Lions frus­trated by Stam­ped­ers’ re­silient de­fence

CALGARY 27 B.C. LIONS 13

Times Colonist - - Sports - DONNA SPENCER

CALGARY — With the of­fence sput­ter­ing, the Calgary Stam­ped­ers patch­worked to­gether a 27-13 win over the B.C. Lions on the strength of de­fence and special teams on Satur­day.

The Stam­ped­ers (10-1-1) have won eight con­sec­u­tive games this sea­son and ex­tended their reg­u­lar-sea­son win streak at home to 16 in a row dat­ing back to 2015.

Calgary gained more sep­a­ra­tion atop the West Di­vi­sion, now five points ahead of the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers and seven up on the Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos. The Lions dropped to 6-6.

In just the first half, the Stam­ped­ers de­fence sacked Lions start­ing quar­ter­back Jonathan Jen­nings four times, in­ter­cepted him once and knocked down two passes.

Calgary re­turner Roy Finch com­piled 230 yards on punts and kick­offs, in­clud­ing a 66-yard punt re­turn that set up Reg­gie Begel­ton’s fourth-quar­ter touch­down to seal the win.

“I think right now you’re look­ing at a team that’s led by the de­fence and special teams,” Calgary head coach Dave Dick­en­son said. “That’s not a bad com­bi­na­tion.”

Mid­dle line­backer Alex Sin­gle­ton recorded his third straight game of 10 or more tack­les with 11 Satur­day, plus a quar­ter­back sack.

“He is the cen­tre­piece of that de­fence,” Dick­en­son said. “He’s up there with the best mid­dle lineback­ers in the league and he’s only in his sec­ond year.”

Begel­ton’s 20-yard catch to score was the first touch­down of his CFL ca­reer. Marken Michel also had a touch­down catch of 31 yards in the open­ing quar­ter.

Rene Pare­des kicked field goals from 27, 42, 17 and 37 yards, with punter Rob Maver con­tribut­ing a 66-yard sin­gle in front of 28,176 fans at McMa­hon Sta­dium.

Lions kicker Ty Long was good from 26, 48, 46 and 35 yards and added a 68-yard sin­gle. But B.C. couldn’t solve a de­fence that har­ried Jen­nings all night.

“Those guys, they played one hell of a game on de­fence. We just got to ex­pose teams when we have a chance to and that’s what we failed to do tonight,” Lions slot­back Em­manuel Arce­neaux said. “Of­fen­sively, when we’re in a funk like that, it’s go­ing to be hard to beat any­body.”

Stam­ped­ers run­ning back Jerome Mes­sam left the game in the third quar­ter af­ter Lion Micah Awe’s hel­met col­lided with the back of Mes­sam’s head.

“I’m go­ing to get eval­u­ated and hope­fully bounce back for next week,” Mes­sam said later.

B.C. Lions quar­ter­back Jonathon Jen­nings throws against the Calgary Stam­ped­ers on Satur­day.

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