VANCOUVER — The Calgary Stampeders have cemented their spot atop the CFL’s West Division with a win over the B.C. Lions.
The Stamps (13-5) clinched the division title with a 26-9 victory on Saturday, punching their ticket straight through to the Western final in Calgary on Nov. 18. With the win, the Stampeders snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Lions (9-9) already were locked into the crossover spot going into the game and will play in the Eastern semifinal in Hamilton on Nov. 11. The winner goes to Ottawa to meet the Redblacks in the Eastern final.
— CFL (@CFL) November 4, 2018
The Saskatchewan Roughriders (12-6) will host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-8) in the Western semifinal the same day. The winner will travel to Calgary for the Western final.
B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay put up 111 passing yards and two interceptions in the first half against Calgary before he was replaced by Jonathon Jennings, who tallied 134 yards.
Calgary’s Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 278 yards and a touchdown.
Mitchell now has 5,124 yards for the season, marking the second time the 28-year-old has surpassed the 5,000 mark in his career.
The Stamps dominated the Lions from the beginning, keeping B.C. off the scoreboard for the entire first half of the game.
Calgary kicker Rene Paredes was the first to put up points, making a 52-yard field goal five minutes into the game.
It was the first of four field goals for the Montreal native.
With less than 30 seconds left in the first quarter, Mitchell found Stamps receiver Chris Matthews deep in Lions territory and connected for a 44-yard pass.
Running back Don Johnson completed the effort on the next play, taking a one-yard dive into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. The Stamps failed on the two-point convert.
Calgary’s Markeith Ambles widened the lead, hauling in a 10-yard pass from Mitchell in the second quarter.
The Stamps went into the half up 25-0.
The Lions managed to keep the Stamps from adding to their lead in the second half, but struggled to score.
B.C. finally got on the board late in the third frame when Calgary punter Rob Maver missed a snap and the ball went sailing past the goal line for a safety.
Receiver DeVier Posey breathed a bit of life into the listless Lions’ offence in the fourth quarter, hooking up with Jennings on a 40-yard pass. Short-yardage quarterback Cody Fajardo finished the job six plays later with a one-yard touchdown.
B.C. kicker Ty Long made the conversion, bringing the score to 25-9.
A late single for Calgary completed the scoring.
The Stampeders’ victory was somewhat of a spoiler Lions head coach Wally Buono, who was working his final home game.
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) November 4, 2018
Buono — who has the most coaching wins in CFL history — is set to retire at the end of the season.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press