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June 7, 2019

CRAZY FINISH

The CFL is a wild, high-scoring league.

Even in pre-season.

The Stamps fell 38-36 to the B.C Lions Friday night at B.C. Place, the hometown side scratching and clawing back from a 30-16 halftime hole to get the win.

Grant Kraemer led his team down the field on a nine-play drive, capping it off with a one-yard TD pass to Wayne Moore with just 50 seconds left to play.

With plenty of jobs up for grabs, Stampeders players got their last chance to impress head coach Dave Dickenson and the coaching staff ahead of their June 15 season-opener when they host the Ottawa Redblacks at McMahon Stadium. (Click here for tickets)

The big-name stars were first up on the night though, setting the tone for a high-tempo affair.

Bo Levi Mitchell, who played just the first two series in a 37-1 thumping of the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week at McMahon, also played the first two Friday night.

He went four of six for 84-yards and a touchdown.

Nick Arbuckle continued his impressive pre-season, tossing two touchdowns after replacing Mitchell. (Click here for full game stats)

The Lions went three-and-out on their first possession, bringing the Grey Cup MVP Mitchell out on the field.

Mitchell hooked up with Juwan Brescacin and Aaron Peck on his first two throws before a pair of incomplete passes led to a 46-yard Rene Paredes boot for an early 3-0 lead.

New Lions pivot Mike Reilly led his team back down the field on a seven-play drive that ended with a pair of runs by John White, the first a one-yard loss before he punched it in from two yards out.

On the next series for the Red & White, Mitchell aired one out for Brescacin who got in behind the defence for a 53-yard strike with the receiver scampering another 15 yards for the major.

Paredes missed the convert.

Another long drive by the Lions was capped off by Reilly scoring on the QB sneak, first stopped at the line before stretching out on a second effort to break the plane with the ball.

This time around, it was B.C. missing the extra point to end the first quarter.

After a short two-yard run by Ka’Deem Carey to start the drive, Arbuckle completed a pair of passes, before hooking up with Peck on an 18-yard touchdown toss.

In to replace Reilly, Austin Apodaca was picked off by Marko Myers, who added to the Stamps lead by running it back 65 yards – walking a tightrope along the sidelines to avoid a tackle from the B.C. quarterback before diving into the endzone.

Late in the half, Arbuckle threw an INT. The pick off by Marloshawn Franklin was originally ruled a no catch but after review it was overturned.

The Lions only managed three points off the play, with Sergio Castillo later booting a 14-yard field-goal for the Stamps.

Arbuckle then added another major with less than a minute left on a seven-yard scoring pass to Hergy Mayala.

Anthony Alix nailed a 39-yard FG in the third quarter before the Stamps recorded a safety off a beautiful play by Fraser Sopik.

The rookie linebacker burst through the middle of the B.C. line virtually untouched with the Lions deep in their zone on the seven-yard line, chasing Apodaca back in the endzone and tackling him.

Before the end of the third, Rob Maver added a single.

Moore had a five-yard run during a four-play B.C. drive, finishing it off with a 10-yard scamper for a TD.

However, on their next possession the Stamps went downfield with Castillo kicking a 37-yard field-goal.

The scoring continued, with Kraemer – who had come in at pivot – throwing a 42-yard bomb to Jamaal Jones at the goalline, which  the QB followed up with a one-yard run to keep the game within striking distance for the homeside.

Silva had a chance to add three points on a 22-yard FG but hit the left upright.