OTTAWA – Redblacks coach Rick Campbell made a tough play call Thursday night, and the Calgary Stampeders made him pay for it.
Rene Paredes kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired to give Calgary a 17-16 comeback win.
The Stampeders looked like they were going to score their first touchdown of the game on their previous series, but Richie Sindani fumbled trying to dive into the end zone and the ball was recovered by Redblacks defensive back Sherrod Baltimore with less than two minutes to play.
The Redblacks elected to concede a safety two plays later rather than punt from their end zone, cutting the lead to 16-14.
“I was thinking we were going to have to defend about 30 yards of field position either way by punting out of our own end zone. They got a good return and we didn’t stop them,” Campbell said.
“It didn’t work out so it wasn’t the right decision but I’m not too stubborn or too proud, I will look at it and do whatever I can to give this football team a chance to win.”
The Stampeders held a 493-221 edge in total offence and Paredes kicked five field goals.
He missed a late field goal from 49 yards just before his winning kick when the ball hit the left upright, keeping the Redblacks lead at four.
“I thought I hit it well and the wind moved the ball a couple of times and that happens. I’m experienced and you just have to move on to the next kick,” Paredes said of his missed attempt.
“I was very surprised (at the safety decision) but we don’t worry about that. That’s their team and it worked out for us.”
Brad Sinopoli had given the Redblacks a 16-12 lead with a 23-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter.
Lewis Ward kicked three field goals in the game for the Redblacks, giving him 63 consecutive in the regular season as Ottawa (2-4) dropped its fourth straight.
Jonathon Jennings made his second start in place of the injured Dominique Davis and threw for 125 yards passing and two interceptions.
The Stampeders (4-2) got 370 passing yards from Nick Arbuckle, but 98 yards in penalties cost them.
“Defence and special teams played great, we all made plays when we needed to make plays, defence got stops when we needed it and as a team we got good returns when we needed it,” Arbuckle said.
“I’m not sure in their decision but they had confidence in their defence no doubt, but our offence moved the ball well.”
The first half featured six turnovers, 78 yards in penalties – all against Calgary – and one punt.
Ottawa had only 66 yards of total offence in the first half compared to 229 for the Stampeders.
Of Calgary’s 78 yards in penalties, 45 came on one sequence in the first quarter when a blindside block took away a gain that would have seen the Stampeders set up inside the Ottawa 10.
Arbuckle fumbled on the next play and another 15-yard penalty was assessed to the Stamps on the recovery, and then another 15-yard unnecessary roughness call put the Redblacks into field goal range.
Ward was successful from 13 yards out to tie the game 6-6 at 12:51. He had given the Redblacks a 3-0 lead on the first series with a 38-yard field goal, but that drive was greatly aided by a 58-yard kickoff return by DeVonte Dedmon to open the game.
Paredes kicked field goals of 47 and 24 yards two minutes apart midway through the quarter to give the Stampeders a 6-3 lead.
A Ward field goal of 53 yards and one from 12 yards for Paredes was all the scoring in the second quarter as the teams went into the half tied 9-9.
A 44-yard field goal late in the third gave the Stampeders a 12-9 lead that they took into the fourth quarter.
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