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October 27, 2018

STAMPS FALL TO BOMBERS

CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 25, 2018: The Calgary Stampeders against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium on Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Candice Ward/Calgary Stampeders)

It was a promising start but, in the end, the Stampeders fell 29-21 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at a foggy Investors Group Field in Friday night CFL action.

“We’ve got to get better, that’s unacceptable,” said defensive back Brandon Smith. “We’ve got to come together, and get back to playing Stampeder football. It’s just unacceptable – there are no other words to explain it.

“It’s time to go to work, we’re at the end of the season and we need to be hitting our stride, and right now we’re not doing it.”

Bo Levi Mitchell went 20-for-33 and threw for 252 yards in the game, Chris Matthews led in receiving with five receptions for 113 yards, and Alex Singleton topped defenders with eight tackles.

A terrific 45-yard kickoff return from Romar Morris opened the game, and not long after the Stamps were on the board following a 43-yard field-goal from Rene Paredes.

It was the only score of a back-and-forth first quarter.

The Bombers tied the game early in the second frame, as Justin Medlock kicked a 13-yard field-goal at 10:58.

The Stamps responded quickly, though. On the following play, Chris Matthews caught a 65-yard bomb from Bo Levi Mitchell and ran 32-yards into the redzone. Nick Arbuckle finished the drive as he plunged in for a touchdown 49 seconds later.

An unsuccessful two-point convert attempt left the score 9-3 Stamps.

Folarin Orimolade kept the ball in Red & White possession after recovering a fumble on the Bombers’ following punt, with Paredes capping off that four-play drive with a 31-yard field-goal.

Then, a 36-yard Bombers field-goal from Medlock cut Calgary’s lead to six points with 2:14 remaining in the half.

“I don’t think we were great the first half but we played with good intensity,” said head coach Dave Dickenson. “They made some plays the second half offensively and they got some balls over the top. I thought we took too many penalties again, every time we had a little momentum it seemed like there was a flag on the field.”

The Bombers took their first lead of the game at 10:12 in the third, making it 13-12 after Darvin Adams got a touchdown following a 50-yard reception from Matt Nichols.

The Stamps wasted no time taking the game back, as Markeith Ambles scored on the following series. Another unsuccessful two point convert left it at 18-13.

However, their lead was short-lived.

Drew Wolitarsky would run a big reception 40 yards for a Winnipeg touchdown. It remained a one-point game after an unsuccessful two-point convert attempt.

The Bombers then scored on their next possession, as Chris Steveler ran two yards for a touchdown to make it 26-18 after three quarters.

Winnipeg widened the gap with 8:14 remaining in the fourth after a 13-yard field-goal from Medlock.

Then, with three minutes left, Eric Rogers caught what could have been a game-changing pass in the endzone for a TD, however it was ruled incomplete.

“I do believe he caught it,” Dickenson said. “I do believe his elbow hit the ground, and I do believe he was on the ground when they knocked the ball out of his hands. And my interpretation of the rule is that in the endzone he had possession …he caught it, he landed in the endzone, and then they knocked it out after he had already established possession. It was a tough call, are we going to win the game? Who knows. But it felt like we needed something like that, we needed something good for us to happen.”

Paredes then booted a 51-yard field-goal with eight seconds left, the last scoring play of the tilt.

“Nobody likes losing,” Mitchell said. “But ultimately it’s something we haven’t felt in a long time, and it’s something we’re going to have fight back for. And I think it’s going to create something good for us heading into playoffs.”

Next up, the Stampeders have one last opportunity to clinch first in the West when they head to B.C. to take on the Lions Nov. 3.

“We know we’ve lost three in a row, we understand that we can’t keep doing the same things,” Dickenson said. “We’ve got to look at trying to get some momentum, we’ve still got a chance to be first in the West, we’ve got to go out play a good game against BC.”