Not all wins will look the same when you have pulled off as many as the Calgary Stampeders.
Bakari Grant reeled in a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime as the Stampeders continued their march through the season, coming away with a thrilling come-from-behind 34-28 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday.
Calgary (9-1-1) has won eight straight and is unbeaten in 10 games. The Stampeders only loss came against the B.C. Lions in their season opener June 11.
“It’s not about the stats or anything like that, all that matters is that we got the win,” said Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. ” It’s just great to have the W at the end of the day.
“We made just enough plays to win the game.”
Mitchell was 25-of-38 passing for 338 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception.
Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said his team struggled at times throughout the contest, but pulled it together when it counted.
“We were a little discombobulated. We were running around. It was a real challenge,” he said. “We were struggling on offence. We had a defensive lineman playing on our offensive line for the last quarter-and-a-half and into overtime.
“Our guys had a lot of fight in them and made more plays in the second half to get the win.”
Edmonton (5-6) has lost two straight, despite quarterback Mike Reilly going 35 for 45 for 432 yards and two touchdowns.
“It doesn’t matter how close the score is,” Reilly said. “If the other team has more, they get the two points in the standings and we don’t.
“We’re 1-2 in overtime games and we have to figure out a way to be better in regulation and certainly in overtime as well. We have to figure out a way to win a damn game. As players, we have to figure out what the (heck) is going on and why we’re coming up a bit short in these scenarios.”
The Eskimos’ first touch of the ball proved to be a pretty dramatic one as Reilly was able to thread the needle to Derel Walker. He shook off coverage and blazed to the end zone for a 104-yard passing touchdown, putting him at more than 1,000 receiving yards on the season.
Following a Mitchell interception by Deon Lacey, Reilly made it 14-0 Edmonton on a 26-yard TD pass to Adarius Bowman to start the second quarter.
The two teams traded field goals from Rene Paredes and Sean Whyte to close out the first half 17-3.
After kicking a field goal apiece in the third, Calgary finally got some real traction as Mitchell completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to DaVaris Daniels to cut the Eskimos lead to 20-13 heading into the fourth.
The Stampeders kept the momentum and fought to extend a drive before they were able to tie the game with 11 minutes remaining on a 27-yard TD pass from Mitchell to Daniels. Edmonton would have a chance at a 52-yard field goal at the end of regulation but Whyte was short, sending the game to overtime.
Reilly scored on a one-yard run and Nate Coehoorn caught a convert pass in the first overtime session for Edmonton , but the Stampeders responded with a one-yard TD run by Andrew Buckley and Daniels caught a clutch 12-yard convert pass to keep the extra session going.
Grant scored his unconverted TD in the second session, but Edmonton was unable to counter.
Notes: Calgary won the first meeting between the two Alberta-based teams 45-24 on Labour Day Monday? Walker’s 104-yard TD reception was the second-longest in team history. Jason Tucker had a 105-yard TD pass from Ricky Ray in 2005? Paredes missed a field goal at the end of the second quarter to end his streak of successful attempts at 32? The attendance at Commonwealth Stadium was 35,278.