Paredes boots Stamps to last second win over Ticats
Bo Levi Mitchell led a late fourth quarter drive and Rene Paredes hit a game-winning field goal with zeros on the clock to give the Calgary Stampeders a 24-23 win in a thriller over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Friday night at McMahon.
As is the tradition in the last decade, the two previous Grey Cup representatives squared off in Week 1. Friday was a rematch of one of the closest Grey Cup game's in recent memory, one that was almost taken by the 'Cats were it not for a called back punt return touchdown with 35 seconds left on the clock.
This too had a flare for the dramatics with Hamilton controlling the scoreboard for most of the contest only to have Mitchell connect with receiver Jeff Fuller for a massive 28-yard catch to set up the Paredes winner.
Fuller was a handful all night for the Tiger-Cats secondary as the Texas A&M product generated 148 yards on 9 receptions.
.Johnny Sears Jr. recorded two interceptions and a sack in his Ticats debut -- one of which he took to the house -- but it was not enough for Hamilton. The game marked the first time in Bo Levi Mitchell's career that he has thrown three interceptions in a single contest.
Fuller reeled in a 49 yard grab with the tip of his fingers to put the Stamps into scoring territory earlier in the quarter. After Jon Cornish was stuffed on second down, Ted Laurent and the Ticats defensive line would deny Drew Tate on third and goal for a huge goal line stand with five minutes left in the game. Calgary's defence would pin the Ticats deep in their zone and avoided any damage from their inability to score before
It didn't take long for history to be made in the game. Cornish got to work early and passed Willie Burton for fifth all-time in Stamps rushing yards on the team's opening drive.
It was just a few plays later that Sears Jr. intercepted Mitchell and returned the pick 75 yards to give the Ticats an early 7-0 lead.
Fuller was an early favourite target for Mitchell but it was Eric Rogers who hauled in a 30-yard pass to tie the game at 7-7 midway through the first.
The Ticats would be forced to give up a safety after an errant snap attempt on a punt bounced all the way to the endzone, where kicker Justin Medlock opted to give up the two points by kicking it out of bounds to avoid further damage.
Hamilton would give up another point to shorten its lead to 15-10 after a booming 58-yard punt from Rob Maver landed in the Ticats endzone with no return.
A short Hamilton punt put the Stampeders on the 49-yard line to start their drive but could not drive any further as they were stuffed on a third and inches quarterback sneak attempt.
Zach Collaros started the game 10 for 10 on pass attempts until his first incompletion late in the second quarter.
A big hit from Buddy Jackson on Andy Fantuz on a scoring play resulted in Fantuz being helped off the field. He would return to start the second half. Medlock’s field goal extended the Ticats’ lead to 18-10, one they carried into halftime.
Bakari Grant had a 55-yard gain called back in the early third quarter after he was flagged for offensive interference. A big return from Tim Brown put the Stamps in great field position for their first drive on the second half but Craig Butler intercepted Mitchell in the end zone. It was Mitchell’s second pick of the game and another wasted opportunity for Calgary.
Collaros continued to drive the Ticats downfield, highlighted by a 40-yard juggling grab by Terrell Sinkfield.