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EDMONTON — The Calgary Stampeders are still in a hole, but at least they made a move in the right direction on Saturday.
Rene Paredes kicked six field goals and Stefen Banks had four sacks and a fumble recovery as the Calgary Stampeders came away with a 32-16 victory over the rival Edmonton Elks.
The Stamps got a measure of revenge for last Monday’s 32-20 Labour Day loss to Edmonton.
The Stampeders (2-4) snapped a two-game losing skid and avoided losing both ends of the Labour Day series with Edmonton, something which last occurred in 2004.
“What I love is the pride in our group,” said Calgary coach Dave Dickenson. “We kind of got embarrassed on our home turf, defensively probably more than we have all year. I was wondering how they were going to respond. So to see the guys play the game they did, that shows a lot of character.”
The Elks (2-3) had a two-game winning streak halted.
“It literally felt like we took a step forward and we took a step back," Elks head coach Jaime Elizondo said. “Get a completion, get a little drive started, and then we take a penalty. They applied more pressure to us tonight than they did in the first game and we were in second-and-long way too much.”
Bo Levi Mitchell, making a return to the lineup after missing the last three weeks with a broken leg, went 23 for 42 for 276 yards, a touchdown and an interception for Calgary.
“I felt like I was moving around well, it felt good," Mitchell said. "I didn’t get hit too much and I thought I got out of the pocket well and felt like my old self. We still have a long way to go. This doesn’t correct anything, but it definitely gives us a step in the right direction.”
Trevor Harris went 17 for 25 passing with 221 yards and an interception for Edmonton.
Calgary recorded the game’s first touchdown four minutes into the third quarter.
A Richard Leonard interception of a Harris pass eventually led to a two-yard plunge into the end zone by backup QB Jake Maier, briefly replacing Mitchell.
Paredes added a 35-yard field goal 10 minutes into the second half to put the Stamps up 19-6.
Sean Whyte kicked his third field goal of the night to close out the third, a 24-yarder.
Edmonton got its first interception of the season early in the fourth, and it was a big one as Trumaine Washington picked off Mitchell and took it back 47 yards for the pick six to cut Calgary’s lead to three.
However, another pair of field goals by Paredes from 43 and 41 yards out and a last-minute 50-yard TD pass from Mitchell to Kamar Jorden allowed the Stamps to pull away for the win.
The game got off to a very sluggish start.
Edmonton got on the board first on a 29-yard Whyte field goal midway through the opening quarter. Paredes responded with a 42-yard field goal for Calgary.
Whyte made it 6-3 for the Elks with a 41-yarder to open up the second quarter. Once again, Paredes drew his team even with a 46-yard field goal of his own.
Paredes booted a 44-yarder to put the Stampeders up 9-6 at the half.
The Stampeders return to action on Friday when they head to Hamilton. The Elks remain at home to host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Notes: Recently signed linebacker Derrick Moncrief was not yet available for the Elks. He is expected to start practising next week. After being named a CFL all-star in 2019 with Saskatchewan, Moncrief spent the 2020 season split between the NFL's L.A. Rams and Las Vegas Raiders practice squads… Whyte kicked his 100th field goal in Commonwealth Stadium.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 11, 2021.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press