Calgary Stampeders survive overtime to take down Blue Bombers

Jake Maier and the Calgary Stampeders survived overtime to beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 22-19 on Saturday.

Defensive back Demerio Houston picked off a pass in the end zone by backup quarterback Chris Streveler to give the Stampeders the ball in position to win the game. Kicker Rene Paredes then booted his fourth field goal of the game to seal the win for the Red and White.

After six field goals – and two rouges – in the first three quarters, Maier connected with Marken Michel for the first major of the game in the fourth before the Bombers tied with seconds left to send it to overtime.

Defensive lineman Clarence Hicks added an interception to move Calgary to 2-1.

Streveler almost played the hero for the Bombers by leading a touchdown drive late in the game, but ultimately threw the turnover that gave the Stampeders a chance to come away with the win.

Veteran kicker Sergio Castillo went a perfect four-of-four, including a franchise-record 60-yarder in the fourth quarter.

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The Bombers were the first to strike. After a couple of punts by both teams, Winnipeg put together a long drive halfway through the first quarter to score the first points of the game. Collaros completed passes to Nic Demski and Bailey Feltmate and saw Brady Oliveira grind out yards on the ground to march into Calgary territory. The drive came to a halt after a long pass to the back of the end zone towards Demski fell incomplete and forced the Bombers to settle for a field goal by Castillo.

Calgary responded with a three-point drive of their own. Maier completed a couple of short passes to move the chains and running back Dedrick Mills added yards on the ground to move into Rene Paredes’ range. The veteran split the uprights to tie the game 3-3 early in the second quarter.

The next drive featured the Red and White defence stepping up to take the ball away. Defensive lineman Clarence Hicks jumped a pass from Collaros for the game’s first turnover, giving the home team good field position to start their next march. Maier and the offence were not able to capitalize on it though, turning the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass to Reggie Begelton in the end zone.

Photo: Dave Chidley/

The Stampeders added a single to take a 4-3 lead with under 10 minutes left in the first half before the Bombers added another field goal by Castillo to go ahead 6-4. The three points came at a cost though as Collaros suffered an injury during the drive that would later take him out of the game.

Winnipeg’s defence brought the offence back on the field quickly with an interception by Ford and they capitalized on it with another boot by Castillo to push the lead to 9-4 with 1:39 left in the second quarter.

There was still time for the home team to move into Paredes’ range one more time to make it 9-7 heading into halftime.

The second half began the same way the first one ended, with the Stamps kicking a field goal. Maier completed four of five passes on the drive to set up Paredes for his third field goal of the game.

Streveler took over for Collaros on the next possession but the electric quarterback was unable to move the ball with his first full drive and Winnipeg ended up having to punt the ball back to Calgary. The Stampeders added another rouge to push the lead to 11-9 with 7:07 left in the third.

It was only in the fourth quarter that the first major of the game was scored. The Stampeders mounted a long campaign that ended on a touchdown pass by Maier to Michel to extend the lead to 18-9 with the point after. The drive also included a 25-yard pass from Maier to receiver Clarke Barnes with a beautiful deep ball to the right sideline.

Castillo added a 60-yard field goal with 9:24 left in the fourth quarter to keep the Bombers’ hopes alive. The kick tied for the second longest in CFL history behind only Paul McCallum‘s 63-yarder. The offence would get the ball back after another rouge by the Stamps with 5:04 left in the game and march all the way to Calgary’s 35-yard line, but a third-and-nine pass to Oliveira fell a yard shy of the first down to keep the Stamps ahead.

The Bombers would go on to get one more chance on offence, with Streveler connecting with rookie Kevens Clercius to move the Blue and Gold into Stampeder territory. From there the pivot found Demski in the middle of Calgary’s zone to make it first-and-10 from Calgary’s 16-yard line before connecting with Wolitarsky for the visitors first touchdown of the game. The score tied the game at 19 with 37 seconds left in the game.

In overtime, it seemed as if Streveler and the Bombers would do it again, but a well-timed blitz hurried Streveler into throwing the ball to the waiting arms of Houston, giving possession to the home team in position to win the game. After a couple of plays, Paredes converted the 52-yard field goal to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Stampeders’ receiver Cam Echols suffered a non-contact injury in the second half and did not return to the game.

Winnipeg now returns home to host the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Friday, July 5, while Calgary goes on the road to face the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday, July 6.

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