CALGARY - The offence was imploding with penalties, the defence couldn’t stop the deep touchdown strikes, and the Calgary Stampeders were headed for a home loss against their biggest rival.
Just wait a second, the Stamps said to themselves.
Whether it was the defence gathering around for a talk led by middle linebacker Juwan Simpson, or maybe it was just a deep passing play to Chris Bauman, suddenly the Stamps woke up.
The 17-point deficit was erased within five minutes of clock time, and the Stamps had momentum enough to steal a 41-38 CFL triumph from the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday night at McMahon Stadium.
Don’t say TSN Turning Point.
But what about 2012 Turning Point?
Instead of being 1-3 and in the basement of the West Division while riding a three-game losing skid, the Stamps now face the defending Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions at 2-2 with an undefeated home record.
“It was a big win — I’m hoping it’s a turning point,” Stampeders receiver Marquay McDaniel said. “As an offence, we’re getting better — and that’s the biggest thing.
“If we keep getting better and building off this momentum, this could be a turning point.
“It all clicked. We had some big plays. Bauman had a big play (33 yards), and Romby Bryant had a long run (a 33-yard pass and run on a crossing route to set up the tying field goal).
“When we did that, we were getting down the field fast.”
The Stamps could be trying to get a little bit of Lions luck before facing the 2011 champions next Saturday at McMahon.
With lingering injuries to defensive backs Brandon Smith (knee) and Keon Raymond (groin), they are working out CFL veteran Tad Kornegay and may ink him to a deal.
It was this time last year that the Lions added Kornegay — then a recent cut of the Saskatchewan Roughriders — and the 30-year-old played out the season at halfback.
As one of the youngest teams in the CFL, adding veteran presence to the defence can’t hurt.
After four weeks of the campaign, though, the Stamps have gained plenty of education.
In Week 2, the defence couldn’t stop Ricky Ray and the Toronto Argonauts from marching downfield late for the game-winning field goal and a 39-36 victory.
In Week 3, QB Kevin Glenn threw an interception with just 1:36 left, as the Montreal Alouettes escaped with a 33-32 win after punching in the winning major.
At least this week the Stamps are the ones feeling good about themselves after playing well in the late stages to pull out a win.
Now they have the momentum, and it’s up to them to hold onto it.
“It’s what you need,” Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel said. “I always talk about reloading and answering.
“Games don’t always go your way. You need to fight through adversity. If you want to do anything in the league, like winning important games, you need the confidence so you can seize that momentum. We got on a roll and had enough to win the game.
“Our last three games we’ve had to fight adversity. We won the game. Any time you play good football late in the fourth quarter, it’s something to build on.”
On Twitter @SUNIanBusby