Bend but don’t break. In round one of the Labour Day Classic, the Calgary Stampeders sputtered on offence, but did just enough to squeak out a win with an end of game field-goal. Both teams will want to tidy things up before the re-match in Edmonton on Friday. What this game was, however, was a hard hitting bruising affair. Players left, right, and centre going down with injury. A true battle of Alberta.
On the field the Stamps continued their MO of being slow starters. 13 points in the first half, but repeated trips to the red-zone with only field goals to show for it. That doesn’t include a Rene Paredes miss in the second quarter. He would redeem himself later, but you had the sense if the team was going to seize back momentum, the defence was going to have to step up.
Despite giving up 14 points late in the second quarter, in the second half the D came out to play and gave the team life. 3 forced fumbles stole points from Edmonton and turned the eventual tide.
Injuries played a factor as star receivers from both sides went down. Jorden and Walker left the game with knee injuries. Jorden’s doesn’t look good…. The turf monster also ate Bo Mitchell in the 3rd quarter. He left the game for some time, but stuck on a brace and returned in the 4th to give the team the extra push including the late game drive for the eventual game winning field goal.
Don Jackson put his fire into the run game stacking up 115 yards on 17 carries.
As the teams prep for the quick turnaround, both will want to improve from the squandered opportunities. Edmonton certainly struggled on offence in the second half putting up a paltry 3 points, but it was Calgary’s offence that goes MIA in the red-zone including 4 trips without TDs. They are among the league’s worst teams in red-zone production. Fix this issue and the second half wo’nt seem as though the Stamps are regressing as everyone else levels the playing field.