The Red and White weathered the storm figuratively and literally yesterday afternoon, as the team pulled off a come from behind win over the visiting Edmonton Elks.
The game was initially delayed 30 minutes due to smoke and was delayed again at halftime due to a thunderstorm in the area.
Calgary kicked off the 2023 preseason with a 28-17 victory against their rivals from the north in the first Battle of Alberta action of the year.
QB Logan Bonner: 3/6 passing, 71 passing yards, 1 touchdown pass.
RB Ryth-Jean Giraud: 6 carries for 46 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown.
REC Cole Tucker: 2/2, 40 receiving yards.
The first meeting of the provincial rivals in 2023 got off to a slow start.
Quarterback Jake Maier started the game at the helm of the offence for the Red and White. However, it was running back Ka’Deem Carey who drove the offence down the field. The 2022 rushing yards leader picked up right where he left off last season and scrambled for a first down on Calgary’s first play of the game. The two-time CFL all-star finished his short preseason outing with 26 rushing yards off of two carries.
The new QB1 completed his brief preseason playing time with one completion for six yards on three passing attempts.
Edmonton found the scoreboard first with a 37-yard field goal by kicker Dean Faithfull following a strong drive out together by quarterback Jarret Doege.
Quarterback Tommy Stevens took the reins to begin the second frame for the Stamps. Following a 17-yard run by the big QB, Stevens threw an interception which was picked off by Elks defensive back Marloshawn Franklin.
Second-year defensive lineman T.J. Rayam swung momentum back Calgary’s way after sacking Doege for 11 yards to shorten the field for the Red and White. 12-year kicker Rene Paredes got the Stamps on the board with a 39-yard field goal to tie the game.
However, the Elks answered right back with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Doege to French.
It was the special teams’ turn to swing things in Calgary’s way. Defensive back Branden Dozier forced and recovered a fumble on a Cody Grace punt leading to a touchdown on the very next play. Stevens found rookie receiver Clark Barnes in the endzone for a 26-yard score to tie the game at 10-a-piece.
“Of course, I want to get into the endzone.”
✨manifested it✨ pic.twitter.com/Jq24iI27Ho
— Calgary Stampeders (@calstampeders) May 22, 2023
The Elks attempted a field goal with no time remaining at the end of the quarter, but Faithfull missed it wide left resulting in a rouge to put Edmonton up 11-10 at halftime.
During halftime a severe storm rolled into McMahon delaying the game by about an hour and a half.
As both clubs resumed to play following the weather delay, it was quarterback Chris Reynold’s turn to take the snaps for the home side.
The former Charlotte QB got off to a quick start with back to back pass completions of 10 or more yards before the drive was halted.
The Elks kicked a field goal on the next drive to put Edmonton up 14-10.
Following a big run by running back Dedrick Mills on the next drive, Calgary responded with a field goal of their own courtesy of rookie kicker Campbell Fair who successfully kicked the ball 42-yards through the uprights to cut Edmonton’s lead to one.
Reynolds finished his night with 4 completions on eight passes for 59 yards.
Next, former Utah State quarterback Logan Bonner took over the offence for the fourth quarter and he wasted no time showing Calgary faithful what he can do when he’s at the controls.
On his very first pass Bonner found Canadian receiver Luther Hakunavanhu in the back of the endzone to give Calgary the lead for the first time in the game. Mills plowed through the Edmonton defence to secure the two-point convert for the Red and White, making the score 21-14.
Shortly after, the Green and Gold responded with a field goal to make the score 21-17.
Once again, Bonner marched back down the field again for Calgary finding rookie receiver Cole Tucker on back to back plays for big first down gains. Running back Ryth-Jean Giraud carried the offence the rest of the way, eventually finding the endzone to put the Stamps up 28-17.
On the ensuing Stampeder drive, kicker Toshiki Sato booted a punt 59 yards for a Calgary rouge.
The Elks were able to find the endzone again but it wouldn’t be enough to top the Stampeders. Calgary secured the 29-24 victory as Bonner kneeled to end the game on their last possession.
THEY SAID IT:
The Stamps hit the road next week for their final preseason game with a battle on the west coast with the Lions. A week later BC will cross the Rocky Mountains to open the 2023 CFL season in McMahon. You can buy your tickets to the home opener here!