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Paredes kicks a 52-yard field goal in OT as Calgary Stampeders top Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Paredes kicks a 52-yard field goal in OT as Calgary Stampeders top Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Paredes kicks a 52-yard field goal in OT as Calgary Stampeders top Winnipeg Blue Bombers

CALGARY – Demerio Houston did his part and then watched Rene Paredes emerge as the overtime hero.

Paredes hit a 52-yard field goal to lead the Calgary Stampeders (2-1) to a thrilling 22-19 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (0-4) before 22,386 fans at McMahon Stadium on Saturday night.

“I got a little scared here at the end,” said Paredes, who finished the game with four field goals. “The wind pushed it a little bit to the left, which put it close to the post, but yeah, I’m glad it went in, glad we got the win against Winnipeg.”

Paredes played his 214th game for Calgary, tied for fifth in franchise history with Alondra Johnson. He has battled windy conditions on several occasions.

“I was playing in a crazy wind,” he said. “Of course we practice a lot in the wind, so you get used to it.”

Before Paredes made the winning kick, Houston intercepted a pass from Winnipeg quarterback Chris Streveler in the end zone.

Calgary won the toss in overtime and opted to defend first. Thanks to Houston’s efforts, the Stamps were able to thwart the Blue Bombers’ comeback attempt.

“That’s all we had to do, get a stop and I knew Rene would do it,” said Houston, who signed a two-year deal with Calgary in February after playing the previous three seasons for the Bombers.

“It was an amazing feeling. I just want to thank God for putting me in this position, just to be able to make that play. That’s what they brought me out here to do, to make plays, catch interceptions and help my team win, and that’s what I was able to do.”

Marken Michel caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Maier for the Stampeders, who had a bye week. Cody Grace added three punting singles.

“It feels great,” said Maier, who completed 28 of 43 passes for 239 yards. “It does. Not just because we beat Winnipeg. I think it’s great to be on this side of things in an overtime game. The last couple of years we haven’t had our way in overtime games, and it just feels great to be on the right side of it.”

Drew Wolitarsky scored a touchdown for the Bombers in the final minute of the fourth quarter, while Sergio Castillo made four field goals.

“Just too many mistakes to win that close game,” Winnipeg coach Mike O’Shea said. “We put ourselves in a tough position a few times. I thought we cleaned up the explosive plays defensively.

“Offensively we scored when we needed to, but as the game progresses in a close game with where we are now, it’s again a handful of mistakes and ultimately a few too many.”

Zach Collaros started the game at quarterback for Winnipeg and completed eight of 12 passes for 55 yards in the first half. After getting hurt in the second quarter when he was hit hard by Stamps’ defensive lineman Josiah Coatney, Collaros came back for two more plays before sitting out the rest of the game.

In relief, Streveler completed 14 of 24 passes for 170 yards.

“We showed fight at the end of the game and I think we will all look back and say we made some mistakes,” Streveler said. “We didn’t play well enough to win. We made mistakes at critical moments. You can’t throw an interception at the end of the game when we’re in field goal range.

“It’s frustrating, but we’re going to tackle this. We’re going to have a good week of preparation next week and we’re going to keep fighting.”

After a slow start for both teams, Winnipeg opened the scoring thanks to a 26-yard field goal by Castillo at 10:46 of the first quarter.

Although the Bombers held the lead for a quarter of the game for the first time this season, it was short-lived as Paredes scored a 52-yard field goal for the Stamps in the second quarter.

The Stamps had a great chance to score the game’s first touchdown when defensive lineman Clarence Hicks picked off an errant pass from Collaros. Although Hicks fumbled the ball, linebacker Cameron Judge quickly retrieved it, giving Calgary possession at the Winnipeg 37-yard line.

Four plays later, with Calgary facing a third-and-2 situation at the Winnipeg 16-yard line, Reggie Begelton was unable to haul in a pass from Maier in the end zone, with the receiver also taking an offensive pass interference call on the play to also end the threat.

After Grace gave Calgary a one-point lead with a 58-yard punt single, Castillo answered back with field goals from 37 and 36 yards to put Winnipeg ahead 9-4.

Paredes then fired in his second field goal of the game from 26 yards out with time running out in the first half, putting the Stamps behind by just two points.

The defensive battle continued in the third quarter as neither team was able to get anything done offensively. Paredes kicked a 42-yard field goal and Grace hit an 80-yard single for the only score of the third quarter.

Michel caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Maier with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter, capping a nine-play, 58-yard scoring drive that gave Calgary an 18-9 lead.

Castillo then kicked a 60-yard field goal at 5:36 of the fourth quarter. Castillo’s long boot will go down as the longest field goal in Blue Bombers history and the second longest in the CFL record books.

Grace connected for a 200-foot single, his third of the game, to put the Stamps up 19-12.

Streveler then went on an eight-play, 74-yard drive, capping it with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Wolitarsky with 37 seconds left on the clock, forcing overtime.

NEXT ONE

Blue Bombers: host the Ottawa Redblacks (1-1) on Friday, July 5.

Stampeders: Visit the undefeated Montreal Alouettes (4-0) on Saturday, July 6.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2024.