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October 13, 2018

STAMPS EDGED BY LIONS

Clinching the West will have to wait another week.

In a game that tightened up thanks to a first-half rally, the Stamps eventually fell 26-21 to the BC Lions in front of 23,563 fans on a chilly night at McMahon Stadium Saturday night.

Bo Levi Mitchell went 17-for-35 and threw for 215 yards in the tilt, Don Jackson led all receivers with three receptions for 39 yards, and Tre Roberson topped defenders with five tackles and a big first-half interception.

“Honestly, we’re not clicking on many cylinders at all right now,” said head coach Dave Dickenson of the loss. “There’s a lot of work – we’ve got a lot of improving that needs to be done. We’ve got a good record, but we have to make sure we’re a lot better than that.”

The Lions opened the scoring in the game as Tyler Long kicked two field-goals in as many drives for the visitors.

Then, a 79-yard punt return from former Stampeder Anthony Parker put the Lions at the three-yard line. Tyrell Sutton then scampered in on the next play, rushing three yards for a major to make it 13-0 heading into the second quarter.

The Stamps got on the board early in the second, as Rene Paredes booted a 38-yard field-goal.

Rob Maver then tallied a single for the Stamps on their next drive with a 71-yard punt.

With 3:41 remaining in the half, Sutton got his second major of the night with a one-yard rush.

Then, trailing the Lions 20-4 with 2:26 left in the first half, the homeside rallied.

In his first game with the Stamps, receiver Chris Matthews tallied his first touchdown in Red & White after catching a 17-yard toss from Bo Levi Mitchell. Markeith Ambles hauled in a two-point conversion.

Just 12 seconds later, Tre Roberson intercepted a Travis Lulay pass and ran it back 43 yards to set the Stamps up at the 14-yard line.

On the next play, Ambles caught a TD strike from Mitchell and, after an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the score sat at 20-18 at halftime.

But, that’s when the game stalled for the Stampeders’ offence, which tallied just one field-goal in the second half.

“It was frustrating because those are the kinds of games we typically pull out,” Mitchell said. “We just didn’t make enough plays when it counted.

“At the end of the day, we’re not putting the full drive together. We’re making plays here-and-there, but when it comes down to full drives we’re not putting them together right now to get the touchdown instead of field-goals.”

“We didn’t see a lot of people stepping up making plays,” echoed Dickenson. “Ultimately it was a lot of the veterans, too, it’s not the new guys, it’s the veterans that didn’t get the job done. Yeah we had some excuses, people weren’t around – but that doesn’t help us, it just wasn’t good enough.”

Long would tack on two more field-goals throughout the remainder of the game, which would close out scoring for the night.

Next up the Stampeders will take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders at McMahon on Oct. 20.

Once again, a chance to the host the West Final will on the line.

“We clinch next week, the week after, it doesn’t matter,” Mitchell said. “I think we’re all in the same mindset that we need to find something, find what we’re good at, find out who can do what, and continue to push and try to get hot going into playoffs.”

And unlike this week, the Stampeders will have a full week of practice under their belts before the tilt.

“It’s going to make a lot of difference the more me and these guys can get together, throw, get timing on things and just trust each other on some things,” Mitchell explained. “Obviously it’s not easy right now but we’re professionals, we all get paid to play, so I’ve got to trust them to make plays and keep giving them the ball.”