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August 3, 2019

STAMPS STRIKE FIRST

Round one, Stampeders.

The opening bout in the Battle of Alberta was about what you’d expect: hard-hitting, exciting, and came down to the final play.
After Calgary added a field goal with a minute remaining in the contest, Edmonton began to drive the field in search of a game-winning touchdown.

The Eskimos drove all the way down to the Calgary 17-yard line with one second left on the clock. With one final play to determine the outcome, Trevor Harris’ pass to Kevin Elliott in the endzone was knocked down by defensive back Jamar Wall.

It was all about the defence early on.

Both Alberta squads forced punt after punt, resulting in a scoreless first quarter of play.

But as the skies opened up and rain began to fall, so did the points.

Rene Paredes, playing in his 150th career game, was the sole scorer in the first half, hitting from 47, 43, and 42 yards. With the first of three field goals, Paredes (1,472) passed Gerry Organ for 14th place on the CFL all-time scoring list.

Entering the second half, the offence began to come together on both sides of the field.

Early on, Harris connected with Rickey Collins on a 40-yard strike for a touchdown, which tied the game at nine.

But mere seconds later, Terry Williams corralled the kick-off and scampered 103 yards downfield for his first return touchdown of the season, putting the Stampeders back on top.

After a forced fumble recovery by the special teams, Nick Arbuckle and the offence made the Eskimos pay. Arbuckle hit Eric Rogers on a 25-yard play for the score and a 21-9 lead.

But Harris and company weren’t going away that easy.

Once again, the Edmonton quarterback found Rickey Collins in the back of the endzone, bringing the score back within one play.

Sean Whyte and Rene Paredes would trade field goals late in the game.

Calgary moves to 5-2 and a share of the division lead with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who they’ll visit next week in a Thursday night affair at IG Field.