CALGARY - Take away a pass interference call here or an undisciplined play there, and Saturday night may have turned out differently.
Or maybe not.
Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish got the penalty parade started in the first quarter with an unnecessary roughness penalty for head-butting a Toronto Argonauts defender as the hosts were marching.
It didn’t stop there in the Stamps’ 22-14 loss to the Argos.
Each and every time the Stamps got close, penalties pushed them back.
Slotback Nik Lewis continued his war of words with former Stamps linebacker Brandon Isaac on the next drive, but after hopping up in the face of Isaac after a 22-yard catch-and-run early in the second quarter,
No. 82 was flagged 10 yards
for objectionable conduct, continuing the march backwards.
“When you get down to the two-yard line and you get a penalty and it pushes you out, it’s tough,” said Stamps quarterback Kevin Glenn. “You get all the way down there — and it’s not easy to get all the way down there — and a penalty pushes you out of there, it’s even tougher to get back down there. Sometimes, they do change momentum, but you have to overcome it.”
It was the theme of the night.
In the third quarter, Stamps defensive back Keon Raymond continued the trend, handing the Argos the game in the process.
After the Middle Tennessee State product was flagged for unnecessary roughness midway through the frame, he took a pass interference penalty that gave Argos QB Ricky Ray life.
One play and 26 yards later, Ray found running back Andre Durie in the endzone for a 19-6 Argos lead.
“I think that was blatant B.S., man,” said Raymond, clearly not happy with the zebras’ interference call.
“I’m fighting for position, he’s fighting for position. I’m staying right in front of him, you know what I mean?
“It (stung) because that was second down and we were off the field. I think they kind of got bailed out in that situation.
“It’s football. Let guys go out there and play. This ain’t no damn flag football.”
The end result for the Stamps?
Eight penalties for 83 yards and a 3-4 record through seven games.
Backup QBs were busy in short-yardage situations, showing just how much trouble both teams had moving the football with any sort of consistency.
Former Notre Dame star Jarious Jackson was in four times to shuffle left and dive over the pile for the Argos, while Stamps backup Bo Levi Mitchell was called on twice to pick up a yard.
When the two teams weren’t trying muster a yard or two, they were usually getting work in on special teams. Argos do-it-all boot man Swayze Waters was five-of-five on field goals and also punted four times. Stamps placekicker Rene Paredes curled both his field-goal attempts between the uprights and Rob Maver had a busy day, punting seven times. Not exactly a fan-friendly showing, unless you wanted to see an English Premier League soccer game.
Toronto mayor Rob Ford was in the house. He likely hitched a ride to McMahon Stadium so he could read his copy of the Sun without incident.