CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders stayed unbeaten at home this season with a 35-23 win over the visiting B.C. Lions on Friday.
The Stampeders improved to 9-3 atop the CFL’s West Division and to 7-0 at McMahon Stadium with the victory. The Lions dropped to 4-7 with a second loss in a row.
Jeff Fuller and Tony Harrison had touchdown catches for Calgary. Running back Jon Cornish scored on a 16-yard carry and backup quarterback Bryant Moniz also scored on a one-yard plunge.
Kicker Rene Paredes was good on all three of his field-goal attempts, while Lions counterpart Richie Leone was 2-for-3.
B.C.’s Chris Rainey scored touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns of 103 yards each. Running back Andrew Harris added a two-point convert.
Cornish had 12 carries for 41 yards, including his touchdown, in his first game back since breaking his right thumb July 24. Stampeder receiver Eric Rogers passed the 1,000-yard mark on the season with 115 in the game.
John Beck’s second CFL start was over in the second quarter when he was steamrolled by Calgary defensive end Freddie Bishop III.
Beck was replaced by third-stringer Jonathon Jennings. The Saginaw Valley State product completed 15 of 26 pass attempts for 251 yards in relief. Jennings was intercepted three times and twice in the end zone by Calgary’s Keon Raymond.
Calgary starter Bo Levi Mitchell was 21-for-34 in passing for 268 yards and a pair of touchdown throws.
A Jennings fumble recovered by Micah Johnson midway through the fourth quarter gave Calgary the ball on B.C.’s 19-yard line. Cornish’s rumble to the end zone extended the Stampeder lead to 34-21.
Moniz scored on a quarterback sneak and Paredes added a one-point convert for a 28-21 cushion at 5:18.
Rainey’s 103-yard punt return for a major and Andrew Harris’s two-yard dash for a two-point convert tied the game at 21 at 1:53 of the fourth quarter.
Paredes’ 42-yard field goal at 5:52 of the third extended the league’s longest current field-goal streak to 18 in a row.
The hosts led 18-6 at halftime, but the Lions opened the third quarter scoring on Rainey’s 103-yard kickoff return.
Leone kicked a 25-yard field goal with no time remaining in the half. He was also good from 18 yards early in the second quarter.
When Bishop rocked Beck and knocked the football loose for Junior Turner, the Stampeder defensive lineman raced the ball back to the eight-yard line where he was brought down by Lions receiver Shawn Gore.
Mitchell threw to Harrison in the end zone on the next play for an 18-3 lead at the 11-minute mark.
Beck left the game completing nine of 16 passes for 82 yards. Lions’ No. 1 quarterback Travis Lulay is on the six-game injured list with a sprained knee suffered Sept. 3.
Mitchell launched a 38-yard touchdown pass to Fuller in double coverage at 5:49 of the second quarter for a 12-3 lead. The Stampeder quarterback was long on his two-point convert pass attempt to Marquay McDaniel.
The Lions got the ball on Calgary’s 38-yard line late in the opening quarter thanks to Adam Bighill’s recovery of a fumble by Stamps returner Nathan Slaughter. But the Lions didn’t convert the turnover into points as Leone missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt.
Paredes kicked field goals from 37 and 39 yards on Calgary’s first two drives of the game.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press