Saturday, August 4, 2018
STAMPEDERS TOPPLE LIONS 27-18
CALGARY - A highlight-reel touchdown, 185 receiving yards and a tweet from Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson made for a fun night for Kamar Jorden.
The Calgary Stampeder was the favourite target of quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell in a 27-18 win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday.
The Stampeders opened a CFL season 7-0 for the first time since 1995, which happens to be the same year Johnson spent a few weeks on Calgary's practice roster before the linebacker was released.
In the spirit of Legacy Night at McMahon Stadium, Jorden tweeted a pre-game photo of himself wearing a No. 74 D. Johnson jersey.
Johnson, whose post-football career went from professional wrestling to acting in Hollywood, thanked Jordan in a reply saying "My career in the ?CFL was very short lived but a lifetime of defining lessons.''
"I just tried to think of a jersey that nobody had that was rare and stuff,'' Jorden explained after the game. "I thought about Doug Flutie and Allen Pitts and for some reason The Rock just popped into my head.
"I can tell people The Rock tweeted me. I'm going to have to go see 'Skyscraper' now that's he's tweeted me.''
Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for season-high 370 yards Saturday, but said his wobbly 53-yard air ball to Jorden in the first quarter "might have been the ugliest pass I've ever thrown.''
Jorden made the over-the-shoulder catch for Calgary to take a lead.
"It was definitely a duck, but he put it out there,'' Jorden said. "One thing Bo always says 'when you see me scrambling, just go, just go.'
"He wants to throw it deep. I trust in that. I just kept going. I saw the ball up there and I got to it.''
Stampeder backup quarterback Nick Arbuckle scored a pair of touchdowns on one-yard carries. Rene Paredes kicked a 44-yard field goal for the hosts in front of an announced 25,075.
Jeremiah Johnson rushed for a touchdown and Bryan Burnham had a touchdown catch for the Lions, who fell to 2-4. Ty Long kicked a 40-yard field goal for B.C.
B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay completed 25 of 39 pass attempts for 281 yards and was intercepted once. The Lions turned the ball over three times, including twice on downs.
"We didn't play smart football,'' said Lions coach Wally Buono, who in another tie-in to 1995 was the coach of that 7-0 Stampeder team.
"We gave them way too many opportunities to beat us and a good football team will always beat you.''
The ground games of both teams suffered as Lions running backs Chris Rainey (ankle) and Brandon Rutley (knee), and Calgary counterparts Don Jackson (lower body) and return specialist Terry Williams (shoulder) were sidelined.
The Stampeders mustered 72 rushing yards to B.C.'s 54.
"I thought Bo was super-sharp. He and K.J. had something going on,'' Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said. "We're still not running the ball like we should. We'll see if we can get some reinforcements back in there.''
Calgary has a bye week before a road game Aug. 19 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Lions are at home Thursday to the Edmonton Eskimos (5-2).
Dickenson saw some fatigue in his team Saturday, so the bye week is timely.
"Let's take a deep breath. We're in good position, but we haven't accomplished anything yet,'' Dickenson said.
"There's so many tough games coming up. Let's take care of our bodies, make sure football is important and come back with a little extra energy and hopefully we feel fresh because we're in for it these next few games.
"They're really going to have a big impact on where we finish in the season.''
Jorden planned to reach out again to Johnson on Twitter and see if the star of ``Jumanji'' and HBO's "Ballers'' would respond.
"If I get two tweets from The Rock, oh man, he's my best friend after that,'' Jorden said.
(Canadian Press/Donna Spencer)