CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders came from behind to down the visiting B.C. Lions 36-32 on Saturday.
Trailing 22-13 after three quarters, Eric Rogers scored a pair of touchdowns including the winner with 31 seconds remaining, while quarterback Nick Arbuckle scored a rushing major in the comeback.
The Stampeders are 1-1 following the first victory of 2019 for the defending Grey Cup champions. The Lions remain winless (0-3).
Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell’s 252 passing yards pushed him past the career 25,000 mark, but he did not finish the game. Mitchell appeared to hurt his throwing shoulder with less than three minutes to play, sending Arbuckle in to complete the comeback. Arbuckle completed all nine passing attempts for 93 yards and a touchdown throw. Mitchell was 23 for 34 in passing including two touchdowns. Rogers had a banner night scoring three touchdowns in front of an announced 25,130 at McMahon Stadium.
B.C.’s John White scored a pair of touchdowns, quarterback Mike Reilly scored a rushing touchdown and Lemar Durant had a touchdown catch. Reilly completed 36-of-42 pass attempts for 354 yards and a pair of touchdown passes in the loss.
That’s our quarterback!!!! 3:50 to play.
— BC LIONS (@BCLions) June 30, 2019
In for Mitchell, Arbuckle scored on a one-yard plunge and threw a two-point convert pass to Rogers for Calgary to trail by a field goal with one minute 20 seconds to play. Rogers recovered an onside kick to get his team the ball in B.C.’s territory and then caught a four-yard pass to score with 31 seconds remaining for the win.
Reilly’s 10-yard carry to score with less than five minute to play gave the Lions an 11-point cushion.
B.C. led 25-13 on Sergio Castillo’s fourth-quarter field goal, but the Stampeders pulled within four points on the following possession.
Mitchell connected with Rogers sprinting for the end zone with a 42-yard pass to score and went to Rogers again for the two-point convert.
A 43-yard field goal from Calgary kicker Rene Paredes was the only scoring in the third quarter. Three costly Calgary penalties in the first half contributed to 22-9 halftime lead for the visitors.
The Stampeder defence mounted a goal-line stand to deny B.C. a touchdown on the final play of the half.
Calgary scored late in the first half when Mitchell capped a 75-yard drive with a three-yard toss to Rogers. Mitchell and Markeith Ambles then combined for a two-point convert.
But a roughing the kicker call assessed to Ante Milanovic-Litre on a B.C. punt gave the Lions the ball back on the Stampeder 33-yard line midway through the second quarter.
Reilly capped the drive with a 22-yard throw to Durant for the former Stampeders’ third TD catch in as many games as Lion.
Royce Metchie’s pass interference in the end zone awarded B.C. the ball on Calgary’s one-yard line, for White to score his second of the first quarter.
A Tre Roberson interception for an 87-yard touchdown on B.C.’s first drive was called back because Ivan McLennan roughed up Reilly.
B.C. scored on the next play with Reilly throwing a 15-yard pass to White. Reilly added a two-point convert toss to Jevon Cottoy.
The Lions are in Toronto to face the Argonauts and the Stampeders head to Regina for take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press