LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Calgary Stampeders @Toronto Argonauts, Friday, Sept. 20, 7p EDT (1a CEDT Sept. 21)

TORONTO — The Calgary Stampeders are undefeated since the return of Bo Levi Mitchell, but the Toronto Argonauts are looking to put an end to that on Friday night at BMO Field.

Although he hasn’t been lighting up the stat sheet in his three games since returning to the lineup, Mitchell has been doing what he does best – winning. He’s averaging 286 passing yards over those three starts, tossing four touchdown passes and three picks.

It’s important to note that Calgary is relying heavily on the reigning Most Outstanding Player. He’s thrown 40 passes in each of his last two games.

“He makes the big throws,” head coach Dave Dickenson told Stampeders.com of his quarterback. “He’s just a winner. Him and I, we play off each other. We’re just so competitive. I want him to be better and better and better. He takes ownership. He takes leadership. Makes his own mistakes but owns them, moves forward and wins.”

A team that has not been doing as much winning as Calgary has been the Toronto Argonauts, although they are coming off their most impressive performance of the season. Prior to their bye last week, Toronto defeated the Ottawa REDBLACKS 46-17.

The Argos have struggled to close out games all season, but they outscored Ottawa 28-4 in the second half.

James Wilder Jr. did most of the damage, finding the end zone three times in the fourth quarter. Wilder has been trying to regain the form that saw him earn Most Outstanding Rookie honours in 2017, with his 87 all-purpose yards on 11 touches being one of his best showings of the year.

Another player lighting it up for Toronto has been McLeod Bethel-Thompson. He is currently second in league passing yards and is one of only two quarterbacks to surpass 3,000 yards thus far this season. Even more impressive is the fact that Bethel-Thompson has done it while starting 2019 as the Argos backup.

“Certainly, there has been a progression for him,” Argos offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine said of Bethel-Thompson. “He probably felt that he not only had some things to learn, but some things that he wanted to prove to himself. As a human being that makes you perform in a certain way. I think as the year has gone on, maybe the chip on his shoulder has turned more into a positive asset than being overbearing.”

The Stamps lead the league in interceptions with 19, so Friday will be a good test for Bethel-Thompson. Moreover, the 31-year-old has never beaten the Calgary Stampeders, while Mitchell is a perfect 10-0 versus Toronto in his career.

“It’s all about winning,” Bethel-Thompson said. “I’m a 2-9 quarterback. We’re a 2-9 football team. Until we start winning, and once we get this win streak going, and we start rolling, and racking them up week after week, that’s when football is going to be fun. Right now, I feel like we’re on the brink of fighting back. Hopefully we can come off this bye week and get this ball rolling and start the new season with a win and take these last seven.”

Tre Roberson is a big part of Calgary leading the league in picks, but it was his work on special teams that made headlines last week. He leapt an estimated 10 feet in the air, stuffing a Hamilton field goal attempt that would have given the Tiger-Cats the lead with under a minute to go.

Roberson’s heroics overshadowed another highlight-reel special teams play from Calgary. In the second quarter with a Stampeders drive having sputtered out, Rob Maver lined up to punt…until he didn’t. Maver came up throwing and hit reserve fullback Ante Milanovic-Litre for a 25-yard gain to keep the drive alive.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’d rather throw the football than kick it,” Maver said. “I like having those bigger contributions. Punts can be big contributions, but anytime you can put the offence back on the field, it’s great. I probably throw the ball more than I kick during a day and I beg for those.”

Four plays later, Mitchell hit Eric Rogers to give the Stamps a lead they would maintain for the rest of the contest.

For the Stampeders, playing an Argos team coming off a bye on the road won’t be easy, especially with a growing injured list. Leading receiver Reggie Begelton, who went over the 1,000-yard mark last weekend, won’t be available for Friday’s game, while CFL leading tackler Cory Greenwood is also out.

With Markeith Ambles also sidelined, Aaron Peck and Josh Huff expand their roles in a relatively inexperienced receiving core. While Nate Holley gets the start at linebacker, the O-line will start three Canadians this week with Justin Lawrence drawing in for Nila Kasitati.

BY THE NUMBERS

29 – Margin of victory for the Argos over the REDBLACKS, the franchise’s largest since 2006.

0 – Number of times Bo Levi Mitchell has been sacked since his return.

3 – Consecutive games with a sack for Argos d-lineman Freddie Bishop.

15-1 – The Stampeders record in September games dating back to 2016.

– With files from Stampeders.com and Argonauts.ca.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL –Calgary Stampeders @Toronto Argonauts, Friday, Sept. 20, 7p EDT (1a CEDT Sept. 21)

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