The Calgary Stampeders stormed into the nation’s capital and ran out of town with a well-earned 27-3 win over the hometown Ottawa REDBLACKS on Week 5’s edition of Thursday Night Football.
Bo Levi Mitchell left the contest in the second quarter, but not before helping stake the Stamps to a 17-0 lead with a 16-for-21, 161-yard performance that included a touchdown. Running back Don Jackson ground his way to a tough 102 rush yards, and the Calgary defence held Ottawa to an eye-popping 27 yards and one solitary first down in the first half.
The second half passed without incident — the REDBLACKS incapable of moving the chains, backup Nick Arbuckle managing the game for Calgary — and the Stamps left Ottawa with their perfect record intact.
Calgary opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, as a 38-yard Mitchell completion to Kamar Jorden set up a one-yard touchdown plunge for rookie Romar Morris — his first career touchdown coming in his CFL debut. Mitchell then found DaVaris Daniels on the two-point convert to give Calgary an 8-0 lead.
Coordinator DeVone Claybrooks’s defence then shut the door on the REDBLACKS, limiting its hosts to just 13 net yards in the first quarter.
Momentum swung further in the Stamps’ direction on Ottawa’s second possession of the second quarter; a Trevor Harris pass intended for Diontae Spencer was deflected by Brandon Smith, then tipped by Alex Singleton into the waiting arms of Tre Roberson.
Five plays later, Mitchell found Juwan Brescacin for a 10-yard touchdown; Morris’s plunging two-point convert attempt came up short and the lead stood at 14-0.
Harris’s tough day continued on the very next possession, as he was sacked heavily by Micah Johnson on first down before tossing a fluttering interception to Emmanuel Davis on second.
That pick resulted in a 17-yard chip shot of a field goal from Rene Paredes, and Calgary took a 17-0 lead.
Mitchell suffered an injury later in the second quarter, when he took a dangerous low tackle from Ottawa’s Danny Mason — the perpetrator received a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty, while Mitchell was hustled to the locker room and shut down for the night.
The REDBLACKS defence then forced a Calgary punt, only to have return man Diontae Spencer fumble it. The Stamps recovered on Ottawa’s 23-yard line, and two plays later a 25-yard boot from Paredes sent Calgary to the locker room with a 20-0 lead.
Ottawa’s offence showed some life on the opening drive of the second half, with Harris and co. driving down into the red zone only to stall on three tries from inside the 10-yard line; an 11-yard Lewis Ward field goal got the REDBLACKS on the board, but drew prolonged boos from the peanut gallery at TD Place.
The rest of the third quarter passed without incident, and a 12-yard touchdown connection from Arbuckle to Lemar Durant early in the fourth quarter sealed the win for the visitors; Paredes’s convert kick extended the lead to 27-3.
A fumble by Harris’s replacement under centre for Ottawa — Dominique Davis — set the Stamps up with great field position, but Paredes clanked his 15-yard effort off the upright resulting in a dead ball.
The win moved Calgary to 4-0 on the season, taking them four points clear atop the West Division; Dave Dickenson’s team will return home to face the Montreal Alouettes (1-3) next Saturday (9 p.m. ET).
Claybrooks’s defence was straight-up dominant, limiting Ottawa to 169 total yards.
Ottawa’s record dropped to 2-2, and the team will have to find answers offensively ahead of a visit from the BC Lions on Friday Night Football (7:30 p.m. ET) next week.