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Stampeders pounce on B.C. Lions for 30-6 CFL pre-season win

Leos field a roster primarily of rookies hoping to make impression
B.C. Lions defensive back Jassin States-McClean (36) knocks a pass away from Calgary Stampeders wide receiver Marken Michel (80) during first half CFL preseason football action in Calgary, Saturday, May 25, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

B.J. Emmons had a pair of rushing touchdowns to lead the Calgary Stampeders to a 30-6 win over the visiting B.C. Lions in CFL pre-season action at McMahon Stadium on Saturday.

Marken Michel also caught a touchdown pass from starting quarterback Jake Maier for the Stampeders, who will wrap up their pre-season schedule with a road game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers next Friday.

Rene Parades kicked a pair of field goals for the Stampeders, while his backup Campbell Fair also connected for one late in the game.

A total of five quarterbacks suited up for the Stamps. In addition to Maier, Matt Shiltz, Tommy Campbell, Logan Bonner and Kyle Vantrease all had a chance to show off their skills for head coach Dave Dickenson.

Fielding a roster primarily of rookies hoping to make an impression on head coach Rick Campbell, the Lions struggled offensively during the game and had to settle for a pair of field goals by Carl Meyer.

While Jake Dolegala started at quarterback for B.C., Dakota Prukop and Chase Brice also saw action under centre for the Lions.

The Lions return home to Vancouver to host the Edmonton Elks in their final exhibition game next Friday.

Following a 30-minute lightning delay, a heads-up play by Michel led to Calgary’s first touchdown of the game at 5:44 of the first quarter.

Michel made a diving catch to haul in a 30-yard pass from Maier at the B.C. five-yard line. He quickly got to his feet and rambled into the end zone. After a review, it was determined that Michel wasn’t touched by either of the Lions’ defenders in the area when he hit the ground, so the play resulted in a touchdown.

Late in the first quarter, Calgary’s Kobe Williams made a nice defensive play by leaping into the air to knock down a pass thrown by Dolegala.

The Stamps had a pair of opportunities to build their lead early in the second quarter, but came away empty-handed on both occasions.

Facing a third-and-one situation on B.C.’s four-yard line, Stevens elected to keep the ball and was tackled for a one-yard loss resulting in a turnover on downs.

Then on Calgary’s next drive, a 44-yard field goal attempt by Paredes sailed wide to the right of the uprights.

After completing seven of 12 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, Maier was pulled from the game partway through the second quarter.

He was replaced by Shiltz, who marched the Stamps down the field and into B.C. territory on his first two drives, which resulted in field goals by Paredes from 22 and 47 yards out.

Late in the first half, a pair of rookie B.C. receivers made nice catches to set up a 42-yard field goal by Meyer with no time remaining on the clock. Quarterback Prukop fired a 19-yard strike to Jeff Sample before Stan Berryhill hauled in a 16-yard pass to set up the scoring play.

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At 11:02 of the third quarter, Emmons capped off a five-play, 51-yard drive by scampering into the end zone for a five-yard touchdown. The rookie running back capped off his impressive run by doing a front flip over the goal line and into the end zone.

Emmons then put an explanation point on a seven-play, 53-yard drive by the Stamps — this time primarily engineered by quarterback Bonner — by running for a six-yard TD at 6:19 of the fourth quarter.

Meyer then booted a 33-yard field goal at 9:51 before Fair split the uprights from 30 yards out with 1:56 remaining in the game.

The Lions had a chance to score a touchdown as time expired, but Brice fumbled the ball at the one-yard line and it was recovered by Stamps’ defensive lineman Cody Roscoe to end the game.

Laurence Heinen, The Canadian Press