August 19, 2017

Calgary Claws For Win Versus Lions

Rob Cote celebrates with Jerome Messam against BC on August 18, 2017. (CFL PHOTO - Jimmy Jeong)

While the dominance dissipated, the result remained.

After winning their past three games by a combined 93 points, the Calgary Stampeders held on for a 21-17 victory over the BC Lions to move into second place in the West Division with a 6-1-1 record.

The Stampeders were able to overcome 16 penalties and a mere 15 pass completions to hold off the hometown Lions due in large part to Rene Paredes going five-for-five.

“Our guys fought hard,” said head coach Dave Dickenson afterward. “It was sloppy and I think they (BC) would say the same. It was disappointing to see the execution and the mental errors and the penalties and just stuff we’re not used to seeing out of Stampeder football. But at the end of the day it will still count as two points.”

Paredes’ 38-yard field goal capped off the introductory drive for the Stamps before he would add a 29-yard kick two series later. A spilt of the uprights from 17 yards out then closed out the opening quarter.

His fourth successful kick began the second-half scoring and his fifth three-pointer ultimately concluded it.

The Stamps, who have already managed to shut out an opponent for an entire half on three different occasions in 2017, came within 1:11 of doing so again in this matchup. Prior to halftime, Jonathon Jennings snuck behind his offensive line and into the end zone on third-and-goal for the evening’s first touchdown. Chris Williams caught the two-point conversion to follow.

BC was next to find pay dirt yet again when the elusive Chris Rainey navigated his way across the goal line. The 20-yard reception gave the lead to the Orange-clad Lions until the Stampeders eventually reclaimed it with a Jerome Messam rumble.

Becoming the ninth different member of the Red and White with an interception this season, Alex Singleton was credited with the game’s initial turnover. It was pick No. 1 in the CFL career of Calgary’s top draft choice in 2016 after he recorded his first-ever sack in the team’s previous performance against the Argonauts.

Just minutes after the INT, Ja’Gared Davis – making his first appearance since being activated off the six-game injury list – blocked a Ty Long in BC territory. The special-teams highlight, combined with an ensuing second-down conversion by Marken Michel, set up the Stampeders’ third field goal of the night.

The major score by Jennings preceded Bo Levi Mitchell’s interception thrown to Loucheiz Purifoy, however fellow defensive back and third-year Stampeder Ciante Evans would return the favour almost immediately.

“Our defence actually played well except for that discipline,” Dickenson stated. “I thought there was great effort and we were missing guys again on defence. Guys have got to make sure they play smart. They know better. Guys have got to play unselfish football if we’re going to win.”

Moving over 5,000 career rushing yards with a third-quarter carry was Jerome Messam. Now in his third year with Calgary and eighth in the CFL, the reigning rushing champion finished with 69 yards on 15 carries before exiting due to injury.

As the action continued to unfold, crucial catches from Anthony Parker and Marquay McDaniel set the stage for Messam to pound it in for his seventh score of the campaign. The TD tied Lions running back Jeremiah Johnson for tops in the league.

On a drive during the final frame in which Mitchell registered his first rush of the year, Paredes made it a four-point affair to wrap up the scoring.

Calgary extended their streak of having not dropped a decision when coming off a bye week since 2005, yet Dickenson stressed that his group must keep progressing.

“It was rusty, it was sloppy,” began Dickenson. “I think it’s focus and I think that they forget that this league is so balanced and so tough that you need to play your best, and we weren’t even close. Now BC, I’m not going to say they played their best, either. It was back and forth. Mistakes seemed to be more prevalent that actual good plays, so hopefully we turn the corner and start playing the way we were a couple weeks ago.”

Consecutive contests at McMahon Stadium will now see the Red and White battle the Argos before their annual Labour Day clash with the first-place Edmonton Eskimos.