Calgary Stampeders down Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37-33 in divisional battle

CALGARY — Reggie Begelton had a trio of touchdown catches for the Calgary Stampeders in a 37-33 win over the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday.

 Ante Milanovich-Litre scored a rushing TD for the Stampeders (11-5). Richie Sindani, Eric Rogers and Josh Huff all made two-point convert catches.

Rene Paredes kicked a pair of field goals from 41 and 32 yards.

Lucky Whitehead and Kenny Lawler had touchdown catches and Marcus Sayles scored a fumble return touchdown for Winnipeg (10-7).

Justin Medlock kicked four field goals for the Blue Bombers from 32, 34, 41, 33 yards in front of an announced 26,885 at McMahon Stadium.

The two teams meet again Friday in Winnipeg in the last game of the regular season for the Blue Bombers.

The Stampeders conclude their regular season the following week against the B.C. Lions.

Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell completed 22-of-33 passes for 337 yards and three touchdown throws. He was intercepted once.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Chris Streveler was limping by the end of the game and replaced by Sean McGuire for one series midway through the fourth quarter.

Steveler finished 18 of 27 pass attempts for 134 yards, one touchdown pass and one interception.

In one of the more interesting home stretches in recent years in the West Division, Calgary, the Saskatchewan Roughriders (11-5) and Winnipeg will jockey for first in the division and playoff seedings right to the wire.

Calgary will attempt to clinch the season series in Winnipeg.

Saskatchewan wraps up the regular season with a home and home versus the Edmonton Eskimos (8-8) which will be the crossover playoff team in the East Division.

In the event of a tie with the Roughriders in the standings, the Stampeders would rank higher by virtue of having won the season series 2-0.

The top team in the West hosts the division semifinal Nov. 17 and gets the benefit of a week’s rest wile the second and third seeds duke it out in the Nov. 10 semifinal.

The Blue Bombers led 27-19 at halftime Saturday, but the score was knotted 30-30 by the end of the third quarter.

After a 41-yard Medlock field goal, Begelton collected his third touchdown with a 17-yard catch-and-run at 4:44 of the fourth.

Winnipeg turned the ball over on downs with 1:36 remaining in the game when Chris Casher sacked Streveler,

The Blue Bombers had the ball on the last drive of the game when Paredes missed a 48-yard field-goal attempt, but DaShaun Amos intercepted Streveler’s final throw of the game.

The Stampeders pulled even with the Bombers at 10:41 of the third quarter when Milanovich-Litre finished a seven-play, 75-yard march with a two-yard plunge to score, and Huff adding a two-point convert catch.

Streveler’s first throw of the third quarter was intercepted by Calgary’s Raheem Wilson.

The Stampeders eked a field goal out of the turnover to trail by five points, but Medlock’s 41-yard field goal restored Winnipeg’s eight-point cushion.

Trailing 11-3 after one quarter, Winnipeg rattled off 17 points in the first five minutes of the second — 14 off Calgary turnovers — to jump ahead 20-11.

Calgary countered with a 10-play, 92-yard drive for Begelton’s 21-yard scoring catch and a two-point reception by Rogers.

But Streveller connected with Lawler lurking behind coverage for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 2:35 remaining in the half.

A Winston Rose interception gave Winnipeg the ball on Calgary’s 25-yard line early in the second quarter. Whitehead scored a catch-and run touchdown on the next play.

After Medlock’s 34-yard field goal, Sayles stripped the ball from Stampeders running back Ante Milanovic-Litre and ran it back for a 24-yard touchdown.

Mitchell’s nine-yard strike to Begelton produced the first touchdown of the game, augmented by a two-point convert catch by Sindani late in the first quarter.

Medlock’s earlier 32-yard field goal knotted the score 3-3.

On the first play of the game, Mitchell threw a 55-yard pass to Eric Rogers to get the Stamps to Winnipeg’s 34-yard-line.

But a pair of dropped passes, including one to the end zone intended for Rogers, had the Stampeders settling for a Paredes field goal.

Calgary defensive back Brandon Smith announced prior to the game this season is his last.

The 35-year-old from Oakland, Calif., is the longest-serving active Stampeder in his 12th season.

Smith has won three Grey Cups with Calgary (2008, 2014, 2018) and was a league all-star in 2014.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2019.