Calgary Stampeders run away from Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2nd half

HAMILTON — “Anything you can do, I can do better.”

“No, you can’t.”

“Yes I can!”

Who would have thought Annie and Frank were giving foresight into Saturday’s tilt between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Calgary Stampeders?

It’s unlikely, but it certainly seemed like it was the theme before the Stampeders ran away with the lead late in the third quarter, continuing their winning streak in Hamilton that dates back to 2009 following a 43-28 victory.

Calgary’s Tre Roberson celebrates his interception with Troy Stoudermire during first quarter CFL action between the Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, Ontario on Saturday, September 15, 2018. (CFL PHOTO – Geoff Robins)

After a slow start, Bo Levi Mitchell got his pistons churning as he went on to pass for two touchdowns against the Ticats, completing 17 of his 30 pass attempts for 270 yards. Mitchell also scrambled for 21 yards on a broken play in the fourth quarter.

Larry Dean and the Ticats’ defence broke the silence late in the first quarter when Dean stepped in front of a Bo Levi Mitchell pass attempt, returning it 60 yards for the touchdown.

The following offensive drive for the Stampeders ended with receiver DaVaris Daniels going down to injury. Daniels was unable to finish his route as he fell onto his backside favouring his lower-body.

Jeremiah Masoli pieced together a drive towards the tail-end of the opening quarter, setting up a Lirim Hajrullahu field goal in the early seconds of the second quarter to put Hamilton up 10-0.

Unlike himself, Mitchell showed signs of struggle against the Black and Gold’s defence, finishing the first quarter with just 15 yards through the air. Meanwhile, Hamilton had four-times the amount of yardage after the first 15 minutes of play.

Calgary dove into the bag of tricks, however, hoping to spark some light into their offence. Mitchell passed the ball to Marken Michel who was laterally behind Mitchell, Michel then stopped and launched the ball toJuwan Brescacin. One play later, the Stamps were in the end zone as Mitchell found Michel on a slant route to narrow the Ticats lead to 10-7.

The quick glimpse of confidence for the Stamps was quickly trampled on the following kickoff return. In his CFL debut, Shaqeir Ryan dashed his way through the Calgary kick coverage, making a b-line to the end zone to regain the Ticats’ lead.

After a quick two-and-out by the Stampeders offence, Ryan was introduced to the dark-side of the game following his explosive touchdown. Fielding the Stamps’ punt, Ryan fumbled the ball in Hamilton’s own end of the field, allowing Calgary’s Tunde Adeleke to scoop up the loose ball and scamper into the end zone untouched for the score.

In the first half, it seemed as though it was everything but the offence that was dictating the pace of the game. With two special teams touchdowns and four turnovers, Emmanuel Davis figured he’d add one more before the end of the half when he picked off his former teammate in Masoli.

On the ensuing drive, a procedure call wiped away a Stampeders touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Nick Arbuckle. After a failed second down play, Calgary had to settle for a field goal by Rene Paredes, putting Calgary up 17-16 with under two minutes to play in the half.

Both teams traded field goals in the final minutes of the game with the Stamps taking a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime.

The second half got underway with the Stamps’ DaVaris Daniels sitting on the bench with his shoulder wrapped as a result of an injury sustained in the first half.

Hamilton’s defence continued to keep themselves in the game, and that came particularly accurate on a short-yardage play by Calgary’s Arbuckle in which he fumbled the ball on a designed quarterback sneak. Delvin Breaux scooped up the loose ball, sprinting his way to the end zone for the second defensive touchdown of the game.

The seesaw effect seemed to have mellowed itself out after Calgary had back-to-back majors late in the third quarter. Terry Williams gave the Stamps their second special teams touchdown of the game when he returned a Hajrullahu punt for 83 yards. Then, following a quick two-and-out by Masoli and the Ticats, Bo Levi Mitchell connected with Reggie Begelton for a 99-yard catch-and-run, putting the Stampeders ahead 33-25 following a successful two-point convert.

Begelton served as the epitome of the ‘next man up’ philosophy, finishing the game with five receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown.

Mitchell continued his climb of the CFL’s All-Time Passing list, surpassing his own coach in Dave Dickenson for 24th spot.

Paredes notched his third field goal of the day in the early moments of the fourth quarter, further extending the Stamps lead to 37-25 as Jeremiah Masoli and the Hamilton Ticats looked to piece together a promising drive. That drive, however, came to a halt after Masoli failed to convert on second down on a option play, electing to keep the ball himself and quickly getting wrapped up by the Stamps defence behind the line of scrimmage.

Not wanting to gamble, June Jones chose to go for the sure-points and sent out Hajrullahu for a 13-yard field goal to narrow things at 37-28.

The Stamps’ offence turned to chew out the remainder of the fourth quarter by leaning on Romar Morrisand his running ability. Following his four-touchdown performance against the Eskimos last Saturday, the native of Salisbury, North Carolina ran for 98 yards and a touchdown, helping to secure Calgary’s tenth victory of the season.

The Stampeders will enjoy the victory as they head into Week 15 on a bye before playing host to the Toronto Argonauts the following week. As for the Ticats, they’ll hope to find a ‘W’ out in BC when they travel to BC Place to take on the Lions next week.

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