HAMILTON – Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders continued their winning ways against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Mitchell had a TD pass and ran for another as Calgary defeated Hamilton 30-20 on Saturday afternoon for its sixth straight win and 10th in 11 games versus the Ticats. But a timely injury and boost from the defence helped the Stamps regain a share of top spot in the West Division.
Drew Tate’s three-yard TD run with 33 seconds remaining cemented the Calgary win, to the dismay of the Ron Joyce Stadium gathering of 6,500 that was energized by a spirited Hamilton comeback. Tate’s touchdown was set by a Jamar Wall interception of Ticats’ quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who had replaced injured starter Dan LeFevour.
“That’s the kind of defence they are, bend but don’t break,” Mitchell said. “They give us the ball in good field position all the time.”
But LeFevour’s departure was as big as Wall’s interception. LeFevour pulled Hamilton to within 20-17 just 16 seconds into the fourth with a 21-yard TD strike to Bakari Grant. But he suffered a suspected left knee injury while scrambling and it was Masoli who came on after Rene Paredes’ 38-yard field goal at 5:11 boosted Calgary’s lead to 23-17.
Justin Medlock’s 32-yard field goal at 9:11 made it a three-point game.
LeFevour finished 21-of-30 passing for 282 yards and two TDs while adding 42 yards rushing. Masoli completed 7-of-10 attempts for 68 yards with the costly interception.
“Obviously the game shifted when they had to make a quarterback change,” Calgary head coach/GM John Hufnagel said.
Mitchell was a workmanlike 19-of-27 passing for 271 yards while adding 33 yards rushing on four carries. But the unit’s workhorse was Hugh Charles, who ran for 102 yards on 14 carries in his first start with Calgary. Charles is the Stamps’ fifth different tailback this season after injuries to Canadians Jon Cornish and Matt Walter and internationals Jock Sanders and Martell Mallett.
“Man, I love watching him play,” Mitchell said of Charles. “Hugh’s one of those guys when he sees it he hits it running and he’s fast. He was a huge factor in the win.”
Calgary (6-1) moved into a tie with the Edmonton Eskimos (6-1) atop the West Division on a wet, blustery afternoon. Hamilton (1-6) suffered its third straight loss.