Bo Levi Mitchell, surging Calgary Stampeders trounce beleaguered B.C. Lions 39-10

Sports

VANCOUVER – Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders continued their surge up the CFL standings Saturday with a dominant 39-10 win over the B.C. Lions.

Mitchell threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, completing 22-of-32 attempts. He hooked up with Luther Hakunavanhu in the end zone in the first quarter.

Kicker Renee Paredes added six field goals for the Stampeders (5-5), including a 45-yard effort in the third quarter.

B.C.’s Michael Reilly was held to 145 yards passing and connected on just 13-of-25 attempts. The veteran quarterback was sacked three times.

Backup Nathan Rourke threw for 115 yards for the Lions (4-5), who suffered their third straight loss.

The win was Calgary’s third straight,following consecutive wins over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Stampeders moved into third in the West Division while B.C. now sits in fourth with a game in hand.

Calgary already held a commanding lead midway through the fourth when Darnell Sankey tipped Reilly’s pass and Raheem Wilson intercepted.

The play set up another successful scoring for the Stampeders, capped with a 18-yard field goal by Paredes.

Fans began streaming towards the exits with five minutes left on the game clock after Calgary centre back Jonathan Moxey picked off a high, arcing Reilly pass and sprinted 53 yards into the end zone to put Calgary up 38-10. Paredes added another point with a successful convert.

B.C. appeared poised to get its second touchdown of the night with just under 90 seconds to go. But Rourke’s pass sailed wide of Shaq Johnson in the end zone and the Lions instead turned the ball over on downs.

The Lions started off strong Saturday, with Reilly finding Bryan Burnham along the sidelines for a 43-yard gain 5:20 into the first. Rourke scored on a one-yard run to give B.C. an early 6-0 lead.

Calgary replied with a steady 13-play, 85-yard drive that ended with Mitchell lobbing a 16-yard TD toss to Hakunavanhu.

It was the York University product’s first-ever CFL touchdown. The Stampeders went up 7-6 after Paredes’ convert and they never relinquished the lead.

The second quarter saw the visitors repeatedly muscle their way into Lions’ territory and into field goal position.

Paredes made three field goals across the frame, including a 42-yard strike.

B.C.’s best chance of the second came when Anthony Cioffi forced a fumble by taking down Nick Holley midfield. Lions safety Marcus Sayles picked up the ball and streaked across the field, only to see his team called for a 15-yard illegal block penalty.

Calgary took a 16-6 lead into the half after B.C.’s offence sputtered, then stalled.

Things went from bad to worse for the Lions at the beginning of the third as Stampeders running back Roc Thomas dodged and weaved his way across the turf for a 101-yard kickoff return TD.

B.C. finally had a chance to put points on the board again 3:53 into the half with a 30-yard field goal attempt. But Camacho’s kick sailed wide before bouncing out of bounds for the single.

Minutes later, Paredes hit his fourth field goal, this one from 45 yards out, to put Calgary ahead 26-7.

Camacho finally nudged the Lions into double digits with a 28-yard field goal with 1:43 left in the third.

A 28-yard field goal by Paredes gave the Stampeders a comfortable 29-10 lead to start the fourth.

Calgary hosts Saskatchewan next Saturday for the conclusion of a three-game season series. The beleaguered Lions will face another tough test the same night as they take on the league-leading Blue Bombers in Winnipeg.

NOTES: Paredes tied his career high of six made field goals in a single game. He has 35 in 10 games this year. Stampeders middle linebacker Darnell Sankey had eight tackles. He leads the CFL with 71 on the season. Calgary quarterback Jake Maier remains in COVID-19 protocols, so Ottawa’s Michael O’Connor served as Mitchell’s backup. Stampeders receiver Josh Huff and Lions safety Anthony Hastings were both late scratches due to non-COVID-illness.

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