Both teams came into this game under very different circumstances. The Blue Bombers came in off of a tough 20-16 loss to Edmonton, while the Stampeders were rested and raring to go after a Bye week. Winnipeg are already in early trouble this season, staring down a scary 1-4 record. The Stampeders are also looking to get their second win of the season.
Calgary was able to get points on their first possession, albeit a punt single from Rob Maver that gave them a 1-0 lead. On their next drive the Bombers used a 46-yard field goal by Justin Medlock to give Winnipeg an early 3-1 lead.
On the Stamps’ next drive, Bakari Grant fumbled the ball after a 10-yard pass that was recovered by CJ Roberts and Winnipeg suddenly had the ball. Shockingly, two plays later, the ball was back in Calgary hands as the an 11-yard pass to Weston Dressler was fumbled and recovered by Calgary defensive back Fred Bennett.
Calgary made the most of this possession as four plays later Bo-Levi Mitchell found Marquay McDaniel in the end zone for a 7-3 lead, the point after by Rene Parades went wide and the scored stayed as such. Then a late 49-yard field goal by Rene Parades made it 10-3 to Calgary heading into the second.
The Blue Bombers were stopped on a key short yardage play early in the quarter and quickly turned it into a Calgary touchdown – Mitchell found Anthony Parker on a 29-yard pass for a 16-3 lead which became 17-3 after the convert kick.
Calgary kept frustrating the Bombers offense for much of the quarter before adding to their lead again, with a 35-yard field goal by Parades brought the score up to 20-3 in favour of Calgary.
The Blue Bombers got the first points of the second half, via a 41-yard field goal from Justin Medlock to make the score 20-6. They later added a punt single to make the score 20-7. The two teams exchanged defensive stops for the rest of the quarter, until Kevin Fogg intercepted Bo-Levi Mitchell late in the third to give the Bombers some life. But, once again, they could not turn that into points and were still down 20-7 heading into the fourth.
After Calgary punted on their first possession of the final frame, Winnipeg were able to inch a little bit closer with yet another field goal by Medlock, which brought the score to 20-10.
Head coach Mike O’Shea constantly professed his faith in starter Drew Willy, even on a night as rough as this one, which got even tougher when Willy threw an interception to Calgary’s Joe Burnett who took it 34-yards to the house for the pick-six. Even though Parades missed the extra point the score was still 26-10. After this play, Willy was pulled in favour of Matt Nichols.
Nichols had a good first possession, finding Weston Dressler on an 18-yard touchdown play to finally get Winnipeg in the end zone. After a successful two point conversion, the score became 26-18.
Bo-Levi Mitchell and the Stampeders showed just how great they are by responding right away by going on a nine play, 77-yard drive that culminated with a five yard Mitchell touchdown pass to Simon Charbonneau-Campeau and a 32-18 lead. After a convert by Parades the score was 33-18 late in the game, and Winnipeg just couldn’t muster any more offense. The contest ended on that same score.
The Blue Bombers are now 1-4, and with having Drew Willy pulled in this one the fans out in Manitoba certainly won’t be too happy with the way things have unfolded with their Blue Bombers so far. It will be interesting to see how the team deals with this rough start to the year. Drew Willy went 23/33 with 310-yards passing with one interception but without a touchdown. His replacement, Matt Nichols, went 9/15 with 88-yards passing and one touchdown. Winnipeg are now 7-23 at Investor’s Group Field since it opened in 2013 to replace their old stadium, Canad Inns Stadium.
With the win, the Stamps move to 2-1-1 on the season and by virtue of their point from their tie versus Ottawa, they now leapfrog the Edmonton Eskimos for second place in the Western Division. Bo Levi-Mitchell went 29/41 with 310-yards passing alongside three touchdowns and one interception for yet another great game by the young quarterback.
Calgary head out to B.C. to take on the Lions on July 29 at 10:00pm EST, while the Blue Bombers head to Edmonton to take on the Eskimos on July 28 at 9:00pm EST.