QB David Watford, Tiger Cats defeated Stampeders 23-17 – Calgary | The Canadian News

David Watford’s first start in the CFL resulted in a victory, even though none of his units resulted in a touchdown.

Taylor Bertolet connected on all five field goal attempts and Simoni Lawrence scored a 15-yard interception return for a touchdown when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Calgary Stampeders 23-17 at Tim Horton’s Field on Friday.

“I definitely felt rusty, but I was able to get out and the guys really cheered me on,” Watford said.

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Watford made his first center start for the Ticats (3-3) following injuries to Dane Evans (lower body) and Jeremiah Masoli (ribs), and finished the game with 19 passes on 22 attempts for 149 yards. Masoli dressed as a substitute on Friday.

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“First of all, he didn’t deliver the ball,” Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said of Watford. “We knew there was a possibility that he was vulnerable because the ball runs a lot.

“It is hard, it has not received any blow. It’s hard to prepare for that. “

Watford was the Ticats’ leading running back with 10 carries for 35 yards. He received a lot of support from his team’s defense and special teams, limiting Calgary to 279 yards of total offense.

Bo Levi Mitchell completed 16 of 28 passes for 170 yards and an interception for the Stampeders (2-5). It was the quarterback’s first loss to Hamilton in his career, after winning the previous 12 games against the club.

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Mitchell, who has seven interceptions in four starts this season, was pulled in the final 2:20 of the game in favor of backup quarterback Jake Maier.

“I’m never going to be good at it, just because I believe in myself,” Mitchell said of Stampeders coach Dave Dickenson’s decision to take him out of the game. “If I agreed with that, it would be a problem, but I’m not the coach anyway.”

Both teams struggled to maintain any offense to begin with.

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In the first quarter, Watford went two and out on his first drive of the game from Hamilton’s 27-yard line. But the center received a favorable field position for his next drive that began immediately after Calgary’s Richard Leonard fumbled on a punt return. Ticats kicker Bertolet hit a 47-yard field goal despite putting Hamilton at 3-0.

The Stampeders responded when they recovered a ball from a punt missed by Hamilton’s Frankie Williams. Calgary kicker Rene Paredes hit a 31-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3.

In the second quarter, the Stampeders lost their second punt return, this time to Markeith Ambles. Watford had his longest series of the half, eight plays for 47 yards. Bertolet completed the series with an 18-yard field goal to put the Ticats up 6-3 with 35 seconds left.

Hamilton mustered 110 yards of offense in the first half, beating Calgary’s 107 yards.

The Ticats opened scoring in the second half on the opening drive when Bertolet hit his third field goal of the game from 49 yards for a 9-3 lead.

On Calgary’s next drive, Luther Hakunavanhu for a 74-yard reception that set up a one-yard touchdown by Jake Maier for the game’s first major. Paredes converted the point later to give the Stampeders their first lead, 10-9, with 11:14 remaining in the fourth.

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Hakunavanhu’s capture was his first CFL reception. The fifth-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft saw more action with starting receiver Hergy Mayala who missed the game with a quadriceps injury.

The Ticats responded with their first touchdown of the game, and it came from defense.

“I was so happy for our soccer team because we needed that boost,” Steinauer said. “They were backed up right there and the way he ran the ball (into the end zone) was like a running back.”

Lawrence intercepted Mitchell for a 15-yard touchdown, then Maleek Irons threw the ball into the end zone for a two-point conversion that gave Hamilton a 17-10 lead over Calgary at 6:35.

Bertolet hit a 19-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that increased Hamilton’s lead to 20-10. He followed that up with a 32-yard field goal late in the quarter for a 23-10 lead.

Mitchell was retired in favor of backup quarterback Maier during the final 2:20 of the game.

Click to play video: 'Bo Levi Mitchell Returns To Stampeders Practice Before Labor Day Classic'

Bo Levi Mitchell returns to Stampeders practice ahead of the Labor Day Classic

Bo Levi Mitchell Returns to Stampeders Practice Ahead of the Labor Day Classic – September 2, 2021

Maier connected with Richard Sindani for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds remaining in regulation. The point later reduced Hamilton’s lead to 23-17.

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The Stampeders attempted a side kick but were unsuccessful, ending any comeback attempt.

Fifteen thousand fans attended the game at Tim Horton’s Field, the maximum allowed under current COVID-19 protocols established by the provincial government.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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