Stampeders erase 24-point deficit to edge Tiger-Cats in OT thriller

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Bo Levi Mitchell wanted to praise his Calgary Stampeders teammates after his team overcame a 24-point deficit to defeat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in overtime on Saturday.

The Stampeders (2-0) found themselves trailing 24-0 late in the first half before going on a roll to score a 33-30 win against the Ticats (0-2) in their home opener before 22,711 fans at Tim Hortons Field.

“I know a lot of people are going to talk about our offense and me changing things,” said Mitchell, who was 28 of 42 for 313 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

“But the defense stepped up. We had a game-winning interception, a throw on a sneak pass from the quarterback for a touchdown and Rene, that guy doesn’t get enough credit. He’s the best kicker in the game.”

Paredes went a perfect 4-for-4, including a game-tying 39-yard field goal as regulation time expired and a 35-yard goal on Calgary’s offensive possession to start overtime.

Calgary linebacker Jameer Thurman intercepted Hamilton quarterback Dane Evans at the Calgary 17-yard line to end the game. Stampeders safety Titus Wall also had an interception in the third quarter and stripped Evans with a quarterback breakout in the fourth quarter.

CLOCK | Thurman seals impressive Stampeders comeback:

Jameer Thurman seals Stampeders comeback

The Stampeders erased a 24-point deficit to beat the Tiger-Cats 33-30 in overtime.

Wall rushed for a 45-yard touchdown to tie the game at 30-30 with 4:12 remaining.

“We continue to preach resiliency and make a play at the right time,” Wall said.

“Everyone showed up at the right time,” added Mitchell. “It sucked to be in that position, and a good team shouldn’t be in that position. But all the guys stepped up and made the plays.”

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Evans didn’t want to make a commotion on the disastrous third-and-inches, but felt the whistle should have been blown before Wall made his big play.

“I’ve done it a million times and that play was over,” Evans said. “Every one of them, always. As soon as the quarterback gets the first one, it’s over. They never let him stay. It is what it is. It was definitely a big turning point. That was probably the biggest change in momentum.”

Evans promised to improve after the Ticats’ fourth-quarter collapse in their season opener in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week. That seemed to be the case in the first half, playing behind a revamped offensive line.

He threw for three touchdowns in the first two quarters and finished with 425 yards passing, completing 36-for-51.

The Tiger-Cats Fourth Quarter Fights

But the Ticats were outscored in the fourth quarter for the second straight game. The Roughriders put together an 18-7 rally last week, and the Stampeders outscored Hamilton by a 23-6 margin in the fourth quarter and overtime on Saturday.

“It’s disappointing,” Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said. “It’s going to hurt, and it should. We didn’t finish. We had chances and we didn’t.”

Wall intercepted Evans in the end zone early in the third quarter. On Hamilton’s ensuing possession, they were stopped on third down at the Calgary nine-yard line when Thurman stopped a quarterback pass from Matt Shiltz.

The Stampeders lost running backs Charlie Power and Peyton Logan to injuries in this outing.

After Evans’ first-half touchdown passes to Sean Thomas Erlington, Steven Dunbar and Tim White, Mitchell pulled his receiving corps aside in the locker room to talk about a comeback.

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The offer stalled early in the third quarter when Ticats defensive back Javon Santos-Knox intercepted Mitchell.

“I lit a fire after the interception,” said Mitchell, who threw touchdowns to Reggie Begelton and Luther Hakunavanhu in the third quarter.

Hamilton kicker Michael Domagala kicked field goals of 21, 18 and 39 yards on his three attempts.


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