Calgary Stampeders edge Alouettes in opening game of season

CALGARY — Rene Paredes kicked the game-winning field goal as the Calgary Stampeders defeated the Montreal Alouettes 30-27 in the first regular season game of 2022.

It was close all evening with both teams trading leads and things were tied with 45 seconds left in the contest as the Stampeders kicker connected on his 38-yard field goal attempt. The field goal was Paredes’ third attempt of the game, he went 3/3 on the night.

Running back Ka’Deem Carey scored two touchdowns and had 90 all-purpose yards (60 on the ground and 30 through the air) for the Stampeders in the victory. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell completed 21 of his 34 pass attempts for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception before being replaced late in the fourth quarter by Jake Maier. Maier connected on four of his five passes for 57 yards.

Montreal’s Eugene Lewis led all receivers with 112 yards with Calgary’s Richie Sindani right behind him with 101.

Both of Montreal’s quarterbacks, Vernon Adams Jr. and Dominique Davis, scored touchdowns on the ground. Adams Jr. completed 18 of 31 passes for 250 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Running back William Stanback scored a receiving touchdown before leaving the game with an injury in the second quarter.

» Boxscore: Alouettes, Stampeders by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Alouettes at Stampeders
» Late-game excitement leads Stamps to victory


The Calgary Stampeders defence set the tone right away, intercepting Adams Jr.’s first pass of the evening. The Als pivot started the game with a two-yard run and then it was Mike Rose who hauled in the tipped pick, bringing Mitchell and the Stampeders offence onto the field for the first time this year.

Calgary wasted no time cashing in on the turnover. After a few runs from Ka’Deem Carey, of three and six yards, Mitchell called his own number for a nine-yard run before throwing a 13-yard pass to Reggie Begelton to bring the Stamps into scoring position. On the Montreal 10-yard line, Mitchell connected with Malik Henry, who dashed into the end zone for the opening score of the 2022 season. With the completed convert from Rene Paredes, the Stamps took a 7-0 lead just five minutes into the first quarter.

Montreal responded with a score of their own on their next drive, as Adams Jr. moved the chains, setting up a William Stanback receiving touchdown. The drive was highlighted by a 55-yard catch-and-run from Eugene Lewis before Stanback scored his eight-yard major. David Cote connected on his convert and things were tied, 7-7.

The defences on both sides continued to flex their muscles as the first quarter came to a close and the second began. Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund hauled down Adams Jr. for a sack in the dying seconds of the opening 15 minutes and a few plays later Mitchell was wrapped up by Avery Ellis on the Stampeders first offensive play of the second frame.

After an Alouettes two-and-out, Calgary found the end zone for the second time in the contest. Carey was impressive on the drive (he had a 28-yard catch-and-run out of the backfield to go along with an eight-yard rush) helping to set up his own two-yard touchdown run. Paredes was good on his point-after and the Stampeders took a 14-7 lead with just over nine minutes left in the first half.

And just like the first scores of the game, Montreal responded with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing drive. Montreal had a 40-yard gain via a pass interference penalty on Kobe Williams, who was covering Hergy Mayala, bringing the Als down to the Stampeders 24-yard line. Stanback had a nine-yard gain, but was hurt on the play and had to be taken off the field on a cart. That set up Dominique Davis‘ one-yard major score and with Cote once again good on his convert, things were tied at 14 with six and a half minutes left on the clock.

With Stanback out of the game with an injury, Jeshrun Antwi filled in in the backfield and made a statement in his first play from scrimmage. He busted through the Calgary defence, running for a massive 70-yard gain. That helped set up Cote’s 26-yard field goal, giving the Alouettes a three-point lead (17-14) with under two minutes left in the quarter.

Mitchell was picked off on the first play of the Stampeders ensuing drive by Adarius Pickett, bringing Adams Jr. and co. right back onto the field. Montreal took advantage of the turnover as they moved down the field, aided by a roughing the passer penalty, to the Stampeders seven-yard line. That set up Adams Jr. to find the end zone, as he called his own number and hurdled over defenders for the score. Along with the convert, Montreal took a 24-14 lead with under 30 seconds left on the clock.

That would be the final score of the half as both teams headed to their locker rooms.

The first points of the second half were off the foot of Paredes, who booted a 41-yard field goal midway through the third quarter. That added three points to Calgary’s score, cutting Montreal’s lead to 24-17. When Montreal took the field next, Adams Jr. missed a pass to Lewis before Jameer Thurman picked off the pivot on the next play bringing Mitchell and co. back on the turf.

Calgary scored three points on the turnover, as they were able to move deep into Alouettes territory, setting up Paredes’ 23-yard field goal attempt. The score cut Montreal’s lead to 24-20 with under five minutes left in the quarter.

On Montreal’s next series, the team moved down to field goal range, setting up a Cote 35-yard field goal attempt but Calgary’s Mike Rose got his hands up for the block and the Als came up empty handed.

Momentum swung in the Stampeders favour as Carey scored his second touchdown of the contest on the series following the blocked field goal. Things began on the Stampeders 46-yard line and Mitchell orchestrated the drive, aided by two penalties against Montreal, to set up the five-yard score. With the completed convert, the Stampeders took a 27-24 lead.

The Alouettes responded with their own field goal with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, tying the game for the third time on the evening (27-27).

Jake Maier took over for Mitchell under centre on the Stampeders next offensive drive. On his first throw of the game, Maier connected with Richie Sindani for a 20-yard gain but Calgary would eventually have to punt the ball away.

Montreal also had to punt the ball away on their next drive, giving Maier and co. another opportunity to take the lead.

Maier was able to move his Stampeders into field goal range where Paredes connected on the 38-yard attempt, giving Calgary a 30-27 lead with under a minute left in the contest.

Montreal attempted to find the end zone with Adams Jr. throwing a Hail Mary into traffic with no time left on the clock but he was unsuccessful and the Stampeders left McMahon Stadium with the victory.

Next up for the Alouettes is a trip to Toronto to take on the Argonauts next Thursday while the Stampeders head to Hamilton to play the Tiger-Cats on Saturday.

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