Rookie kicker Tyler Crapigna kicked a pair of 42-yard field goals in the fourth quarter, the second with no time remaining on the clock, to lead the Calgary Stampeders to a thrilling 23-20 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday in CFL pre-season action.
Winnipeg rallied from a pair of early 14-point deficits to take a 20-17 lead over Calgary before the Stampeders rallied for the victory in front of their hometown faithful at McMahon Stadium.
Drew Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell split time at quarterback for Calgary in the first half. Tate completed 2-of-5 passes and ran for a one-yard touchdown, while Mitchell went 8-for-11 for 76 yards and also engineered a lengthy scoring drive.
Bryant Moriz and Rusty Smith also saw time under centre in the second half for the Stamps. Smith tossed a key 26-yard completion to Damon McDaniel on the final drive of the game to help set up Crapigna’s game-winning field goal.
Starting Winnipeg quarterback Drew Willy completed 14-of-23 passes for 172 yards, but couldn’t find the end zone. Instead, the Bombers had to settle for three field goals and one single with Willy leading the offence.
Rookie quarterback Brian Brohm took over from Willy in the third quarter and engineered an 11-play, 77-yard drive that culminated with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Kelly.
Brett Maher and Lirim Hajrullahu both kicked a pair of field goals for the Bombers, while punter Mike Renaud kicked a 59-yard single.
Former Saskatchewan Roughrider Jock Sanders gave Calgary great field position with a 49-yard return of the opening kickoff. Just four plays later, Tate plunged into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown to cap off a four-play, 52-yard scoring drive.
With Mitchell in at quarterback, the Stampeders struck again at 14:35 of the opening quarter when Sanders scampered for an 18-yard touchdown. Mitchell completed four-of-five passes for 41 yards before Sanders completed the 59-yard drive with his TD run.
The Bombers finally got on the board at 3:22 of the second quarter when Maher connected on a field goal from 33 yards out. After Rene Paredes answered back with a 41-yard field goal for Calgary, Winnipeg rounded out the scoring in the first half with Renaud’s punt single followed by a 42-yard field goal by Hajrullahu.
Winnipeg started off the second half with consecutive 77-yard scoring drives as Hajrullahu booted a 14-yard field before Kelly hauled in a 29-yard touchdown pass from Brohm.
The Bombers then went up 20-17 at 7:35 of the fourth quarter when Maher kicked a 26-yard field goal to cap off a 12-play, 74-yard scoring drive.
With 1:34 left in regulation, Crapigna kicked a 42-yard field goal to pull the Stamps into a 20-20 tie before the rookie duplicated the feat as time ran out on the game.
Notes: Calgary linebacker Max Caron had to be taken off the field in a cart late in the first half after hitting the turf hard. a Winnipeg defensive back Graig Newman then went down awkwardly early in the third quarter and had to be loaded onto a stretcher and into an ambulance in front of worried teammates who gathered around him in support. a The Stamps will travel to Vancouver to face the B.C. Lions to round out their exhibition schedule on June 20. . . . CFL teams must reduce their training camp rosters to 65 players by 11:59 ET on Sunday.