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CFL Preview - Calgary (3-1) at Winnipeg (1-3)



From The Sports Network

By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor

DATE & TIME: Friday, July 26, 8:00 p.m. (et)

GAME NOTES: After a record-setting comeback victory last week, the Calgary Stampeders are hoping to make it easier on themselves this week, as they clash with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Friday night at Investors Group Field.

Coming off a 22-14 win over Montreal in Week 3, the Stampeders knew they were capable of taking care of business versus the Alouettes a week later. It certainly didn't look that way through the first 15 minutes of action as the Stamps fell behind by a 24-0 margin. With the strength of the hometown crowd behind them, the Stampeders not only came storming back to make the game competitive, the squad eventually captured a convincing 38-27 triumph, completing the largest comeback win, after a first-quarter deficit, in CFL history.

Leading the charge for the Stamps was Jon Cornish who not only posted a game- high 109 yards and a score on 11 carries, he also caught four passes for another 20 yards and a major.

Starting quarter Kevin Glenn exited the game with an apparent arm injury, but before leaving he threw for 204 yards and a score. Subbing for Glenn, Bo Levi Mitchell took command on the offense, converting 7-of-13 passing for 49 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Nik Lewis made five catches for 41 yards and a score as well for a Calgary team which is now 3-1 on the season and tied with British Columbia for second place in the Western Division behind a perfect Saskatchewan squad.

Other notable performances for the Stamps came from the defensive pairing of Fred Bennett and Alvin Bowen as the duo combined to provide Calgary with a key play that prevented Montreal from putting even more points on the board. After the Stamps went up 28-24, Bennett chased down Noel Devine who appeared to be on his way to a kickoff return for a touchdown, punching the ball out inside the red zone, while Bowen made the recovery in the end zone.

Kicker Rene Paredes made good on his first four field goal attempts versus the Alouettes, extending his consecutive made field goal streak to 29 in a row, one shy of the CFL record set by Paul McCallum. In the waning moments Paredes took the field in an effort to tie the record, but his attempt was blocked and recovered by Montreal.

Initially it was believed Paredes was going to be starting all over this week, but a check with the rules found that a blocked field goal that failed to cross the line of scrimmage was instead considered a fumble by the kicker in question, which means Paredes, who was again named the CFL Special Teams Player of the Week, will be trying to put himself in the record books this week.

As well as the Stampeders played last weekend, the same could not be said for Winnipeg, which recorded a total of just six points through the first three frames in what became a 35-19 setback versus Toronto at home on Friday night. The Bombers did show some signs of life late with 13 points, but by then the outcome had all but been decided. With the loss, Winnipeg is now just 1-3 on the year, tied with Hamilton and Montreal in the Eastern Division, trailing Toronto (2-2).

Part of the problem for the Blue Bombers last time out was the injury to quarterback Buck Pierce, who suffered a hit to the stomach and ended up on the sidelines for the remainder of the contest. Pierce had converted 10-of-14 passes for 139 yards, but was intercepted once and sacked one time as well. Backup signal-caller Justin Goltz responded by hitting all but two of his 15 pass attempts, en route to 170 yards, but he also failed to get a pass into the end zone.

Running back Chad Simpson, now fourth in the league in rushing after four games, was the only player to score a touchdown for Winnipeg on a one-yard effort in the fourth period.

As a team, Winnipeg has one of the better running attacks in the league right now, responsible for a league-best six touchdowns, but in the CFL it is the quarterback that generally makes the biggest difference and right now the Bombers are at a huge disadvantage.

As of Tuesday the Bombers still were unclear on who would be making the start at quarterback this week. Regardless of who takes the helm, Winnipeg has the fewest passing touchdowns in the league by far with a mere two, with a league- high six interceptions, leading to a less than impressive 74.3 efficiency rating at the position.

Counting only regular season contests dating back to 1945, the Stamps enjoy a 100-89 advantage in the series with Winnipeg. Calgary, which won the most recent meeting back in October by a score of 32-21 on the road, has now taken seven straight against the Bombers.

The squads are slated to play each other again the first week of October in Calgary.

The Stampeders probably won't need to storm back in the same fashion that they did last week, but still another victory is there for the taking, even on the road.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Calgary 30, Winnipeg 20

07/24 10:30:45 ET