals from Tyler Crapigna of the Riders and Calgary’s Rene Paredes split the uprights.
Diving to the ground before the ball hit the turf was the Stamps’ Ciante Evans with just over five minutes left in the opening half. The interception led to Paredes’ first successful kick.
Fellow member of the secondary Brandon Smith would also pick off Brandon Bridge, however Ed Gainey would get one back just a few plays later.
Saskatchewan’s first forced turnover came via a Jovon Johnson fumble recovery and led to the Adams Jr. TD from just outside the goal line. The third-string pivot was responsible for the two-point conversion, as well.
Then, with the Stampeders hoping to mount a late comeback, Duron Carter got his hands on the ball and weaved his way to the end-zone.
Defensive ends Charleston Hughes and Ja’Gared Davis both got to Kevin Glenn early on, and Bridge would assume the role of the Roughriders’ signal caller shortly thereafter. Micah Johnson would add a sack of his own in the third.
Andrew Buckley became the fifth quarterback to see action on Friday night when Bo Levi Mitchell took a hit with Calgary behind by three scores.
Marken Michel lasted only six plays before leaving with a lower body injury, and Jerome Messam was limited to 43 yards in the ground game. The offence finished with a disappointing 185 yards of production.
“Effort has nothing to do with execution,” revealed Dickenson. “You can play as hard as you want but if you’re not executing and doing the right things and playing off each other and playing as a group of 12, it’s not going to work. We were not a good group tonight.”
A bright spot for the Stampeders was linebacker Alex Singleton breaking the single-season tackle record for a Canadian with his 114th takedown.