34 - 32 Final
  for this game

Calgary holds on for wild win over Lions

Jul 9, 2011 - 7:02 AM
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Paul McCallum's 57-yard field goal attempt to close out the game was short and wide left, leaving the Calgary Stampeders with a thrilling 34-32 win over the Lions of British Columbia at Empire Field.

McCallum, who converted 4-of-5 field goals and scored a total of 14 points last week in the loss to Montreal, finished the night 2-of-3 on field goal attempts as the Lions (0-2) remained winless.

Following a slow start, Calgary (1-1) quarterback Henry Burris responded by converting 19-of-36 passing for 298 yards and three TDs, although he also threw three interceptions and fumbled twice. Nik Lewis collected four receptions for 100 yards and a major in the triumph.

"It was a good win," noted Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel. "I'm disappointed with the way we gave away the ball (at the end of the game) but we were able to survive it. The defense went back on the field and saved the game for us."

BC signal-caller Travis Lulay bounced back from a quiet first half to finish 17-of-39 for 279 yards passing and a pair of TDs, to go along with two picks, in the losing cause. Shawn Gore tallied a game-high seven receptions for 96 yards.

The meeting started off innocently enough as McCallum knocked through a 14- yard field goal to account for the only points of the first quarter.

Late in the second frame McCallum was called upon once more to attempt a 35- yard field goal, his successful kick providing BC with the 6-0 edge with just over three minutes remaining in the half.

Calgary brought on backup quarterback Michael Bishop to give them a lift before the half and he responded by running the ball around the left side and into the end zone from one yard away with two seconds left on the clock. Following the successful PAT by Rene Paredes, the Stamps carried a 7-6 advantage into the break.

Back under center to begin the second half, Burris marched Calgary down the field on the very first possession and led the squad into the end zone when he dumped the ball off on a screen to Jon Cornish from 10 yards away. The Stamps needed just four plays to log 55 yards on the drive.

Lulay, who had only 25 yards passing in the first half, tallied 24 yards on his first completion of the second half and finally got the Lions into the end zone on a 54-yard strike to Akeem Foster.

After a stalled Calgary drive, the ensuing punt was fumbled by Tim Brown and recovered by Stamps linebacker Akwasi Antwi at the 16-yard line. Burris capitalized on the BC miscue by hitting Landan Talley over the middle for the major and a 21-13 lead.

Despite the lack of a running game, Lulay found plenty of time in the pocket for the Lions on the next possession, hitting Gore a total of three times down the field before finding Andrew Harris all alone on the left side for an 11- yard TD strike to cut the deficit to 21-20.

The offensive trend continued as Burris hit Lewis with a quick swing pass out to the left and, with key blocks and some poor tackling, Lewis raced across the field and over the goal line from 61 yards out in the final minute of the third quarter to push the Calgary lead back to eight at 28-20.

Brown redeemed himself in the fourth quarter when he set BC up with a strong return, getting the Lions offense started inside the Calgary half of the field. Later in the drive Brown collected an option pass and rolled into the end zone. Unfortunately, the squad failed on a two-point conversion attempt, leaving the Stamps with a 28-26 advantage.

Lions defensive back Stanley Franks, who picked off a Burris pass with nine minutes remaining in the contest, was carted off at the 6:04 mark following a leg injury and his replacement, David Hyland, on the very next play had to be tended to by the training staff when he suffered an apparent head injury.

Even with those crucial injuries, the defense for the Lions still held Calgary and forced Paredes to attempt a 50-yard field goal, an effort which just made it over the crossbar to make the score 31-26 with 3:39 remaining.

Despite suffering with some lost feeling in his non-throwing hand, Lulay returned to the field and promptly threw an interception to Keon Raymond who brought it back deep into Lions territory with the clock running and BC's chances fading.

With 2:04 on the clock, Paredes stepped up for a much shorter 25-yard field goal attempt this time and extended the lead to eight points.

Starting off at their own 35-yard line, Lulay's first pass attempt went to wideout Dobson Collins who ran up the right side for 45 yards. A toss to Gore resulted in another 11 yards, followed by a 10-yard connection between Lulay and Geroy Simon which placed the ball inside the 10-yard line. A penalty in the end zone on the ensuing play moved the ball inside the five-yard line. On first down Lulay sought out a receiver but then decided to race out to the right side and dive for the goal line, making the score 34-32.

With just over a minute left in regulation, the Lions took another shot at a two-point conversion and even though Lulay bought time for his receivers to find open space, Simon could not reel in the crucial pass as he stumbled coming back for the ball.

The Stampeders opened the door to the BC comeback bid when Burris failed to hand the ball off cleanly to Joffrey Reynolds and the fumble was recovered by BC's Solomon Elimimian.

Lulay scrambled for five yards on first down, but then shot the ball over the head of Simon, setting up a crucial third-down play. Gore came up big once again for the Lions with a first-down grab just inside the 50-yard line.

Keeping the drive alive, Lulay combined with Simon for a short one-yard gain, but then the signal-caller heaved a ball down the field in the direction of Steven Black that went unanswered.

McCallum stepped on to attempt a game-winning field goal from 57 yards away but it was short and sailed off to the left, leaving Calgary with the hard- fought two-point victory.

Game Notes

BC tallied just three first downs in the first half and recorded a mere 39 total yards...Burris converted 10-of-19 passing for 115 yards through the first 30 minutes, but he was sacked once and intercepted two times...Jamal Robertson, who gained 953 yards a season ago for the Lions, carried the ball three times for just a single yard...Paredes made the start for the Stampeders in place of Rob Maver who was placed in the injured list.