Andrew Buckley felt right at home in his first professional football game because he was a Canadian university star in the same stadium.
The 21-year-old quarterback, who won the Hec Crighton Award last year playing for his hometown University of Calgary Dinos, started the second quarter of the Calgary Stampeders’ pre-season game against the B.C. Lions on Friday.
Buckley marshalled the offence for a pair of third-quarter field goals in the Stampeders’ 20-6 win over the visiting Lions at McMahon Stadium.
“I’ve spent so many hours on this field that it’s kind of like a second home to me,” Buckley said. “It was good to be able to drive down the field and keep drives going and they eventually ended up in points to help us win. It’s cool to contribute that way.”
“It was an awesome experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Calgary wide receiver Greg Wilson scored the game’s lone touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Dominique Davis in the fourth quarter. Davis followed up with a three-yard throw to Charlie Power for the two-point convert.
Wilson also scored the lone touchdown on a 75-yard catch-and-run in Calgary’s intra-squad game last Sunday.
“He continues to catch our eye,” Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel said of the 24-year-old Californian.
Rene Paredes had field goals from 32 and 28 in the first half, with Tyler Crapigna good from 41 and 28 yards in the second for the defending Grey Cup champions.
Lions kickers Richie Leone and Anthony Fera kicked field goals from 12 and 39 yards respectively in the first half.
Hufnagel gave both veterans and rookies time on the field, while Lions counterpart Jeff Tedford favoured his young players and rookies.
Calgary No. 1 Bo Levi Mitchell and backups Davis, Buckley and Bryant Moniz all saw action, although Mitchell came out after Calgary’s opening series in which he threw three passes for 24 yards.
Moniz and Davis played the remainder of the first half with Buckley and Davis rotating through in the second.
Buckley finished 8-for-10 in passing for 72 yards, Davis went 9-for-10 for 75 yards a touchdown throw and Moniz was 5-for-11 for 53 yards. None of the three were intercepted.
CFL rushing star Jon Cornish started the game, but also came out after the Stampeders’ opening drive following his four carries for 20 yards.
Tedford gave Jonathan Jennings the nod to quarterback the Lions in the first half. The 22-year-old out of Saginaw Valley State completed five of 11 passes for 116 yards before he was relieved by Travis Partridge in the second half.
Partridge had a rough outing as Calgary’s Ciante Evans intercepted Partridge’s second pass attempt and DeQuin Evans sacked the Lions pivot later in the third quarter.
After going 2-for-4 for three yards, Partridge was replaced by Greg McGhee in the third quarter’s final minute. McGhee made three of five pass attempts for 10 yards and was sacked once.
“We left some guys home, some of the veterans, and brought a lot of young guys and played a lot of guys, so it’s going to be a great evaluation tool,” Tedford said.
Crapigna, who set a Canadian university football record for all-time career field goals with McMaster last season, gave the Stampeders a 12-6 lead with third-quarter field goals.
He made a 45-yarder in the fourth, but it was called back because of a time-count violation. Crapigna missed the 50-yard attempt on the re-kick.
Pre-game hail and thunder subsided by kickoff and the sky started to clear for the second quarter. The two sides traded field goals in the first and second quarters for a 6-6 stalemate at halftime.
The Stampeders meet the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Lions are at home to the Edmonton Eskimos on June 19 in their second and final pre-season games.
Calgary’s season-opener is against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on June 26 in a Grey Cup rematch at McMahon. The Lions start the regular season with a bye week before opening on the road in Ottawa on July 4.
Notes: B.C.’s Josh Johnson and Cordelius Parks and Calgary’s DeQuin Evans, Deron Mayo, Brandon Boudreau, Lin-J Shell and Freddie Bishop III collected sacks . . . CFL teams will pare their rosters to 65 players by Sunday.