June 1, 2018

Lions Beat Stamps on Big Second Half

It was a strong start, but a tough end for the Stampeders in their first pre-season game. They dropped a 36-23 decision to the BC Lions in front of 24,681 fans at McMahon Stadium.

“We played a lot of guys, and there were a lot of mistakes,” said coach Dave Dickenson. “Loose ball handling is a big thing, we’ll never win a game putting the ball on the carpet that many times. But there are some things to be taught there.”

It wasn’t just loss of possessions, but limited contributions by quarterbacks that put the Stamps behind during the game.

“It wasn’t a good enough play by our quarterbacks ultimately,” said Dickenson. “They have to be better, I have to be better, everyone should be better. Look at the tape, work hard next week and hopefully we play better.”

Kicker Rene Paredes put the Stamps on the board two minutes in after a 26-yard field goal to make it 3-0. But the Leos were quick to answer back with kicker Ty Long tallying a 45-yard FG shortly after to tie the game.

It was Stamps quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell who claimed the first touchdown of the evening, running the ball from the 2 yard line after a 26-yard completion – caught by wide receiver Marken Michel – put them in line to score.

“Bo ran in the end-zone which I wasn’t necessarily looking for that in the pre-season,” Dickenson said of the play. “But he is moving around and doing some things this year so that’s a positive.”

Paredes opened the scoring in the second quarter, kicking a 48-yard FG to give the Stamps a 13-3 lead over the Lions.

It took until 8:10 remaining in the first-half for the Lions to add a few more digits to their side of the board. Lions linebacker Keelan Johnson recovered a fumble and scored a TD, which quarterback Cody Fajardo added to with a successful 2-point conversion to make it 13-11.

Soon after, Paredes would get yet another FG after kicking 27 yards, increasing the Stamps’ lead to five points. A Rouge from punter Rob Maver would add one last point to the board to close out scoring in the first half, with the Stamps leading the Lions 17-11.

After a quiet start to the third Stamps running back Terry Williams added some momentum to the game with a 19 yard rush.

“I thought Terry looked good, he’s explosive,” said Dickenson of the play. “He did execute what we want, they were bringing a lot of edge pressure and I’m not sure our running backs and O-line saw the rotation.

“I want to take a peek at film on that and see if we were missing assignments, but as far as when Terry had the ball in his hands he looked real good.”

Williams’ rush put rookie quarterback Larry Brihm in position for his first CFL TD completion to wide receiver Markeith Ambles. An unsuccessful two point conversion would leave the score at 23-11.

The Lions were once again late to score in the third, tallying seven points with 4:47 left in the frame. Wide receiver Kevin Elliot caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Ricky Lloyd, followed by a good 32-yard kick from Jose Maltos to make it 23-18.

The Lions then took their first lead of the evening after a 6-yard feed from Lloyd to running back Travon Van resulted in a touchdown. Ricky Collins Jr. was quick to add on to the score catching an 11 yard pass from Lloyd for the major, an unsuccessful convert would leave it at 30-23 Lions to end the third.

Two field goals from Maltos in the fourth would seal the deal, with the Lions victorious over the Stamps for the first time in over a year.

The Stamps will look for their first pre-season victory next Friday, June 8, as they head to Saskatchewan to take on their west rivals, the Roughriders, at New Mosaic Stadium.

“We’ve got some film and evidence on how to play winning football and ultimately for us we played losing football,” said Dickenson.

“There’s something we should be able to take from this film and hopefully not repeat.”