June 7, 2024

Stamps spoil Mitchell’s homecoming in win over Ticats

Leah Hennel/CFL.ca

CALGARY — Bo Levi Mitchell returned to McMahon Stadium on Friday, but the Calgary Stampeders made sure they defended their home turf in a 32-24 win.

Mitchell spent the first 10 years of his career in Calgary, winning a pair of Most Outstanding Player awards and Grey Cups. He received a standing ovation from Stampeders fans early in the first quarter but it was his former understudy, Jake Maier that had the better night at quarterback. Maier made 21-26 passes for 252 yards a pair of touchdowns as the Stamps won their season opener. Their

Clark Barnes (a team high 61 yards) and Cam Echols caught Maier’s touchdown passes, while cornerback Demerio Houston had an interception in his Stampeders debut. Rene Paredes was a perfect 6-6 on field goals. At 1-0, the Stamps have a winning record; something that eluded them the entirety of the 2023 season.

Mitchell made 27-38 passes for 300 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Running back James Butler had 119 rushing yards on 13 carries in the Ticats’ loss, while the team’s receiving corps was stymied by the Stamps’ defence and some dropped passes that hindered their production. Marc Liegghio made 3-4 field goals for Hamilton.

» Depth Chart: HAM | CGY
» Images: Hamilton at Calgary
» Stats: Stamps, Ticats by the numbers
» 3 stats that defined Calgary’s win over Hamilton
» Watch: Cam Echols brings in his first CFL TD in TRIPLE coverage


After a few quick possessions from each offence, the home team got on the board first. Paredes closed out a five-play, 29-yard Stampeders drive with a 42-yard field goal at 3:36 of the first quarter.

The Stamps showed some guts on their next scoring drive, with short-yardage QB Tommy Stevens pushing the ball across on a third-down attempt at his own 19-yard line. The Stamps got the ball over the midfield mark and Paredes came back out and put a 51-yard field goal through to push his team’s lead to 6-0 at 12:16.

As the players got comfortable through the first half, the kickers led the way with scoring. The Ticats had a 10-play, 65-yard drive come up short, so Liegghio finished it off with a 10-yard field goal at 1:57 of the second quarter, getting his team on the board at 6-3. Paredes stepped up again at 6:02 with a 25-yarder and after a Ticats’ single via Nik Constantinou made it a 9-4 game, Maier and the Stamps’ offence came alive.

Maier found receiver Cam Echels on a seven-yard touchdown toss to complete a six-play, 68-yard drive. Paredes’ convert pushed the score to 16-4 at 12:34 of the second quarter.

The Stamps’ defence stepped up next, as Demerio Houston — last year’s interception leader — picked off Mitchell and got the Stamps’ offence back on the field at Hamilton’s 33-yard line. That short drive ended with Paredes sending his fourth field goal of the night through from 43-yards out.

Mitchell’s half came to an early end after the CFL’s injury spotter flagged a hit on the quarterback that required examination from trainers. With Taylor Powell in for Mitchell, the Ticats put together a short drive that resulted in a 31-yard field goal from Liegghio, which made it a 19-7 Calgary advantage at the half.

Mitchell returned to action to start the second half, but saw another drive fall short, which brought Liegghio out for a 47-yard attempt that missed and landed in the hands of Erik Brooks. The shifty returner took the ball out 84 yards and could smell the end zone before he was pushed out of bounds at Hamilton’s 32-yard line. While the Stamps weren’t able to turn the big gain into a touchdown, Paredes’ fifth field goal of the night went from 37 yards at 8:54 to push the score to 22-7.

The Ticats got their first touchdown of the night in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. Mitchell led a 12-play, 66-yard drive downfield that was finished off from a yard out by Ante Litre. Liegghio’s convert at the 31-second mark of the fourth quarter got the Ticats in striking distance trailing 22-14.

The Stamps had a response on deck. At the end of a five-play, 60-yard drive, Maier found Barnes for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Paredes’ convert at 3:30 restored the Stamps’ lead, letting them sit at 29-14.

After a Liegghio 42-yard field goal, Paredes connected from 37 yards out for his sixth field goal at 12:41 to put his team up 15, 32-17.

Mitchell got some success with his receivers late on a touchdown pass to Kiondré Smith, capping a five-play, 72-yard drive. Liegghio’s convert went through with 1:11 to play in a 34-22 game. The Ticats’ onside kick attempt was unsuccessful, with the Stampeders taking the ball at midfield and making one last defensive stand in the game’s dying seconds.

With their win, the Stamps became the first team in CFL history to win 700 all-time games.

Next up for the Stamps is a trip to BC Place, where they’ll face the Lions on Saturday, June 15. The Ticats will host the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday, June 16.

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