CALGARY — Jon Cornished registered 86 yards on 18 carries for a pair of touchdowns while Drew Tate threw for 317 yards and a touchdown, as the Stampeders rolled to a 38-10 Canada Day victory over the visiting Montreal Alouettes.
The game marked the first time since the 2004 season in which the Stampeders started a season without both Henry Burris and Joffrey Reynolds in the Calgary offensive backfield.
After the Alouettes went two-and-out on their opening drive, Tate and Cornish walked onto the field as the new leaders of the Calgary offence.
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The two combined to bring the Stamps into field goal range, with sophomore kicker Rene Paredes converting from 38 yards out to give the Stamps an early 3-0 lead.
Moments later, the Calgary defence pitched in on the action, with rookie Keenan MacDougall picking up a Jamel Richardson fumble and returning it 63 yards for a touchdown, increasing the Stamps’ lead to 10.
Following another unsuccessful Alouettes possession, Tate continued to chip away at the Montreal defence, orchestrating a nine-play, 66-yard drive that was capped off by a four-yard run by Cornish, giving the Stamps a 17-0 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
Tate completed his first five passes to start the game, the longest a 17-yard strike to receiver Romby Bryant.
The usually-dangerous Alouettes offence struggled in the first quarter, with QB Anthony Calvillo completing just three passes for 19 yards.
But the second frame saw the Als offence begin to generate some traction. Calvillo completed four consecutive passes to four different receivers, the last of which found the hands of Brian Bratton who cut Calgary’s lead to 11 with a 37-yard touchdown catch.
However, any momentum the Als may have gained was erased on Calgary’s ensuing drive. An undisciplined play by Als linebacker Shea Emry gave Calgary a fresh set of downs and excellent field position inside the Montreal red zone.
Two plays later, Cornish would punch in his second of the game from three yards out, giving the Stamps a 25-7 lead.
The first half would come to a close with Paredes and Montreal kicker Sean Whyte exchanging field goals, bringing the score to 28-10.
Cornish would finish the half with 10 carries for 72 yards and a pair of scores, while the 2011 rushing king Brandon Whitaker had just seven carries for 33 yards.
The second half began with both defences attempting to swing momentum in their favours. The two units exchanged interceptions on three consecutive passes, with Montreal’s Billy Parker and Dwight Anderson picking off Tate, while Brandon Smith intercepted Calvillo.
However, neither team was able to capitalize of the turnovers, keeping the score at 28-10.
On Calgary’s next possession, Tate would find veteran receiver Nik Lewis in the endzone for a 13-yard touchdown, extending their lead to 35-10.
Calvillo’s troubles continued into the fourth quarter, as he was intercepted for the second time of the half, this time by Quincy Butler who returned it 36 yards.
On the ensuing possession, Tate hooked up with Canadian receiver Chris Bauman for a 40-yard gain, bringing the Stamps just outside the Montreal 20-yard line.
The big play led to a 32-yard field goal by Paredes, increasing Calgary’s lead to 28 points.