Stampeders earn win over Argonauts with fourth quarter comeback

TORONTO — The Calgary Stampeders fought through adversity as they managed to shutout the Toronto Argonauts in the fourth quarter on their way to a 22-19 comeback win to close out Week 11 of league action.

Led by the play of their defence, Calgary defensive back Elie Bouka returned an interception for a touchdown late in the third quarter to provide the spark needed to ignite the Stampeders comeback.

Under-centre it was Jake Maier who helped led the Stamps to a late game victory, as the team turned him in the second half. Maier completed 14 of his 18 passing attempts for 156 yards to help led his team in the win over Toronto.

After making Stampeders history in Week 10, Bo Levi Mitchell didn’t quite have the follow up game many had envisioned. The Stamps pivot completed nine of his 16 passing attempts for 149 and two interceptions.

Shawn Bane was the team’s leading offensive player, reeling in a team-high 129 yards on four receptions in the win over Toronto.

Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes led the scoring efforts for his team as he converted each of his three field goal attempts including a 35-yarder that would serve as the eventual game winner.

» Box Score: Stamps, Argos by the numbers
» Though the Lens: Calgary at Toronto
» Watch: Peyton Logan runs 29 yards for Calgary TD
» Stamps defence sparks comeback over Argos

The Calgary offence looked energized from the opening snap, with the first play of the game Mitchell threw a pass deep downfield that found the hands of rookie receiver Jalen Philpot for an 80-yard reception.

Despite the big pick up, the Boatmen defence held their ground and forced the Stamps offence off the field. The stop from the Toronto defence would force Calgary to settle for a field goal as they brought out veteran kicker Rene Paredes, who hit an effortless 23-yarder for the game’s opening points.

Toronto responded with a scoring drive of their own as running back AJ Ouellette headlined the drive with a tough 22-yard carry to help his team into striking distance.

Calgary would match the tempo set by the Argos defence, as they too made crucial stops that would force Toronto to settle for a field goal. Boris Bede lined up the kick and knocked through the 10-yard attempt, helping his team tie the game.

The defensive back and forth would consume the rest of the first quarter of action. With their offence back on the field, Mitchell was looking downfield for another big-play, however the ball sailed high and into the hands of Argos newcomer Maurice Carnell for the interception.

The Stampeders would again match the pace of Toronto. Bethel-Thompson completed a pass to Ouellette that looked like it would go for a big gain in Toronto’s favour, but Calgary’s Brad Muhammed punched the ball out of Ouellette’s hands to give his team the ball back with the first quarter coming to an end.

Calgary began to lean on the strength of their running backs early in the second quarter of action, and the Stamps would be rewarded as they were the first team to find the end zone in the game. Mills carried the ball twice on the drive for 16 yards, before Peyton Logan surged through a handful of Argo defenders on his way to a 29-yard touchdown run.

Midway through the second quarter it was Toronto’s turn to match pace, as they begun to mount a scoring drive in response to the Stamps. Toronto back up quarterback Chad Kelly broke free for a 21-yard rush, before converting a third down sneak play to extend the drive.

With the new set of downs, McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw a check-down swing pass to running back Javon Leake who bullied his way to the one-yard line. On the goal line, Kelly capped off the drive has he surged forward to convert on the goal line and help his team even the score.

With just over three minutes remaining in the first half, Toronto’s defence was able to strike for another forced turnover. Mitchell appeared to complete a pass to Philpot, however Argos’ defensive back Chris Edwards jarred the ball loose with a hit as his team was able to recover the fumble.

Despite the favourable field position following the turnover, the Boatmen would be held out of the end zone as Calgary defensive lineman Mike Rose made his way into the backfield on second down for his second sack of the game.

The Argonauts would be forced to try for a field goal, as Bede helped his team assume the lead with a 35-yard make.

After a short punt from the Stamps, Toronto found themselves starting with good field position and a chance to score in the final minute of the first half.

Calgary’s defence would hold strong and limit the damage from the miskick, as they forced Toronto to attempt their third field goal of the night. Bede connected from long-range as he converted a 40-yarder to extend the Boatmen lead to end the first half of play.

To open the second half of action, the Stampeders made a quarterbacking change and opted to start Jake Maier under-centre. Mitchell completed nine of his 16 passes for 149 yards and two interceptions in the first half.

Maier completed his first passing attempt of the game to Philpot on an out route, however the Stamps would still find themselves short of the first down as the Argos forced a two and out on Calgary’s opening drive.

Nearing the midway mark of the third quarter it would be Toronto finding the first points of the second half. Bede connected on his fourth consecutive make of the night as he split the uprights on a 27-yard attempt to give his team a 19-10 lead.

Nearing the end of the third quarter it was the Stampeders defence providing a much needed spark for their team.

As Bethel-Thompson dropped back to pass he fired a ball intended for DaVaris Daniels, but the pass sailed high and into the hands of Calgary’s Bouka, who saw nothing but open field as he returned the interception 62-yards for the score. Helping his team chip away at Toronto’s lead.

The Stamps opted to try for the two-point conversion, but the Argos’ defence was ready for the attempt as they held Mills out of the end zone on the rushing attempt.

Maier begun to find some semblance of offensive rhythm nearing the end of the third quarter. The Stamps pivot completed back-to-back passes for 24 and 13 yard, and had the ball on the Toronto 33-yard line to start the final frame of action.

The Boatmen defence would force an incompletion on second down from Maier, forcing the Stamps to attempt a long-range field goal. Paredes struck a well-placed kick that found its way down the middle of the uprights as he converted on the 41-yard attempt to tie the game at 19-19.

Maier continued to help his team battle back against the Argonauts in the fourth quarter. With their offence back on the field following a stop from the Stampeder defence, Maier completed a 37-yard pass up the sideline to Kamar Jorden to help his team into scoring range.

While they would be held out of the end zone, Calgary would still manage to take control of the game as Paredes converted from 35-yards out for his third field goal of the night, giving his team their first lead since the second quarter.

With eight minutes remaining the Stamps appeared as if they would continued to build on their lead, and Maier engineered an eight-play drive that started from Calgary’s own 20-yard line.

Standing on the Toronto 17-yard line, Maier dropped back to pass and was looking to wards the end zone hoping to put the game out of reach.

With the ball in the air, Toronto defensive back Deshaun Amos made a great play to come away with the interception to give his team the ball back nearing the three-minute warning.

The Stamps defence would limit the damage following the turnover as they forced Toronto to punt the ball away, and took over possession of the ball with two-minutes remaining.

After holding the Stamps short of a first down, the Argonauts found themselves with their offence back on the field with 53-seconds remaining and a chance to tie the game.

After finding Daniels to for a 14-yard gain to extend the Toronto drive, Bethel-Thompson dropped back again looking for a play through the air. Calgary’s defence was waiting as Shawn Lemon found the Argos pivot in the backfield for the sack forced fumble.

Former Argonauts defensive lineman Cameron Judge found the loose ball to recover the fumble and seal the comeback win for his team.

In Week 12 the Toronto Argonauts will resume their four game season series with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as they get set to host their rivals at BMO Field on Friday night.

Calgary will travel back West as they faceoff against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from IG Field to kickoff the new week.

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