- Free Agency
WINNIPEG — The Calgary Stampeders are heading back to the playoffs.
Kevin Glenn threw two touchdown passes, while the Stampeders defence forced eight turnovers, as they silenced a raucous crowd at Canad Inns Stadium with a 32-21 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Glenn had an excellent afternoon for the Stamps, completing 21 of his 29 passes for 286 yards.
It was a different story for Joey Elliott, however.
|Related: Stamps at Bombers|
Last week saw Elliott record career numbers en-route to leading the Bombers to their fourth win of the season.
However, things weren’t going Elliott or his defence’s way in the early goings.
After Glenn and his offence weren’t able to garner a first down on their first possession, punter Rob Maver sent 47-yard kick into Winnipeg territory, where returner Demond Washington mishandled the bouncing ball.
Stampeders defensive back Derrius Brooks managed to corral the loose pigskin, giving the Stampeders a fresh set of downs at Winnipeg’s 12 yard line.
Three plays later, running back Jon Cornish punched one in from three yards out to give the Stampeders a 7-0 lead.
The major was Cornish’s 10th rushing score of the season, giving him a one-touchdown lead over Saskatchewan’s Kory Sheets.
After the Bombers weren’t able to generate any positive yardage on their first possession of the game, with Elliott failing to connect on two pass attempts, the Stampeders offence was given another opportunity to add to their lead.
Glenn and Cornish proceeded to engineer a lengthy drive, one that lasted 15 plays and just under eight minutes, and was capped off by a 26-yard field goal by Concordia University product Rene Paredes.
On the Bombers’ ensuing possession, they would run into some more turnover trouble, as running back Chad Simpson fumbled on his first rushing attempt, with the loose ball being recovered by Calgary’s Demonte’ Bolden.
To that point in the first quarter the Winnipeg offence had just 1:24 of field time.
Once again, the turnover would come back to haunt the Blue and Gold, as the Stamps needed just three plays to find the endzone, with veteran receiver Nik Lewis hauling in a 25-yard touchdown to give the Stamps a 16-0 lead.
The extra point wasn’t converted, as holder Bo Levi Mitchell wasn’t able to handle the snap.
Earlier in the quarter, Lewis had extended his consecutive games with a reception streak to 155 games.
However, in just their third possession of the half, the Bombers offence finally seemed to settle down.
Aided by two costly penalties by the Stampeders – including a pass interference flag on Brandon Smith – Elliott led his offence on an 10-play, 52-yard drive that was punctuated by a nine-yard touchdown run by Simpson.
But the Stampeders consistent offence went to work once again, as they converted on numerous second-down attempts with the first half winding down.
However, the Bombers offence managed to hold their own, limiting the strong Calgary attack to a 29-yard field goal by Paredes – his second of the half.
The big stop by the Winnipeg defence seemed to have inject some momentum into the Bombers offence, as the unit would draw themselves closer to Calgary’s lead.
After Elliott completed a 31-yard pass to rookie Chris Matthews, Simpson would tack on his second major of the half, rumbling up the middle for an 11-yard score.
However, with less than 1:0 to go in the first half, the Stampeders offence proved to be too much for the Winnipeg defence to contain.
The Stamps marched uncontested into Winnipeg territory, where Glenn eventually found Marquay McDaniel for a nine-yard touchdown.
McDaniel was initially deemed to be down at the one-yard line, but a successfull challenge by Calgary Head Coach John Hufnagel forced the officials to overturn their ruling.
The Stamps entered the half with a 26-14 lead, with Glenn enjoying a solid day behind centre, having completed 18 of his 24 passes for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
|Defence gets it done|
The Calgary Stampeders defence had a stellar outing, forcing a total of eight turnovers, including four interceptions.
Winnipeg, meanwhile, saw their offence hitch its wagon to Simpson, who registered 46 rushing yards and a pair of scores of his own.
Elliott had a more reserved half than his counterpart, completing just seven passes on nine attempts for 92 yards and no touchdowns.
The second half got underway with both offences playing to two-and-outs.
However, the defensive stalemate proved to be a temporary one, as Elliott connected with receiver Terrence Edwards for a 50-yard strike, his biggest completion of the afternoon.
Elliott then seemed primed to get the Bombers back into the endzone, as he completed two more passes for a combined 32 yards to bring the drive deep into Calgary territory.
However, a poor decision by Elliott proved to be a costly one, as he pass to Edwards in the endzone was intercepted by Stamps’ DB Keon Raymond, ending the drive and silencing the Canad Inns faithful in the process.
Fortunately for Winnipeg, the Stampeders were unable to generate much momentum off the turnover, and were forced to punt away possession once again.
Yet, while the Calgary offence was busy trying to re-discover their rhythm, their defence continued to come up with big plays, as Elliott threw another interception, with Maurice Price jumping the route and returning it 16 yards this time.
However, nothing would materialize off the turnover, as the two defences continued to stand tall against the offences.
After a first half in which scoring seemed to arrive at a premium, the third quarter saw no scoring, and very little movement offensively.
After the Stamps increased their lead to 15 thanks to another field goal by Paredes, the Bombers continued to have trouble keeping control of the ball, as Elliott tossed another interception, his fourth of the game.
But with Elliott now on the sidelines and Alex Brink at quarterback, the Bombers made things slightly more interesting, as Brink found Matthews in the endzone for a 27-yard touchdown.
After the Bombers were unable to re-gain possession following an unsuccessful onside kick, the Bombers would finally catch a break.
With less than a minute remaining, Cornish would fumble the ball, with Jovon Johnson scooping it up before running out of bounds.
However, another turnover would end things for Winnipeg, as the Stampeders forced Brink to fumble, ending their chances for a comeback.