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Calgary survives in record-setting comeback versus Montreal

Jul 21, 2013 - 4:06 AM Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - In the largest comeback following a first- quarter deficit in CFL history, the Calgary Stampeders posted a thrilling 38-27 win over a deflated Montreal Alouettes squad at McMahon Stadium.

Montreal led 24-0 after 15 minutes of action, but the Als (1-3) then hit the skids and allowed the Stampeders (3-1) to fight all the way back to capture their second straight victory, both coming against Montreal. The previous record comeback in the CFL following a first-quarter deficit of 20 points took place in 2004.

Calgary quarterback Kevin Glenn converted 18-of-27 passing for 204 yards and a score before exiting with an apparent arm injury. Backup signal-caller Bo Levi Mitchell responded with a pair of scoring passes as the Stamps scored 35 unanswered points over the second and third quarters.

Running back Jon Cornish produced 109 yards on the ground for the hosts, landing in the end zone on one of his 11 carries and also posting a receiving TD in the third quarter.

Calgary kicker Rene Paredes made good on his first four field goals of the meeting, extending his streak of consecutive field goal conversions to 29 in a row, one shy of the CFL record set by Paul McCallum. However, Paredes had a late attempt blocked, ending his run.

Montreal's Anthony Calvillo appeared to be back on track, at least in the first quarter, finishing 18-of-30 for 243 passing yards and a score, but he was sacked three times and struggled to connect with receivers over the final 45 minutes of the meeting.

S.J. Green caught seven passes for a game-high 121 yards and scored on a 58- yard connection, while running backs Brandon Whitaker and Jerome Messam both found their way into the end zone as well for a Montreal team which has now dropped three straight since opening the season with a 38-33 victory over Winnipeg.

Whitaker easily made his way into the end zone just over six minutes into the meeting, slipping out to the right side from two yards out. Calvillo completed three passes to Green on the drive and also found Bruce for a crucial 25-yard gain as well. The signal-caller was 4-of-4 for 67 yards.

On the ensuing Calgary drive, Chip Cox responded with his first interception of the season, corralling a tipped ball and starting another drive for the Als at the 36-yard line. Unable to move the ball, Montreal called on kicker Sean Whyte to knock through a 43-yard line, his longest of the season, to give the visitors a 10-0 advantage.

After another stop by Montreal, Calvillo went back to work with a 21-yard pass to Richardson and a 58-yard TD strike to Green who reached up over the defense along the right sideline and coasted into the end zone.

Back on the attack a short time later, Noel Devine returned a punt 40 yards to the Calgary 22 to put the Als in scoring position yet again with just over one minute remaining in the first frame. Messam leaped over a defender during an 18-yard run that moved the ball down to the four-yard line and on the final play of the quarter he then bulled his way up the middle and over the goal line, extending the Montreal lead to a stunning 24-0 following a successful PAT.

The Stamps finally put points on the board in the second quarter, thanks to Paredes who booted a 27-yard field goal.

On their next possession, the Stampeders registered four straight first downs and were aided by a roughing the passer penalty assessed to Kyries Hebert. Down at the one-yard line, Calgary brought in Mitchell who promptly lofted a pass through the goal posts and into the hands of Tim St. Pierre, cutting the deficit to 14 points with under four minutes remaining in the half.

The major was the first ever for St. Pierre in the CFL.

Paredes added a 41-yard field goal later in the frame to make the score 24-13 in favor of the Alouettes.

Montreal's offense again had trouble generating momentum, giving the ball back to the hosts with less than a minute remaining before halftime. Glenn hit Nik Lewis with three passes in the series, including a 10-yard score with only two seconds left in the period. Unfortunately, Glenn failed to connect with Brad Sinopoli on a two-point attempt, leaving Calgary with a 24-19 deficit at the break.

On their first possession of the second half, the Als gambled on third-and-one and ended up with their first turnover of the contest. Add to that a 10-yard penalty following the play and Calgary was handed the ball at the 20-yard line. However, the Stamps moved the ball just one yard before turning to Paredes for another successful field goal.

Standing in against the pressure, Glenn heaved a 45-yard completion to Marquay McDaniel to the 44-yard line on Calgary's next possession, but during the play the quarterback was shaken up and suffered what appeared to be a right arm injury, forcing him out of the game and bringing Mitchell into the huddle.

After taking the ball down to the 11-yard line on a 23-yard run, Cornish then took a pass out to the left and forced his way across the goal line to make the score 28-24 for the hosts. Calgary then attempted another two-point conversion, but the pass from Mitchell to Maurice Price fell incomplete.

On the ensuing kickoff, Devine split the coverage and appeared to be on his way to the end zone, but he began to run out of steam inside the red zone, allowing Fred Bennett to track him down and punch the ball out of his hands. The ball ended up in the end zone where it was recovered by Calgary's Alvin Bowen.

Tempers flared a bit on a subsequent run by Cornish, who was tackled hard out of bounds, with a 15-yard penalty then being assessed on the Alouettes. A lengthy run by Mitchell was followed by a 21-yard TD scamper by Cornish to put the home team up by a 35-24 score with under a minute left in the third.

Montreal made it an eight-point difference five minutes into the fourth when another stalled drive left Whyte to come on for a 26-yard field goal.

Countering for Calgary later in the period was Paredes who pushed his run of consecutive field goals to 29 in a row with a successful 18-yard effort. Those three points were also the first of the game scored at that end of the field.

With just over a minute to play in regulation, Paredes came on to attempt a 34-yard field goal from just inside the left hash mark, but the kick was blocked and recovered by the Als.