VANCOUVER — The Calgary Stampeders continue to climb the West Division standings, on the heels of a 39-10 win on Saturday night over the BC Lions.
Bo Levi Mitchell made 22 of 32 passes for 270 yards with a touchdown, while rookie receiver Luther Hakunavanhu pulled in the first touchdown of his career, helping the Stamps to their third consecutive win with all three phases looking sharp in the process. With the win, Calgary improved to 5-4, moving past the 4-5 Lions in the standings.
Michael Reilly made 13 of 25 passes for 145 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Lions have lost three straight, all of them at home.
The Lions got the start that they wanted, finding the end zone on just their second drive of the night. BC got a five-play drive that was led by Reilly and finished off by backup QB Nathan Rourke, who punched it in from a yard out at 5:20 of the first quarter. Reilly looked to the freshly-returned Lemar Durant on a two-point convert, but the receiver wasn’t able to pull the ball in, so the score sat at 6-0.
The Stamps got the ball back and found their answer. Mitchell engineered a 13-play drive that took over eight minutes off the clock, capped with a 16-yard touchdown toss to Hakunavanhu. Rene Parades’ steady foot sent the extra point through at 13:54 to give the Stampeders a 7-6 lead.
Paredes tacked three points onto the Stamps’ total with a 42-yard field goal at 6:12 of the second quarter and he helped add to that total before the half came to a close. With just 33 seconds left in the half, Ante Milanovic-Litre blocked a Lions’ punt and the Stamps took over at at the 55-yard line. That short drive led to a 39-yard field goal from Parades that put Calgary up 16-6 at the half.
Calgary got a big boost from its special teams unit to open the second half. Roc Thomas took the opening kickoff back 101 yards for an incredible return touchdown. Parades was quickly back out on the field, with his extra point making it a 23-6 game just 19 seconds into play.
After a missed field goal by Lions’ kicker Jimmy Camacho yielded a point, Paredes hit from 45 yards out at 7:17 of the third to give the Stamps a 19-point advantage.
Parades opened the fourth quarter with a 28-yard field goal to make it a 29-10 game.
Down 19, the Lions’ offence began to feel the pressure to produce and start to cut into the sizeable deficit it faced. Instead, the Stamps’ defence sunk its teeth into its opponent a little more. Linebacker Jameer Thurman tipped a Reilly pass and defensive back Raheem Wilson dove to pull the interception in, his first of the season and just the second one that Reilly had thrown all year.
Setting up at BC’s 45-yard line, Mitchell got the Stamps to BC’s 11-yard line before Parades came back out to send his sixth field goal of the night home, this one from 18 yards out, pushing his team’s lead to 22 points at 8:14.
Calgary was thinking nail in the coffin when Jonathan Moxey skied to snag a pressured Reilly’s cross-field pass and ran it back 53 yards for the touchdown. Paredes’ point after pushed the score to 39-10 with five minutes left in the game.
Both teams closed out the lopsided game with their backup Canadian quarterbacks on the field. Michael O’Connor finished for Mitchell, while Nathan Rourke was in for Reilly.
Things get no easier for the Lions, who will head into Winnipeg on Saturday to face the 9-1 Blue Bombers. The Stamps will see a familiar face on Saturday. They’ll host the Saskatchewan Roughriders to close out the CFL’s Week 12 triple-header.