WINNIPEG — Jamar Wall provided the spark the Calgary Stampeders were looking for in a 36-8 rout of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday.
Ahead 8-3 at halftime, Wall intercepted Blue Bombers quarterback Robert Marve and ran 29 yards for a touchdown at 1:10 of the third quarter.
“That was the play,” said Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who was 19-of-26 for 314 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“You come out in the second half, you’re looking for good field position. The defence did a great job picking us up right there at the beginning of the second half with a pick six. It let us go out there and play freely.”
Stampeders backup quarterback Bryant Moniz scored on a two-yard run four minutes later and a two-point convert stretched the lead to 23-3.
Calgary’s fourth straight victory improved its record to 7-2, while the Bombers lost their third straight game and fell to 3-6.
“I had a key on the quarterback,” said Wall. “I trusted it and took advantage of it. It was a game-changer right out of the half. A momentum-shifter.
“We just kept the foot on the pedal. We believe that we can cover anyone. We believe our D-line can beat anyone. With that confidence alone, and the things we run with (Rich Stubler’s) defence, sky’s the limit.”
Marve completed 12-of-20 pass attempts for 94 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns in his second pro start. He was replaced by Brian Brohm with eight minutes left in the game.
“It was a frustrating day at work,” said Marve, who was sacked five times.
He cited a lack of “explosion plays” and no rhythm as the reason for the offence’s poor showing. Winnipeg’s offence managed just 136 net yards.
Marve said he’d like to start against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Week 11 Labour Day game, but will accept what head coach Mike O’Shea decides.
“We’ll have to see,” said O’Shea, when asked if Marve will start Sept. 6.
An interception by Calgary’s Keon Raymond led to a seven-yard TD run by Tory Harrison. It was the Stampeders’ second touchdown off a Winnipeg turnover in front of an announced crowd of 27,148 at Investors Group Field.
Calgary receiver Jeff Fuller used one hand to pull in a 23-yard touchdown reception and grabbed a two-point convert pass. Teammate Eric Rogers also caught a two-point convert and finished with seven catches for 152 yards. His streak of a touchdown in consecutive games ended at six.
“As long as we win, as long as everybody’s making plays, it doesn’t matter about individual streaks,” said Rogers. “I’ll start a new one next week.”
Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes made field goals from 11 and 27 yards and was good on two convert attempts.
Lirim Hajrullahu booted field goals from 32 and 36 yards for the Blue Bombers and Calgary conceded a safety for Winnipeg points.
Bombers linebacker Derek Jones blocked a Rob Maver punt and the ball was recovered by Bombers defensive back Lin-J Shell. The turnover led to Hajrullahu’s 32-yarder as time expired in the first quarter.
Winnipeg was missing injured veteran centre Dominic Picard. He was replaced by Matthias Goossen.
Some Bomber fans had boos for their team and some started leaving the game early.
“That’s painful,” said O’Shea. “As a group, they understand how important these fans are to us. They keep coming out and it’s tough to expect them to keep coming out when we put a second half together like that.”