STAMP NOTES: Stampeders battle rivals

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The Calgary Stampeders had their chances of beating their closest rivals.

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Twice against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and then Saturday night against the BC Lions, the Stamps gave themselves chances to win late.

And yet, in all three games, they came up short and came away with losses.

The gaps between win and loss are always tight in football, but they’ve been tighter than usual for the Stampeders this season.

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And it’s frustrating, absolutely.

“Definitely frustrating, for sure,” defensive end Folarin Orimolade said. “It’s a long season, it’s early, still the first half of the season, but we have to find ways to improve and be more precise when it really matters.”The Stampeders led 30-18 at halftime.

They held a 40-31 lead with less than three minutes left.

It could be argued that if Reggie Begelton had made a pass in their last practice that would have earned the Stamps a first down, they would have won the game.

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But there are a million moments like that in every football game.

The thing is, the Stamps failed three times.And those losses have come to the teams they’re trying to catch up in the standings and need to beat if they really want to fight for the Gray Cup.

So yeah, there’s some frustration around the McMahon Stadium locker room right now.

“It’s frustrating because we think we should be winning these games, but at this point, right now, overall, we’re just not good enough to win them,” the Los Angeles quarterback said. Stamps Bo Levi Mitchell. “I think it shows we’re not good enough. I said this last time and some guys can be offended if they want to, but I’ve been here a long time. I’m not going to water it down, I’m not going to sit here and say ‘we’re better than this team we just lost to’. No we are not, we lost to them.

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GIVE HIM HIS DUEStampeders made a big deal out of equipment manager George Hopkins’ 1,000e game with the organization, as you can imagine.

Hopkins started with the club in 1972 and has been there ever since, starting as equipment manager in 1977.

As last week in Ottawa marked its 1,000e game, officially, the Stamps obviously chose to celebrate the accomplishment in their first home game after hitting the mark.

The team gave him their weekly “Player Profile” treatment during the first quarter, then had a lengthy video tribute that included memories shared by everyone from Wally Buono to Jon Cornish to Jeff Garcia.

It was a fitting tribute to a man who has been central to the club’s identity for five decades now.

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QUICK KEYS

Minutes into the game, Bo Levi Mitchell officially passed Henry Burris for the most passing yards in Stampeders history. He only needed six yards, so there wasn’t much of a mystery as to whether he would break the franchise record on Saturday night, but it’s still an incredible feat. Burris threw for 32,191 yards for the Stamps. Mitchell passed him with an eight-yard completion to Shawn Bane… The Stamps got off to a flying start, although the Lions went up the board early after Peyton Logan fumbled a punt that gave the ball to the visitors on the 35 yard line. They converted a field goal soon after… Paul Bissonnette was in the house chasing the fastest cow in the world. The former NHL player and current podcast star had a 10-yard lead but still comfortably beat the cow to the finish line…Jalen Philpot left the game late in the first half -time after taking a blow to the head, but he had an absolutely terrific time in the game before the injury. Philpot had caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown, while being extremely dangerous on kick returns. He had a 77-yard return, plus a few other nice ones…Nick Statz had his first interception of his career…At some point, I have to find a way to better illustrate how great Rene Paredes has been this year. Yes, he missed a field goal attempt on Saturday night, but he was also good from 53 yards and 51 yards and hit everything he was asked to hit. It’s way too early to talk about star voting, so we’ll just say this: Paredes has been the league’s best kicker this year, and it’s not particularly close… Shawn Bane has been stuck behind Malik Henry on the board depth for most of the season, but we always understood that he was a very competent receiver. With Henry out Saturday, Bane stepped up in a major way and gave the Stamps some real production from the catcher position. He’s just too good to stay off the field all season, although it’s hard to see how the Stampeders could get Bane and Henry on the active roster at the same time… The Stampeders’ passing game was definitely better than he was last week against Ottawa. The reds and blacks, but it feels like the long balls just aren’t there… Official attendance at McMahon Stadium was 22,229.

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