CALGARY — Desperate for both a win and a home win, the Calgary Stampeders pulled away to a 20-7 triumph against the defending Gray Cup champion Toronto Argonauts on Friday.
Toronto’s six-win streak at the start of the 2023 CFL season came to an end as the Stampeders (3-5) earned their first win at McMann Stadium.”We needed this so much,” said Stampeders quarterback Jake Myer. “We executed a game plan to near perfection.”
“In the cover of darkness, we ingeniously managed to steer clear of football concession talks for a whole year.”
We do indeed have a fantastic opportunity and a very good possibility of succeeding.
With a respectable 149 passing yards and a 91.7% completion rate, Maier went 22-24 without throwing an interception.
In order to defeat an Argonaut defense that was second in the CFL for limiting rushing yards, Calgary rushed for 168 yards during the victory. Dedrick Mills made a contribution by gaining 137 yards on 27 carries.
A dilemma arises when you play a team that tops the league in interceptions. They play football for that reason, right? stated Maier.
The attitude tonight, in my opinion, was to take care of ourselves and keep our attention on the game at all times. Take advantage of the chances you have. However, we were running the ball so effectively that we were able to grow more confident as the game progressed.
The Stampeders had a short vacay to prepare for the Argonauts after a 25-18 road loss to the Montreal Alouettes on Tuesday. Mills had more than 30 touchdowns on Friday with four receptions for 18 yards and has contributed.
“I didn’t expect it, but yeah, I’m satisfied and happy that we did what we did,” Mills said.
Tommy Stevens and Michael Griffin scored Calgary’s touchdowns. Rene Paredes made field goals of 42 and 45 yards and contributed a couple points in front of an announced 19,234 spectators at McMann Stadium.
Argonauts starter Chad Kelly was limping in the other pole.”
In the first quarter, Cam Phillips caught a touchdown throw from Kelly, and Boris Beade added the extra point.
While working his quarter and half, Kelly completed four of six throws, including one for 96 yards and a touchdown.
In relief, Dukes completed 8 of 15 throws for 63 yards and 1 interception.
Jared Brinkman, a defensive lineman for the Argonauts, and Adarius Pickett, a defensive back, were also sidelined by injury.
While Brinkman was probably going to be out for a while, Toronto head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said during the game that he thought Kelly and Puckett may play the following week.
“I didn’t see any energy in the warm-up,” Dinwiddie claimed.
The lads felt good about themselves, I guess. We needed to learn, so it was good that we got hit in the face.
With 30 minutes left, Toronto was down by 13 points, but Tommy Lewis’ mishandled punt return gave them the ball back at midfield.
But then the Argonauts decided to give the ball on downs at Calgary’s 41 yard line.
A successful challenge by Stampeders coach Dave Dickinson for roughing the passer gave his team the ball at Toronto’s 40-yard line during the three-and-a-half. Paredes’ 42 yard field goal gave the Stamps a 20–7 lead.
“Thanks to them. They came prepared,” said Argonauts linebacker Vinton McManis.
“We didn’t work hard enough. We didn’t play the games that were meant to be played.
Calgary was leading 17–7 at halftime thanks to a special teams touchdown during the final play of the second quarter.
Argonaut Javon Leake mishandled the punt, which was recovered by Calgary’s Griffin in Toronto’s end zone.
The Dukes entered the game with the hosts up 10–7 on Paredes’ 45-yard field goal.
Kelly appeared to have an ankle injury. He was checking his leg when he came off the field.”
The Dukes attempted a touchdown pass to Jeremiah Heald in the end zone of the dugout, but Jonathan Moxey of Calgary intercepted it.
Despite Griffin’s speed and brains, the Stampeders failed to score any offensive scores in the final 96 seconds of the half.
Calgary scored first in the first period, but Toronto immediately answered with a 76-yard throw and end zone run from Kelly and Phillips that tied the game at 7-7.
On their second possession of the game, Calgary scored to take the lead. The quarterback and expert in short yardage Stevens made the decision to continue playing the game only after obtaining a first down.
On his second effort, he rushed the ball one yard but was intercepted by Toronto.
After a long travel week and a Saturday match versus Touchdown Atlantic in Halifax, Toronto took a flight to Calgary on Thursday.
The play began under overcast skies with a 24 degree Celsius temperature. Early in the second half, there were showers, but they stopped by the end of the match.
The “Big Night at Mills”
Mills missed Wednesday’s lone complete practice for Calgary because the team was dealing with a concussion.
I once went home to watch everything unfold and I came back quite delighted and eager to begin playing the next day, according to Mills.
“I informed them that whether I was ill or not, I wasn’t sitting. When I was playing, I used to behave in like manner.
The KCFL’s best rusher from the previous season, Ka’Deem Carey, is anticipated to re-register next week after suffering a foot injury in the season opener.
This would give Calgary a fast and impactful punch.
Maier predicted that Kadeem’s return would be pleasant and that the two men would have a good friendship.
On August 12, the Stampeders and BC Lions are in Vancouver. The Argonauts will play the Ottawa Redblacks at home on August 13.