The Stampeders prove they are who we thought they were

The Stampeders are who we thought they were, but the Bombers let them off the hook.

Winnipeg scored 24 second quarter points to take a 27-19 lead at halftime. Calgary adjusted on defence in the second half while beating up Chris Streveler and the Stampeders offence provided big plays in a critical 37-33 victory.

Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, all of the majors were caught by Reggie Begelton. The breakout receiver caught four of six targets for 62 yards and the hat trick of scores. Begelton vowed to come out of the locker and and “give it to ’em” and that’s exactly what the Stamps did.

The final end zone reception from Begelton came from 17 yards out. It tied him with Bryan Burnham and Brandon Banks for the league lead in touchdown grabs with 10. Begelton’s 1,286 receiving yards rank third in the league. The 26-year-old has played well enough to be in the Most Outstanding Player award discussion.

“I honestly think we could be unstoppable,” Begelton told TSN.

Josh Huff has emerged as a trusted target for Mitchell. The former NFL pass catcher hauled in six balls for a game-high 121 yards. It was the second 100-yard game in just eight outings during Huff’s first season in the CFL. Huff has become a difference-maker for Mitchell.

Reliable veteran Eric Rogers added 71 yards on three receptions. Rogers, who led the CFL with 1,448 in 2015, notched his second career 1,000-yard campaign during the outing. He’s caught 78 passes for 1,002 yards and eight touchdowns.

The aerial attack was possible because Derek Dennis, Shane Bergman, Ucambre Williams, Ryan Sceviour and Nila Kasitati kept Mitchell clean. There was not one single takedown allowed and aside from a Jackson Jeffcoat shot on the franchise QB, which nullified a sack due to a facemask penalty, Mitchell was protected well. Willie Jefferson entered tied for second in the league with 12 sacks, but he was held off the stat sheet by the big boys up front.

Calgary’s defence grounded and pounded Streveler in the final 30 minutes. Brent Monson’s ‘D’ allowed just six points and laid licks on the running quarterback. Streveler was Winnipeg’s leading rusher with 15 carries for 85 yards but he paid the price. He was limping around badly, left briefly to have his right ankle taped and returned to the game. However, the punishment inflicted by the Stamps neutralized the opposition.

There were no sacks on Streveler until the second last series of the contest when Chris Casher took him to the turf, but the entire defence improved their discipline after the break and shut down the Bombers. Streveler threw for 63 yards in the second half while Raheem Wilson and DaShaun Amos intercepted the Winnipeg signal caller.

The Stamps used a tried and true formula using a stingy defence which adapted quickly along with Mitchell making plays in the crucial moments. When Mitchell is healthy Calgary is the class of the league. The reigning MOP has his squad at the top of the West Division standings in the driver seat for the bye to the Western Final.

Calgary are who we thought they were: the best in the West.

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