Stamps Continue Dominance Over Winnipeg
WINNIPEG, MB. – A second-half stampede propelled the visiting Calgary Stampeders past the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday night and sent more than 30,000 Winnipeg fans home feeling blue.
After the Bombers led 10-9 at the half, the Stamps completely dominated the final 30 minutes, outscored Winnipeg 20-0 and went home 29-10 winners.
Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was seven-for-15 for 107 yards at halftime. In the second half, he went 15-for-19 for 225 yards (22-for-34 for 332 yards in total) and a touchdown as he led Calgary to its second win of the season.
“We didn’t play a clean enough game,” said Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea after the game. “They’re a good football team and you have to play a clean game, take advantage of the opportunities you get and stop them from getting opportunities. We had five turnovers and they had two. You can’t do that against Calgary and expect to win.”
Calgary has now won 17 of its last 18 games against the Bombers and the last nine straight in Winnipeg. Calgary’s margin of victory has been 11.7 points.
There was a lot of concern that the Bombers didn’t adjust at halftime while Calgary did.
“They didn’t do anything that we weren’t expecting in the second half,” said O’Shea. “It’s all about execution and we didn’t execute well enough. We’ll look at it as a staff. Lapo (offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice) will look at it and he won’t be happy. Our players hold themselves accountable and they won’t be happy either. It’s the second game of 18. We’ll regroup and prepare for Toronto in here next Thursday.”
On Friday night, Calgary took a 9-0 lead and then the Bombers got a 21-yard touchdown pass (16 yard run after the catch) from Matt Nichols to Julian Feoli-Gudino and a 24-yard field goal from the almost automatic Justin Medlock and took a 10-9 lead into the halftime break.
But then Calgary came out and blew the Bombers out of the water in the second half. Josh Bell picked off a Matt Nichols pass and took it in for six and then Mitchell hit Kamar Jorden — who scored Calgary’s first-half touchdown on a one-yard run — from 22 yards out for the Stamps final touchdown. Rene Paredes kicked two second-half field goals and that was it. The Stamps are now 2-0-1 while the Bombers are 1-1-0.
Nichols finished 27-for-40 for 267 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Nichols was 10-for-19 in the second half as the Bombers were shut out. Winnipeg had 315 total yards of offence – 182 of those yards in the first half.
As good as the Bombers looked in the first half, they were just as frustrating in the second. An injury to monster LB Ian Wild won’t help the Bombers, either.
“Well, I suppose we could have kicked a field goal on our last drive to make it 26-13 if that would have made people happy,” said O’Shea on the CJOB post-game show. “We had chances to score. We just didn’t take advantage of those opportunities.”
Andrew Harris carried 10 times for 32 yards and caught eight passes for 69 yards. Weston Dressler caught six passes for 76 yards and surpassed the 9,000 receiving-yard plateau for his career.
Jerome Messam carried 17 times for 71 yards for the Stampeders and ate up a pile of yards and a good chunk of the clock in the fourth quarter. Kramer caught six passes for 97 yards and a TD for Calgary.
The Bombers have a short week. They’ll face the 1-1-0 Toronto Argonauts at Investors Group Field next Thursday evening (July 13) at 7:30.
Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photos – Jeff Miller for MyToba Sports