Stamps win Part 1 of 3 of Battle of Alberta

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Stampeders with 24-18 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos

The divisional rivals play head-to-head 3 times this year but wrap up by Labor Day. Then we won’t see another game between the two until the playoffs. With the win, Calgary shares first place in the West division despite playing the last 6 games with their backup quarterback. Not very many people thought the Stamps could win so many games when it was Game 2. But the team has consistently improved particularly on defence.

On offence, it wasn’t a lot but it was enough for Nick Arbuckle. He threw for under 200 yards including one touchdown and one INT. Not in the stats were the few untimely drops by the receivers. On the ground both teams struggled to get things moving. Leading rusher Romar Morris, back from an achilles heel blow out in last year’s playoffs, only had 14 total yards rushing. Despite at times sputtering, the offence moved the ball down when it mattered. Although, the red-zone production needs work since most of the scoring came courtesy of Rene Paredes, who was 4 for 5 on the night.

The talk around the league is how good Edmonton is on D. But it’s Calgary’s defence, specifically the secondary, that continues to shine. Edmonton may have a stronger front four, but the Stamps blanked the Eskimos in the first half. Although Edmonton came on late, and had a glimmer of a chance to win the game on the last play, it was too little too late.

The talk of the game centered around special teams. Terry Williams returned two kick returns for touchdowns, although one was called back. He routinely gave Calgary field position, and responded when Edmonton gained momentum. His kickoff return for a touchdown came right after Edmonton scored their first major of the game. Williams fumbled the ball in the fourth, a costly mistake, but ultimately Calgary hang on for the victory

The CFL is struggling to keep fans, more evident this year than years prior. Having double-headers on THURSDAYS?!?!?! is part to blame. The Stampeders have another short week, the third of the season, visiting Winnipeg for the clash of the two divisional rivals next Thursday. Winter will take sole possession of first place in the West.

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