Malik Henry and Shawn Bane scored the first touchdowns of their CFL careers for the Calgary Stampeders in a 23-17 win over the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.
Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw touchdown passes to Henry and Bane and completed 16-of-25 passes for 180 yards. Kicker Rene Paredes was good on three of four field-goal attempts for Calgary (3-5).
William Powell scored a rushing TD for Saskatchewan (5-3). Quarterback Cody Fajardo was 25-for-44 in passing for 269 yards. Brett Lauther booted three field goals.
Saskatchewan faces Calgary in three straight games in October interrupted only by a bye week. It’s the first time since 1951 that a team plays the same opponent three games in a row in the regular season.
Calgary is in Regina next Saturday and in Vancouver to face the B.C. Lions (4-4) the following week.
The Stampeders, who were coming off a bye week, moved out of the West Division basement with Saturday’s win ahead of the Edmonton Elks (2-5).
Calgary and Saskatchewan met for the first time in almost two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Announced attendance at McMahon Stadium was 25,516.
Calgary backup quarterback Jake Maier drew in for Mitchell late in the fourth quarter and marshalled the offence to within field-goal range. Paredes made the 43-yard kick to pad Calgary’s lead to nine points with 2:36 remaining in the game.
Saskatchewan wasn’t able to convert its following possession into a major. The visitors settled for a 28-yard field goal from Lauther.
Kian Schaffer-Baker recovered the onside kick for Saskatchewan, but the play was called back because of a an illegal interference penalty called on Jake Harty.
Lauther recovered the ball on the ensuing re-kick to give the ‘Riders the ball on their own 35-yard line. Fajardo ran through tackles for a pair of drive-extending first downs.
But Andrew Seinet-Spaulding’s sack of Fajardo left Saskatchewan with a third-and-10 on Calgary’s 42-yard line. Jonathan Moxey intercepted Fajardo’s long bomb downfield to preserve Calgary’s victory.
The Roughriders trailed 20-7 after three quarters. Fajardo and Schaffer-Baker combined on a 71-yard passing play early in the fourth to get to Calgary’s four-yard line.
The visitors trailed by a touchdown when Powell ran the ball in to score on the next possession.
The ball skimmed off Bane’s hand and into the clutches of Saskatchewan’s Ed Gainey for an interception late in the third quarter. The Roughriders produced a 54-punt single out of the turnover.
Paredes was wide right on a 45-yard field goal midway through the third quarter. Jamal Morrow ran the ball out to the 23-yard line. The Roughriders got no further than that and punted.
Paredes didn’t miss on Calgary’s ensuing drive. The Stampeder kicker put a 40-yarder through the uprights for a 20-6 Calgary lead.
Kickoff was delayed a few minutes for the completion of the Montreal-Hamilton broadcast of a game that went into overtime. The Alouettes won 23-20.
Calgary led 17-6 at halftime. Lauther’s second field goal of the night was a 27-yarder with 92 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Stampeders didn’t eke a major out of juicy field position starting from Saskatchewan’s 43-yard line in the second. Calgary still led 17-3 on a 40-yard field goal from Paredes at 5:22.
Fajardo overthrew Kienan LaFrance in the end zone to start the second quarter. The ‘Riders eventually settled for Lauther’s 23-yard field goal.
The Stampeders scored in the first quarter for the first time this season and on both of their opening two drives.
Bane, who signed with the Stampeders on Sept. 19 and made his CFL debut Saturday, grabbed Mitchell’s 24-yard throw to the end zone to cap a seven-play, 47-yard march.
Mitchell’s 32-yard throw to Bane combined with a Roughrider unnecessary roughing penalty during Calgary’s opening drive put the hosts on Saskatchewan’s doorstep.
Henry, who had missed the two previous games with an ankle injury, caught Mitchell’s seven-yard toss and ran it into the end zone.
In the game within a game, the league’s sack leader (Saskatchewan) was pitted against the team that was doing the best job of protecting its quarterback (Calgary). Mitchel was sacked three times Saturday – twice by A.C Leonard.