July 11, 2017

Stamps prepare for matchup in Manitoba

Calgary Stampeders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Investors Group Field
Friday, July 7
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. MDT
Radio: News Talk 770, Sirius XM 167

A Friday evening affair from Winnipeg will see a pair of Eastern Washington alumni go head-to-head when Bo Levi Mitchell and the Red and White face Matt Nichols’ Blue Bombers in a battle of unbeaten teams.

Calgary will be visiting Investors Group Field for the sixth time since the stadium’s grand opening back in 2013. Thus far, the Stampeders own an unblemished 5-0 record at the home of the Bombers.

In their last six trips overall to the Manitoba capital, Calgary has scored more than 30 points on five occasions.

Week 2 saw the Stamps (1-0-1) defeat Ottawa 43-39 in an action-packed performance on their home turf. Lemar Durant, a third-year product from Simon Fraser, recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career for Calgary and Micah Johnson registered three sacks from his defensive tackle position.

“I think sometimes you pull the sheet over your eyes if you win,” admitted head coach Dave Dickenson. “We’re not playing good enough and so we need to be a better football team. I don’t want to wait for a loss to make sure we address what we need to get better at, and I thought this week the guys have taken my words to heart and hopefully (the team) executes and shows up in Winnipeg.”

The Bombers (1-0) also won a high-scoring game last week, downing the host Roughriders 43-40 in overtime after opening their schedule with a bye. Catching two touchdown passes – including an 87-yarder – was Weston Dressler while defenders T.J. Heath and Sam Hurl each came up with an interception thrown by Kevin Glenn.

Winnipeg’s home-opener to kick off the weekend will be the third straight such instance for the Stampeders. They travelled to the Nation’s Capital for a June 23 clash and then hosted that same RedBlacks squad six days later.

In search of their 110th franchise victory over Winnipeg, Calgary’s 46-man roster will include seven changes from last Thursday. Randy Colling, DaVaris Daniels, Rory Kohlert, Ante Milanovic-Litre, Wynton McManis, Osagie Odiase and Aston Whiteside will be added. Shane Bergman, Jarrett Bush, Pierre-Luc Caron, Charleston Hughes, Marken Michel, Marvin Ross and Adam Thibault are all subtracted from the lineup.

“We’re trending in a good direction,” Dickenson detailed. “I think our team is working hard and getting better. We do have a heavy, heavy six-game (injury list) right now but it’s no excuse. It’s a great opportunity for other guys.”

On Friday, Nov. 3, the final game of the regular season will feature the Stamps entertaining the Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium for their second meeting in 2017.