By Max Campbell
In Sunday’s Western Final from McMahon Stadium, the Calgary Stampeders disposed of the out-of-town BC Lions by a score of 42-15 to advance to next week’s 104th Grey Cup in Toronto.
Roy Finch ran back the opening kickoff for 46 yards which enabled Bo Levi Mitchell to set up just short of the midfield stripe. From there, Bakari Grant hauled in an 18-yard catch before an ensuing pass interference call placed the ball at BC’s three-yard line. An end-around to Lemar Durant gave the Stamps an early rushing major, and Kamar Jorden’s two-point convert put Calgary up 8-0 after the opening series.
The Lions managed a single first down on their initial drive before punter Riche Leone came on to give back possession to the home team.
Midway through the first quarter, a 24-yard reception by Emmanuel Arceneaux went down as Jonathon Jennings’ third completion of the afternoon.
After the Stampeders were unable to add to their lead, Jeremiah Johnson found his way through a crowded line of scrimmage for an identical 24-yard pickup. However, Leone would be forced to punt again and successfully pinned Calgary deep inside their own territory.
First down gains by DaVaris Daniels and Anthony Parker preceded Rob Cote snagging an 11-yard toss from Mitchell. The 103-yard sequence was finished off with a perfectly-placed completion over the middle for a 32-yard touchdown to an uncovered Marquay McDaniel. Rene Paredes tacked on a one-point conversion for a 15-0 advantage.
Streaking down the sideline with under five minutes to go until halftime, Mitchell connected with Daniels in stride for a 76-yard score.
When the Stamps’ offence returned to the field, Jerome Messam’s back-to-back carries for a combined 27 yards helped engineer another scoring drive that also included another 32-yard snag down the seam for McDaniel. Three more points were added when Paredes booted a 26-yard field goal through the uprights.
However, the Stamps weren’t done there – Jamar Wall picked off Jennings on the very next play and returned the interception for a 42-yard pick-six.
To begin the third, Travis Lulay lined up under centre in relief of Jennings. Lulay promptly capitalized on a bust in coverage by hooking up with Terrell Sinkfield for a 51-yard gain, and the veteran pivot eventually flipped the ball forward into the waiting arms of Arceneaux in the end zone. The four-yard touchdown was followed with a two-point convert try that was denied by Ja’Gared Davis.
A single point conceded by Finch after an 81-yard Leone kickoff gave the Lions their seventh point and thus cut the deficit to 25.
With Calgary set to score again, Mitchell was intercepted by Anthony Gaitor beyond the goal line on a pass intended for Anthony Parker. Despite the turnover, a swift two-and-out from the BC offence prevented any further damage.
With just over three minutes to go in the third, Mike Edem delivered a punishing blow to Parker which forced a fumble pounced on by the Lions. But the Stamps would take it right back when Glenn Love leaped up to bring down an interception of his own.
The next series saw Jennings enter the action once again, sending Lulay back to the sideline.
As the fourth frame commenced, Cordarro Law spun down the starting signal caller for a four-yard loss and the Stampeders’ first sack of the game.
Dashes of 12, 13 and 10 yards out of the backfield for Finch enabled Calgary to march downfield while taking time off the clock. A short crossing route to Durant found pay dirt as the Stamps pulled away late.
Drew Tate filled in for Mitchell in the latter stages of the final stanza and Paredes spilt the uprights from 34 yards out to surpass the 40-point plateau.
A 13-yard touchdown by the Lions’ Chris Rainey and a safety conceded by Rob Maver concluded the scoring.
Source: Calgary Stampeders