July 21, 2014

Sinopoli won’t soon forget first major


Nic Sgaggi | Stampeders.com Staff

CALGARY — He started off as a quarterback, converted into a receiver and scored his first Canadian Football League touchdown looking like a running back.

Brad Sinopoli’s first CFL score came in the second quarter of Friday’s matchup against Hamilton on a play which, in theory, provided him with an option to pass or run.

With a Hamilton defender bearing down on him, Sinopoli quickly realized that passing wasn’t going to be an option at all and took the ball himself, creating a highlight-reel 26-yard touchdown out of an ominous situation.

“The first look wasn’t there,” said Sinopoli. “I tried to not to make (the play) into a loss. We got a few blocks downfield. I just tried to make a few moves and, fortunately, we got a touchdown.”

The former University of Ottawa quarterback admitted he would have enjoyed passing for a touchdown but ultimately decided to make the play on the ground.

“It would have been neat to throw for a touchdown but you just want to help the team anyway you can,” said Sinopoli. “I wasn’t dying to throw. I had pressure in my face right away so I just tried to make a play.”

“Yeah, that was something special,” remarked Stamps head coach and general manager Hufnagel. “It was a play designed that he had a pass/run option but he never had a chance to look at throwing the ball before the other team got pressure. (He) made a fantastic move to get away from the first tackler and then juked the second tackler and got himself in the end zone. Fantastic.”

Sinopoli was the only player to find the end-zone in a game which proved to be a defensive showdown. He was quick to credit his defence for giving the team a chance to win.

“The defence played their hearts out,” said Sinopoli. “They kept us in the game the whole time. Especially down at end, they had a couple huge plays with Hamilton pressing. They kept us in it and, fortunately, we were able to make enough plays.”

The Red and White will look to improve offensively heading into Edmonton for a Week 5 matchup that will feature the only two remaining undefeated teams in the CFL.

“It wasn’t how we imagined it would go but we will take the win,” said Sinopoli. “Those kind of games happen.”

Friday’s game marked the lowest point total in a Calgary victory since the Stamps edged the Saskatchewan Roughriders 6-5 on Aug. 22, 1979.

“It was a hard-fought game,” said Stamps head coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “Both teams, I thought, played very physical. It was a close game and we managed to win it. I’m never disappointed when we win.”

“It wasn’t pretty, man, but a win is a win,” said Stamps quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. “Tonight we had to lean on our defence — that’s what championship teams do.

That’s what we’re trying to accomplish.