Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

In a game that featured an unsightly nine turnovers the Calgary Stampeders took down the Toronto Argonauts, 26-16, to move to 3-2 and keep the Argos winless at 0-5 on Thursday night.

Toronto got on the board first as Tyler Crapigna converted a 50-yarder with the wind at his back. It was Crapigna’s first CFL field goal since 2017 when he was a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Argos defence had a strong opening quarter. They sacked Stamps QB Nick Arbuckle three times in as many drives, as the defensive line overwhelmed the pivot’s protectors. They had four in the game.

Calgary’s defence made their presence known too, first on a third and short during the opening drive and then on a late quarter interception by Brandon Smith.

They turned the pick into a touchdown, as Arbuckle capped the three play drive with a TD pass to Juwan Brescacin, who returned to the lineup after missing the last two weeks from injury.

They added three more after Western alum Fraser Sopik blocked a Zack Medeiros punt to open the second quarter and Rene Paredes finished the five play set with a 30-yarder. It was another example of good field position to kick off an offensive drive, which was a running them for Calgary most of the night.

Two drives after adding a punt single, the Stamps were once again given a short field. On Toronto’s 43, Arbuckle connected with Reggie Begelton for an 11-yard gain but a painful one. Micah Awe demolished him with a shoulder to the chest, but it was ruled a catch and a first down.

Looking like we were headed for another blowout the Argos responded, as Alden Darby came up with an end zone interception to give them one more chance before half to score some points.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson found James Wilder Jr. three times in the flat as part of seven consecutive completions for the quarterback, the biggest of the drive coming to Armanti Edwards for 22 yards.

On the next play, Edwards was able to break free and haul in the pass in the end zone as time expired. The score read 11-9 at the half after a failed two point conversion.

Wilder was used frequently in the passing game as he finished the night with seven receptions.

Bethel-Thompson showed off his accuracy as he was 17-for-20 in the half with the touchdown and 158 passing yards, despite the early interception.

Edwards was on the wrong side of the highlight play to kick off the third. The receiver dropped the ball after taking a big hit from Cory Greenwood. Tre Roberson scooped it up and took it to the house for a touchdown.

Their defence was back at it again forcing another turnover, as two drives later, Sopik picked off Bethel-Thompson at midfield, giving Arbuckle another short field to play with. The first two passes got them to Toronto’s 30 yard line, before a spearing penalty brought them even closer to paydirt. The drive ended on another crosser to Brescacin for his second touchdown of the game as he topped off a productive night with 64 yards on five receptions.

The Boatmen cut the deficit to 10 on their responding possession to keep hope alive. Wilder started the drive with a run and ended it seven plays later on a 15 yard reception.

The teams exchanged interceptions to close out the third. Awe got the ball back for Toronto before Greenwood picked off Bethel-Thompson two plays later. Greenwood had a big game with five tackles, the pick, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.

Toronto was geared to score midway through the force flirting with the red zone, but their sixth turnover came at the hands of Greenwood on a Wilder fumble.

That’s as close as either club got to scoring in the fourth as the Stamps drained the clock on the ground.

Calgary is on the road next week against the Redblacks (2-2), while Toronto meets up with Edmonton (3-1).

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Grant Deme
Grant Deme is a reporter and anchor in southwestern Ontario and a lifelong follower of the CFL.