Last minute FG block leads Calgary Stampeders past Hamilton Tiger-Cats

CALGARY — Tre Roberson blocked Hamilton’s game-winning field goal attempt in the final minute to help give the Calgary Stampeders a 19-18 win over the Tiger-Cats on Saturday. The Stamps now hold an 8-4 record after winning three straight games since Bo Levi Mitchell’s return from injury.

The Ticats went ahead early on a pair of field goals from Lirim Hajrullahu before the Stamps responded with a field goal from Rene Paredes. Hamilton scored the game’s first touchdown when Brandon Banks reached the end zone on a 30-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter, and both teams traded field goals before half-time to make it a 17-6 game.

Paredes added two more field goals in the third quarter to cut Hamilton’s lead down to just six points, and the Stamps grabbed their first lead with under seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter when Mitchell threw a 15-yard touchdown to Eric Rogers. The Ticats attempted a 42-yard field goal with less than a minute remaining, but Roberson came up with the big play to seal the victory.

Mitchell completed 60 per cent of his passes for 342 yards in the win. Rogers caught eight-of-11 targets for 129 yards, while Reggie Begelton had another strong performance with 106 receiving yards on six catches.

Hamilton’s defence forced the Stamps to settle for five field goal attempts, and they held Calgary to just 32 rushing yards and 129 passing yards in the first half.

Hamilton opened up the scoring midway through the first quarter on a 25-yard field goal from Hajrullahu after the Stamps came up with a defensive stop in their own end. Addison helped set up the field goal with a 36-yard catch.

Hajrullahu added a 22-yard field goal later in the quarter after Dane Evans helped engineer a six-play, 51-yard drive. Addison came through with the biggest play of the drive once again by breaking off an 18-yard run.

The Stamps responded before the end of the quarter with a 42-yard field goal from Paredes that cut Hamilton’s lead in half. Mitchell completed back-to-back 19-yard passes to Rogers and Begelton to set up the kick, with Begelton making an impressive grab before gaining an extra 13 yards.

But Hamilton reached the end zone first, with Banks turning on the jets in open space for a 30-yard touchdown. Addison also chipped in 29 yards on the drive, and Anthony Coombs added the two-point conversion on the ground to give the Ticats a 14-3 lead in the second quarter.

The Ticats were driving for more points before the end of the opening half, but Roberson notched his seventh interception of the season when he went up high to pick off a deep pass intended for Banks.

Mitchell and the Stamps’ offence attempted to seize the opportunity provided by the turnover, but Hamilton’s defence forced another field goal after standing tall on a long drive. Paredes made the 49-yard kick with under a minute left, but the Ticats answered back with a quick drive that led to a 45-yard field goal from Hajrullahu to make it a 17-6 game heading into the third quarter.

The Ticats notched a single on the opening kickoff of the third quarter to extend their lead to 11 points.

The Stamps responded once again, this time with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that led to a 17-yard field goal from Paredes. Rogers came up with a big 22-yard grab against double coverage and Ka’Deem Carey racked up 34 yards on a pair of catches to help set up the kick.

Calgary notched another takeaway on defence when Raheem Wilson stripped the ball away from Banks after the receiver took a pitch from Addison on a sweep play. Brandon Smith recovered the ball for the Stamps, and Mitchell completed key passes to Josh Huff and Rogers to move the chains and set up a 20-yard field goal from Paredes.

Paredes’ fourth field goal of the game cut Hamilton’s lead down to just six points with three minutes left in the third quarter.

A 29-yard catch from Begelton gave Calgary needed momentum on a fourth quarter drive, and Mitchell made the most of it by throwing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Rogers on the very next play. Paredes kicked the extra point to give the Stamps a 19-18 lead with just under seven minutes to play.

Both teams will be in action again next Friday in Week 15, with the Calgary Stampeders facing the Toronto Argonauts on the road and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats travelling to take on the Edmonton Eskimos.

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