Happy Canada Day!
How many of you were about ready to shut off the TV by the time the 4th quarter rolled around? I was, but glad I didn’t. The Stampeders came off of their early bye-week to face a worthy Divisional opponent at home. The BC Lions and the Stampeders came in both looking for their first win of the season.
On all accounts, BC dominated play from the get-go.
The home squad looked to be in missing a beat similar to their season start two weeks ago. The defensive line and linebackers having trouble making stops. The offence…the offence was totally missing. Bo Mitchell struggled to find a rhythm with his receivers. He threw for 2 TDs and 1 INT. As for the run game, it was essentially nonexistent. Calgary was badly outplayed for 55 minutes. But the nature of the CFL gives you a chance even into the dying minutes if you can stick with it. The NFL is boring in the dying minutes given all of the timeouts and play clock. In the three down game anything is possible.
Down three scores passed the three minute warning, Mitchell took a throw before clenching his right shoulder. He has what seems to be a pectoral injury. That meant, with the stamps knocking on the door late, their chances stood with backup quarterback Nick Arbuckle and the fledgling offense.
+1 for late game heroics.
Arbuckle put on a perfect show completing 9 of 9 passes. He connected with Eric Rogers, Eric Rogers, and Eric Rogers. Rogers caught three touchdowns on the day and three extra point conversions. Arbuckle first capped off the drive replacing Mitchell. Then after the two-point conversion the Stampeders needed to recover the onside kick.
Onside kicks are rarely successful, but somehow the Special Teams drew up a plan that saw speedster Klukas run untouched to deflect the ball. Eric Rogers once again, Johnny on the spot, recovered the football to give the Stampeders a chance to tie the game with a field goal.
Within field goal range, on second and long, Arbuckle connected a clutch throw with Sidani. Now the Stampeders were no longer thinking tie, but win, possibly taking the lead for the first time in the game with under a minute to play.
Tap Eric Rogers once again. After BC took an unsportsmanlike taunting penalty on him, he thoroughly worked over Eric Grimes for catch after catch after catch. Rogers caught the ball again in the end zone to give the team a four-point lead. That was it.
The news out of the town for the upcoming week will be whether or not Bo Mitchell is healthy enough to play on Saturday versus the Riders. If not it will be Nick Arbuckle’s first start as a CFL backup. The rolling carousel continues for the Stamps who started the season decimated by a loss of talent. We will see how far the next man up mantra can go. One has to assume there’s a breaking point.t.