Bo Levi Mitchell threw three touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the Calgary Stampeders to a convincing 38-17 win over the expansion Ottawa RedBlacks in Saturday’s lone CFL game.
After suffering his first loss as a starting quarterback in Calgary’s 25-24 loss to the B.C. Lions on Aug. 1 at home, Mitchell rebounded to complete 26-of-36 passes for 289 yards against the RedBlacks.
Jeff Fuller, Marquay McDaniel and Jabari Arthur all caught TD passes for the Stamps (5-1), who moved into a tie with the Edmonton Eskimos atop the CFL West Division standings.
Rene Paredes chipped in with a three field goals, while Rob Maver kicked a single.
Former Calgary quarterback Henry Burris threw a touchdown pass to Wallace Miles, while Chevron Walker had a rushing TD for the RedBlacks (1-5). Ottawa kicker Brett Maher also had a field goal in the fourth quarter when the score was out of reach.
Burris, who went 20-for-29 for 281 yards, also threw a pair of interceptions in a losing cause.
The Stamps started their second drive of the game with great field position at the Ottawa 41-yard line thanks to a 52-yard punt return by Jock Sanders.
Six plays later, Paredes lined up to kick a 15-yard field goal, but Calgary executed a perfect trick play as Mitchell instead lined up under centre and took a quick snap before running for an eight-yard touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, the Stamps extended their lead to 14-0 when Mitchell tossed a 17-yard TD strike to Fuller to cap off a quick four-play, 44-yard drive.
The early onslaught continued as defensive back Jamar Wall picked off an errant pass by Burris at midfield to end Ottawa’s best first-half drive. Nine plays and 60 yards later, McDaniel caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to give Calgary a commanding 21-0 lead.
The RedBlacks earned a measure of redemption when Jasper Simmons intercepted a pass by Mitchell and ran it back 29 yards deep into Calgary territory.
On the next play, Calgary linebacker Keon Raymond was penalized for both pass interference on Ottawa receiver Carlton Mitchell as well as objectionable conduct to give Ottawa the ball on the one-yard line. Walker promptly plunged across the goal line to get the RedBlacks on the scoreboard.
The Stamps answered right back as Anthony Parker returned the kickoff 44 yards before Mitchell engineered a five-play, 51-yard drive that culminated with a 17-yard TD pass to Arthur.
The offensive woes for the RedBlacks continued early in the third quarter as Burris was picked off by Calgary defensive back Joshua Bell, who ran it back 43 yards to the Ottawa 12-yard line. This time, the Stamps were unable to find the end zone and had to settle for a 12-yard field goal by Paredes.
Late in the third quarter, Burris capped off an eight-play, 75-yard drive by tossing a 32-yard touchdown pass to Miles before Maver booted a 53-yard punt single to put Calgary up 32-14.
After Maher kicked a 32-yard field goal for Ottawa early in the fourth quarter, Paredes responded by booting field goals from 40 and 30 yards out respectively to round out the scoring.
Notes: Calgary’s Martell Mallett left the game late in the second quarter with a leg muscle injury and didn’t return. The Stamps are already without the services of fellow running backs Jon Cornish and Matt Walker, who are both out with concussions. Since the start of the 2008 campaign, Calgary has compiled a record of 26-6-1 the week after a loss. The Stamps have never lost more than two games in a row with John Hufnagel serving as coach and general manager. Calgary defensive lineman Charleston Hughes extended his streak of consecutive games with a sack to six. The announced attendance at McMahon Stadium was 28,391 although it appeared as though considerably fewer fans were in the stands.