The vast majority of the gathering at McMahon stadium Saturday night left the ball park cold, wet and unhappy over the final result. But the one thing they couldn’t say was that they weren’t entertained!
Saturday night’s CFL contest in Calgary was one of the more entertaining efforts thus far this year. Providing some hope for Stamps fans that their team is about to begin a rising from the also rans. The Stamps forced the Western division leading BC Lions into over time before eventually ending up on the short end of the 25-18 score. The Lions who increased their winning streak to six in a row, found all they could handle with a Stamps team that played hard hitting, smash mouth football combined with some impressive offence from Marcus Crandell and his receiving corps.
Both teams traded scoring drives with heavy hits in a hard fought battle on the wet McMahon turf. Nasty weather helped to contribute to the old time football atmosphere as the Alberta winds whipped around the stadium. Both starting QB’s managed to keep their passes on target through the night, but for the Lions it was the running of Eddie Linscomb that sealed the fate of the Stamps. Linscomb scored twice in the game, the more important of the two a one yard run in the overtime to put the Lions into the lead. The CFL overtime rules called for one more set of downs for the Stamps, and try as they did they could not make it to the end zone. Crandell was sacked on a third down attempt to bring the Overtime to an end, securing the win for the Leos.
Much will be discussed about the decision of Stamps QB to throw a pass as the second half wound down rather than to stop the clock and attempt a field goal. The lost three points would have been the difference by the games end giving the Stamps a victory; instead the two teams tied at 18 each went to the extra time. The score remained tied late in the game thanks to a remarkable game saving knockdown by Defensive back Jason Crumb who came from half a field away to deflect a certain touchdown pass to the ground.
The Lions were forced to rely on third string Spurgeon Wynn when starting QB Casey Printers was taken out of the game in the fourth, Printers who was creamed by Scott Coe as the third quarter ended tried to return to play but never really was the same. Printers was forced out for good in the fourth quarter when he came up limping, Wally Buono sent Wynn in to carry the torch and after a bit of a struggle Wynn kept the Leos rolling.
His contribution should prove to be a huge confidence builder for the third stringer, who only a year ago was being spoken about as a possible starter for the Leos one day. Since training camp he has been in the shadow of Printers all season. Printers of course took over for the injured Dave Dickenson weeks ago and has had the Lions on a streak ever since.
Wynn put his stamp on the Stamps in the overtime with a 29 yard pass to Ryan Thelwell that set up the winning run by Linscomb. His success bodes well for Lions team that must now feel as though they are the team to beat in the Western division. They now return home to take care of the bumps and bruises and prepare for the Argonauts.
Calgary frustrated as they must be can take some positive things from the game, despite the second quarter miscue Marcus Crandell seemed to have returned to his level of play from last year, a good sign for a Stamps team that needs to put points on the board. The defence played very hard to keep a powerhouse Lions attack in check for most of the game, a few more yards and a bit better clock management could have been the missing ingredient to a Stamps win. Its cold comfort for a cold and wet Stampeder fan, but for the football fan watching on the tube it was a pretty entertaining night of CFL football.