Realty One

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


CALGARY - Dave Dickenson's first Labour Day victory as head coach of the Calgary Stampeders had a touch of poignancy for a man who played in a few during his career.

The Stampeders (8-1-1) extended their unbeaten streak to nine in a row with a 45-24 win over the Edmonton Eskimos (5-5) in their traditional Battle of Alberta on the September holiday Monday.

Prior to the afternoon kickoff, a flypast of CF-18 Hornets was followed by a moment of silence in memory of Normie Kwong, a man with strong football ties to both cities and a former lieutenant-governor of the province.

Kwong, who was both an Eskimo and a Stampeder during a 13-year CFL career, died last week at the age of 86.

Dickenson, Calgary's starting quarterback from 1997 to 2000, was in a reflective mood after his team's victory.

"I love the jets. The planes flying over don't get old for me,'' Dickenson said. "Normie Kwong ... it means a lot to me today as well.

"It was good that it was Calgary versus Edmonton too because Normie played for both. He was good to me and a lot of people in our locker room.''

His introspection contrasted with a raucous Stampeder dressing room on military appreciation day.

Stampeder quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell joined members of the Canadian Forces stomping and chanting in the centre of the room.

"I have no idea what that was. It was awesome though,'' Mitchell said. "We appreciate those guys. Even though a lot of us aren't from this country, we all respect people who helped us and they protect and serve.''

In what was billed as a showcase of the top two quarterbacks in the CFL, Mitchell compiled 380 passing yards to join Edmonton counterpart Mike Reilly with over 3,000 this season.

Mitchell threw touchdown passes to Anthony Parker and Bakari Grant and another two-point convert to Grant.

The 26-year-old improved to 36-7-1 as a CFL starter, 17-3 at McMahon Stadium and 3-0 in Labour Day starts.

Reilly threw for 219 yards, including a touchdown pass to Derel Walker, and rushed for a 19-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was sacked four times and twice intercepted by Jamar Wall.

The second pick was costly as Wall snagged a pass in the end zone intended for Adarius Bowman in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

"Bo is a confident man, he wants to be the best and Reilly is right there if not the best,'' Dickenson said. "A great matchup with those two and probably Bo got the better of him today.''

Calgary hasn't lost a game since its season-opener against the B.C. Lions. Edmonton's winning streak was halted at three.

Calgary has won seven of its last eight Labour Day tilts against its provincial rival, including five in a row. The rematch is Saturday in Edmonton.

The Stampeders galloped out to an 18-0 lead after the opening quarter. The Esks were within a converted touchdown at halftime, but that was as close as the visitors came.

"When you play against a great team and home and you don't make the plays you need to make, you're going to get beat,'' Edmonton head coach Jason Maas said. "Bottom line, we just weren't good enough.

"We've got to learn from our mistakes, learn from the film and repay the favour come Saturday.''

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

Hate to say it but the Stamps are the model franchise in this league. Good QB and RB, good o and d lines, good receivers and db's, and an kicking game. Also a good coaching, good scouting. The only team that can beat them is maybe themselves. Definitely the team to beat and model afterwards. The only thing they lack is a nice stadium. McMahon is ok in a nice location but nothing like the other western teams once we move into Mosaic 2.0.

Anonymous said...

Grey Cup: Hamilton vs. Calgary - book it! (As long as there is no injury to their starting QB's).

Anonymous said...

Say what you will about the Riders defense, but the majority of the CFL teams are not much more superior despite having so much more experience and continuity than the Riders built from scratch squad.

Anonymous said...

We should have hired Huff not Jones, hard to argue the Stampeders are the class of the CFL. 5 grey cups in the past 25 years is the best and they look like are the clear favourite this season. Stamps Whipped the defending champions today like chumps, whipped BC, get in line Winnipeg.

Anonymous said...

Nobody and I mean Nobody will touch Calgary for the rest of this year and that includes Grey Cup, unless of course they run into some serious injuries.

Anonymous said...

"Should have hired Huff"

Newsflash: He was not interested.