The Calgary Stampeders saved their best for the fourth quarter as they pulled off a 13-12 come-from-behind win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday.
Rene Paredes kicked a 27-yard field goal, his second of the game, as time expired to give the Stampeders (8-6) their third straight win to end the regular season.
Quarterback Jack Maier threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Luther Hakunavanhu at 13:17 of the fourth quarter to set up the heroics by Paredes, who also kicked a 32-yard field goal with 4:53 to play to start the rally.
Bo Levi Mitchell started as quarterback for the Stamps and went 7 for 11 for just 39 yards. Maier came into the game for Calgary to start the second half and completed 10-of-20 passes for 177 yards to go with his one TD pass and one interception.
Sergio Castillo kicked four field goals to give the Blue Bombers (11-3) a 12-0 lead at 8:24 of the fourth quarter before the Stamps rallied for the win.
Zach Collaros started the game as quarterback for the Bombers and completed 7-of-10 passes for 73 yards in the first half before rookie Dru Brown came into the game to replace him. Brown went 7 for 14 for 49 yards, while also carrying the ball seven times for 44 yards.
The Stamps will now head to Regina for the West semifinal on Nov. 28 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5). The victor will then travel to Winnipeg to play the Bombers a week later for the right to play in the Grey Cup on Dec. 12 in Hamilton.
After a slow start for both teams, Winnipeg had a great chance to open the scoring mid-way through the first quarter when Collaros drove the Bombers down to Calgary’s three-yard line.
Making his CFL debut for the Bombers, Brown came into the game and executed a one-yard quarterback sneak to perfection to give Winnipeg a first down with just two yards to go to get into the end zone.
On the next play, Brown dropped back and fumbled the ball after being pressured by Calgary’s Jameer Thurman. Fellow Stamps linebacker Javien Elliott picked up the ball and ran it back 23 yards, but Raheem Wilson was penalized on the play for an illegal block and Calgary had to settle for starting their drive on their own 36-yard line.
Calgary’s woes continued throughout the first half as the Stamps weren’t able to put any points on the board.
Meanwhile, the Bombers settled for a 15-yard field goal by Castillo at 10:32 of the second quarter.
The visitors had a chance to increase their lead to 6-0 as time ran out in the first half, but Castillo missed his 52-yard field goal attempt wide to the right.
The start of the second half was much of the same as both teams weren’t able to get much of anything going offensively.
In as quarterback to replace Mitchell, Maier completed a 17-yard pass to Markeith Ambles for the first first down of the second half for either team at the mid-way point of the third quarter.
His next pass was picked off by Winnipeg’s Mike Jones to give the Bombers the ball at the Calgary 40-yard line. Three plays later, Castillo kicked a 45-yard field goal to put Winnipeg up 6-0 at 9:25 of the third quarter.
Castillo then booted a 46-yard field goal at 4:26 of the fourth quarter and added another one from 50 yards out at 8:24.
Paredes started Calgary’s comeback with a 32-yard field goal at 10:07 before Hakunavanhu hauled in a long pass from Maier and ran 26 more yards into the end zone to pull the Stamps within two points.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2021