Calgary Stampeders seek bounce-back win

CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders haven’t lost back-to-back games since 2012 for a span of 91 regular-season games without two losses in a row.

They intend to preserve that stat Saturday when they face the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

After last week’s 30-23 loss in Montreal to the Alouettes, the Stampeders (2-1-1) are at home to the Roughriders (1-2) who are coming off a bye week following their first win of the season.

“Losing back to back is something that is uncharacteristic of us and I don’t expect it happening this time either,” Calgary defensive end Charleston Hughes said Friday at McMahon Stadium.

Last season’s CFL sack leader returns to Calgary’s active roster after sitting out a pair of games with a leg injury.

Hughes will line up opposite former teammate Derek Dennis, who was a Stampeder in 2016 when he won the CFL award for best offensive lineman.

“I’m the reason why Dennis is who he is today,” Hughes declared. “I helped him mould his career. He knows he’s got to go against the best and he has to face the best.”

Replied Dennis: “Why he feels that way I have no clue at all, but I mean, hey man, whatever floats his boat, floats his boat.

“I may say some things to him just to have fun with it. I’m not letting the hype of me and him going against each other distract me from what I have to do.”

Several former Stampeders are wearing green and white this year including Dennis, quarterback Kevin Glenn, slotback Bakari Grant, safety Jeff Hecht and linebacker Glenn Love.

Glenn is a few years removed having played for five other teams and on his second stint with the Roughriders since he was a Stampeder in 2012-13.

Dennis and Grant were free agents when they signed with Saskatchewan this past off-season.

“We don’t have very many of their players. They have a lot of ex-Stampeders,” Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson observed. “We’ve won a lot of games and unfortunately when you do that, you can’t pay everybody. Guys need to go where they can play and were they’re getting paid the most.”

Dickenson has a familial tie with the Roughriders as brother Craig is Saskatchewan’s special teams co-ordinator.

Saskatchewan head coach Chris Jones was Calgary’s defensive co-ordinator from 2008 to 2011. So he was on the Stampeder side of the field the last time the Roughriders won at McMahon on Aug. 1, 2009.

The 38-year-old Glenn was a mentor in Calgary for Bo Levi Mitchell when the former started a lot of games in place of an injured Drew Tate and Mitchell was the third-stringer.

“Early on Kev was a huge part of my career as far as a learning tool for me, to pick his brain and not only that, use my eyes just to watch him and watch how he played the game,” Mitchell recalled.

“At that time, I was still locked into the American game, so understand, ‘hey, this is a guy that’s done it for a long time and done it well, so how as he been successful?’”

Mitchell, now 45-8-2 in CFL starts, is a touchdown throw away from a career 100 and joining Henry Burris (203), Doug Flutie (140), Jeff Garcia (111) and Peter Liske (106) in Calgary’s 100-plus club.

Glenn completed more than 30 passes in each of Saskatchewan’s first three games (31, 36, 32) this season.

Only Montreal’s Anthony Calvillo and Toronto’s Kerwin Bell have gone plus-30 in three consecutive games and no QB has done it four straight.

“Right now, Kevin is playing hot and he’s the kind of quarterback that when he’s on, he’s on,” Mitchell said.

Glenn is 163 yards away from becoming the seventh CFL quarterback to throw for a career 50,000 yards.

“When you can say you’ve throw for 50,000 and you get your name in the conversations with some of these other guys who have throw for 50,000 yards, it’s an accomplishment,” Glenn said.

“It’s one of those things when I retire and you get old, you can sit back and just smile because you’re going to be part of that conversation.”

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