Stampeders win classic Labour Day tilt against Eskimos

Stampeders safety Jamar Wall sacks Eskimos quarterback Kerry Joseph at McMahon stadium in Calgary,...

Stampeders safety Jamar Wall sacks Eskimos quarterback Kerry Joseph at McMahon stadium in Calgary, Alta., Sept. 3, 2012. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

CALGARY - It looked like a Classic mistake by a Calgary Stampeders QB -- one that would go down in history as a game-changer.

Now, it's just a footnote in an otherwise wild and entertaining Labour Day Classic.

Kevin Glenn went from the low of throwing a pick-six to the high of marching down and tossing the winning major to Larry Taylor in a matter of minutes.

The reason was he never lost his composure.

Glenn kept the faith, even while watching Taylor return Grant Shaw's 48-yard field-goal attempt out of the endzone at the last second to preserve the 31-30 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos.

"Everybody kept the faith, even when the pick happened and they went up," Glenn said. "You could tell in the guys' eyes that they knew we could still win this game.

"It's big when you get into situations like that when guys still have your back."

By no means did the Stampeders (5-4) play a perfect game, but they move into a second-place tie with the Eskimos (5-4) with a rematch set for Friday at Commonwealth Stadium.

Glenn threw an early interception and Nik Lewis fumbled the ball away inside scoring range in the first half to take points off the board.

But they erased an eight-point third-quarter deficit with back-to-back TD drives to take the momentum heading into the final frame.

Even when the Eskimos drove down for a Kerry Joseph one-yard rushing major, the home side was still in control.

However, on the first play from scrimmage after cutting the deficit to two, Eskimos defensive back Joe Burnett stepped in front of Johnny Forzani and took it to the house for the lead.

"The first one got away from me, but the second one, I wouldn't take it back," said Glenn, who went 23-of-30 passing for 273 yards with TD strikes to Taylor and Jon Cornish.

"Johnny was open. I threw the ball and the guy made a play. He came from over Johnny's back. Those guys get paid, too."

The Stamps defence also rebounded nicely a couple of times, but they had some glaring mistakes that led to Eskimos points.

On Joseph's TD drive in the fourth quarter, the Stamps took two penalties -- Corey Mace for roughing the passer and Deron Mayo for a facemask on Joseph -- to put the visitors in range for an easy score.

This was after Fred Stamps was left open for a 53-yard pass-and-run where safety Eric Fraser couldn't get a handle on him.

In the first half, the Stamps capitalized on a muffed punt as Burke Dales was tackled for a turnover on his own 26-yard line and took an early lead.

The Eskimos rebounded in the second quarter. Joseph hit a wide-open Stamps with a 35-yard TD strike and hit paydirt again on their next drive thanks to sloppy tackling by the Stamps.

Hugh Charles took a short pass and looked to be swarmed, but Keon Raymond bounced off Charles and safety Eric Fraser couldn't wrap up the dynamo. He took off for a 72-yard TD reception.

"I should have hit him lower," Raymond said. "I tried to put all 200 (lb.) into it. He just bounced right off. Those compact guys you have to take out at the legs.

"We shut them out the majority of the second half. In the entire third quarter, I don't think they completed a pass. Then, they had the one to Stamps. We had to keep chopping wood."

Stamps running back Matt Walter had his first career CFL TD on an 11-yard run, QB Bo Levi Mitchell plunged in for a one-yard major while Rene Paredes nailed a 43-yard field goal to round out the scoring.

Joseph went 17-of-27 passing for 311 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while Shaw had three singles, including one on a kickoff.

The Stamps end a two-game losing skid at home and now head into Edmonton on a two-game winning streak.

And they did it in heart-stopping fashion, which should give them some momentum.

"This is what Labour Day is about: Giving excitement to the fans," Glenn said. "It's for the team and it's a big win for us. This one was for the fans, so they can go to work tomorrow and brag about it to their co-workers who are from Edmonton."

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @SUNIanBusby


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