Stampeders stun Winnipeg with last minute FG, TD

CALGARY — Rene Paredes‘ 27-yard, last-minute field goal sent the Calgary Stampeders into the playoffs on a high note, as they defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 13-12.

In the last game of the 2021 regular-season, both teams implemented a two-quarterback system to preserve the health of their starters. Both Bo Levi Mitchell and Zach Collaros started the game with Mitchell throwing for 39 yards before Jake Maier took over for him. Maier finished the game with 177 yards and an interception and a touchdown.

For the Bombers, it was much of the same as Collaros completed seven passes for 73 yards before Dru Brown lined up under centre, throwing for 49 yards.

With the cold Alberta air making the passing game less than ideal, the Bombers kept the ball in Johnny Augustine‘s hands, as he ran for 148 yards on 22  carries.

» Through the Lens: Winnipeg at Calgary
» Boxscore: Bombers, Stamps by the numbers 


After enjoying a week off and watching Sean McGuire from the sideline against the Montreal Alouettes, Collaros reclaimed his spot under centre. Looking as sharp as he has all season, Collaros’ arm led the Bombers into Stamps’ territory with him finding Rasheed Bailey for a 39-yard completion.

With the Bombers knocking on the door, Dru Brown was subbed in for Collaros as part of the team’s short-yardage package. After converting a third-and-one, Brown stayed on the field looking to score the game’s first points. Collecting the snap, brown rolled out to his left but was met by a blitzing Jameer Thurman met brown in the backfield, stripping the ball. Javien Elliott scooped up the ball and ran it back for a 28-yard swing

Following a stalled-out Stamps’ drive in the opening minutes of the second quarter, the Bombers found themselves again threatening to score. Following a trio of first-down garnering runs by Augustine who eclipsed the 100-yard mark before the half, Sergio Castillo broke the scoreless tie for the Bombers with a 15-yard field goal.

Leading 3-0 now, Collaros’ night came to an end in the second quarter with Brown taking over under centre.

Facing a chance to extend their lead in the dying seconds of the half, Castillo missed a 52-yard field goal attempt wide right.

In the third quarter, the Stamps made a quarterback change of their own as Maier took to the field in replacement of Mitchell. His first drive saw back-to-back impletions which prompt a punt.

After both teams traded two-and-outs throughout the third, Maier tossed the game’s first interception with Mike Jones making a sideline snag to provide a spark for the Bombers.

With the ball in their hands now, a two-yard run by Augustine and an incomplete pass intended for Drew Wolitasrky required Castillo to take the field again. This time, his 45-yard attempt extended the Bombers’ lead to 6-0.

The Bombers tacked on a pair of field goals with one from 46-yards and 50-yards out to extend their lead to 12-0.

Calgary found the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter after starting on their own 35-yard line, Maier connected with Ante Milanovic Litre for a gain of 67-yards, Paredes sailed a 32-yard attempt through the uprights to make it 12-3 for the Bombers.

With under two minutes left to play, Maier and the Stamps’ offence looked for and found a big play from Luther Hakunavanhu who hauled in a 57-yard reception. Hakunavanhu shrugged of tackles while fighting for an extra 26-yards which ended in the end zone. Paredes’ point-after-try made it a two-point game with the Stamps trailing 12-10.

After Winnipeg was forced to punt, the Stampeders zeroed in on the win. Following a 22-yard completion to Hakunavanhu, the Stamps were in Bombers’ territory. Back-to-back runs by Milanovic-litre set the stage for Paredes who sealed the win for the Stamps.

Winnipeg will enjoy the fruits of their labour as their first-place finish awards them with a first-round bye and look forward to hosting the Western Final on December 4th.

The Stampeders, on the other hand, will not have as direct of a route to the Western Final as they first take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders next weekend at Mosiac Stadium in the Western Semi-Final.

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