June 16, 2018

Getting The Job Done!

A rainy evening didn’t stop the Stampeders’ shine.

After trailing by three at the half, they rallied for a 28-14 comeback win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in front of 23,717 fans at the Red & White’s home-opener Saturday night at McMahon Stadium.

“I’m proud of my guys for fighting,” said head coach Dave Dickenson. “I don’t think it’s always going to be pretty.

“For us to grind it out at home, in a hard fought game, that says a lot about our guys.”

Kicker Rene Paredes put the Stamps on the board first, tallying three after capping off a 10-play opening drive with a 24-yard field goal.

Shortly after, a Ti-Cats punt blocked by running back Charlie Power with five minutes left in the first began the Stamps’ second scoring drive of the night, with Paredes making it 6-0 after a 17-yard boot.

The Ti-Cats took the lead after a 13-yard rush from quarterback Jeremiah Masoli ended with a touchdown. Lirim Hajrullahu followed up with a successful 32-yard convert to make it 7-6 Ti-Cats after the first quarter.

It took 10 minutes before more points were put on the board in the second quarter. The Ti-Cats picked up a single on a punt from Hajrullahu to give the visitors a two-point cushion.

The Stamps had a good shot to even the score before the half, after an incredible 42-yard, one-handed reception from receiver Juwan Brescacin. An interception by Hamilton defensive back Cariel Brooks two plays later would end the drive.

Paredes would give the Red & White a one-point lead at 9-8 after a 22-yard field goal on the following drive. However, it was short-lived as Hajrullahu answered back with a 41-yard field goal to close out the first half at 11-9 Ti-Cats.

“When you settle for field goals you get really nervous,” Dickenson said. “You’re missing opportunities to put a gap between you and the opponent.

“In the CFL there’s some great balance. We played a team that was aggressive that has a lot of great talent. We started out, we were moving the ball well, we just couldn’t quite punch it in the endzone.”

A solid performance from the Stampeders defence would highlight the third, holding the Ti-Cats scoreless over three drives.

“We had to make adjustments (at halftime),” said Dickenson. “Defensively I thought our guys stepped up, though, and started making plays.”

While the board remained unchanged in the quarter, Stamps defensive backs had a good outing with Tunde Adeleke forcing and recovering a fumble from Masoli.

“In training camp he took a little while, but the kid’s ceiling is high,” Dickenson said. “He just keeps getting better, and the more we put him out there the better he gets.”

Emmanuel Davis also managed two defensive tackles in the third frame, along with linebacker Alex Singleton.

The last drive from the Red & White late in the third wouldn’t end in points on the board, but notably included rookie receiver Richard Sindani’s first CFL catch – a 13-yard reception from Bo Levi Mitchell.

Twenty seconds into the fourth, Paredes would nail his fourth field goal of the night, kicking it 19 yards to put the Stamps up 12-11.

A 15-yard reception by Kamar Jorden from Mitchell gave the Stamps their first major of the night with 10 minutes left in the game. Running back Terry Williams followed up by adding two more points with a successful conversion.

Hajrullahu made it 20-14 with a field goal but Don Jackson scampered for a 44-yard major with less than a minute left and then ran in a two-point conversion to round out the scoring.

“I thought Don Jackson ran hard,” said Dickenson. “Not taking away from anyone else, but I think Don was definitely a guy that got all the yards he could on every single play.

“I think our running back position will be a strength of this team.”

The Stamps will now head to Toronto to take on the Argonauts at BMO Field in a Grey Cup rematch on June 23.