Stampeders get ugly win over Lions

Fred Bennett of the Calgary Stampeders celebrates a touchdown during CFL action against the B.C....

Fred Bennett of the Calgary Stampeders celebrates a touchdown during CFL action against the B.C. Lions at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alta., Friday October 11, 2013. The Stamps won 40-26. (LYLE ASPINALL/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:57 AM ET

It wasn't a Picasso.

But John Hufnagel will settle for a finger-painting at this juncture of the season.

In a back-and-forth affair between two long-time rivals, it was a CFL newbie putting the finishing touches on the Calgary Stampeders' 40-26 win over the B.C. Lions on Friday night at McMahon Stadium.

After the Stamps watched the Lions tie the game 26-26 midway through the fourth quarter, running back Clifton (Peanut) Smith took a pass in the flat and dove for the pylon to put the home side up for good.

Stamps cornerback Chris Randle sealed it with a 65-yard pick-six with just over a minute remaining to send the Lions (9-6) back home with no shot at winning the West Division.

Smith, who was signed to the practice squad last month, was an NFL pro-bowler for his return skills, and was inserted into the Stamps lineup for the first time in Week 16 at the expense of veteran return-man Larry Taylor.

The move paid off.

He was productive in the return game, and the winning touchdown was the icing on the cake, as the Stamps (12-3) can now clinch a home playoff date with a Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5) loss Saturday.

While Smith put the finishing touches on the win, it was the usual suspects leading the way, as Jon Cornish ran for 130 yards and a touchdown.

Kevin Glenn finished 22-of-37 for 259 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

With the Lions running game still struggling — Andrew Harris carried nine times for 31 yards — quarterback Thomas DeMarco, in his fourth-career start, did everything he could to keep the Leos close, going 23-of-39 for 301 yards and two touchdowns, but tossed the dagger pick-six.

After Smith took the opening kickoff back 54 yards into Lions territory, the Stamps offence stalled and they settled for a 12-yard Rene Paredes field-goal.

The Lions offence couldn't get anything going on their first two possessions and it allowed the Stamps to extend the lead, as Glenn led a five-play, 43-yard scoring drive that Cornish finished off with a two-yard touchdown run, which allowed him to surpass his Canadian rushing record of 1,457 yards from one year ago.

Three more Paredes field-goals and one Paul McCallum chip-shot and a single point later, the Stamps were looking to hold on to a 19-4 lead heading into halftime, but DeMarco had other ideas.

The Lions second-year quarterback took the ball with 2:53 to go in the first half and put together a six-play, 69-yard drive in just over a minute, finishing it off by finding Courtney Taylor on a 27-yard hookup to make it 19-11 heading into the locker-room.

Marquay McDaniel got the scoring started in the second half when, on the heels of a Smith punt return down to the Lions 20-yard line, Glenn found the slotback down the seam for an easy touchdown and a 26-11 lead.

But the Lions answered right back, as DeMarco found Shawn Gore for 39 yards and then Emmanuel Arceneaux for 20 more, down to the Stamps one-yard line, where the quarterback would keep it himself for the touchdown to cut the Stamps' lead to 26-18.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Stamps looked to be driving for an insurance score, but Glenn threw into coverage and was picked off by Cord Parks — tying him for the league lead with five interceptions — and DeMarco promptly put together a seven-play, 65-yard drive to pull within two points, with Nick Moore hauling in a six-yard touchdown pass.

They'd then proceed to turn it into a brand new ball game, converting the two-point try — DeMarco found Courtney Taylor wide open in the back of the endzone — to make it 26-26.

From there, it was all Peanut and pick-sixes. 


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