CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders were triumphant in this year’s Labour Day Classic, defeating the Edmonton Eskimos thanks in part to the efforts of fourth-year slotback Anthony Parker.
Parker saw the field for the first time midway through the second quarter and took advantage of his chance when he hauled in a 27-yard TD catch to give the Stamps a bigger lead.
“It was a real go-ahead moment,” said Parker. “We were only up by one at that point. To be able to make a play at that time in the game to give us the lead, I think it was important and it was the momentum that we needed.
“It felt awesome,” Parker continued. “It was an important time in the game. I literally hadn’t been in the game yet. I came in for that one play and was just fortunate enough that I timed it up nicely and jumped up and was able to catch it on top of (defender Aaron Grymes).”
Parker spoke about the significance of scoring such a crucial touchdown on Labour Day.
“Any time you get a chance to make a big play on Labour Day, you’re going to remember that for some time,” he said. “I think the other thing is that it was such a big game in the sense that we’re both 7-1 and it was for first in the league. It was nice to get those winning points out there.”
He admitted he had no idea how important his score would eventually be.
“I wasn’t aware at the time,” Parker said. “I wasn’t sure that it was going to be the difference. But that said, every point you can get on Labour Day is going to be valuable. You try to bank them and it ended up being the difference.”
Though Calgary has now bested Edmonton twice this season, Parker knows that a win in the Labour Day rematch on Sept. 6 at Commonwealth Stadium could prove to be the Red and White’s most difficult challenge to date.
“They’ve got strong players all around,” Parker said. “Their offence is obviously a pretty explosive offence. When you look at defensively, they’re big, strong, fast all around and they’re opportunistic.”
The Stampeders did not commit any offensive turnovers in Monday’s contest. Parker knows they will need to bring the same ball protection into Week 11 in order to produce a similar result.
“We were fortunate today,” he said. “We did a good job protecting the football. Against a team like (Edmonton), that’s the difference.”