CALGARY - After throwing a costly interception in the fourth quarter, quarterback Kevin Glenn received some helpful words of encouragement from his teammates.
Glenn returned to the field and led his Stampeders on a five-play, 51-yard drive that culminated in his game-winning touchdown pass to Larry Taylor as Calgary held on for a wild 31-30 win over the Edmonton Eskimos in the annual Labour Day clash between the rivals.
"Larry ran the perfect route," said Glenn, who completed 23-of-30 passes for 273 yards to go with two touchdowns and two interceptions. "He was wide open and all I had to do was give him the ball."
The Stampeders (5-4) offence scored the winning TD with 63 seconds remaining to edge out Edmonton (5-4).
"You could see it in the guy's eyes after that pick when they came to the sidelines that they still had faith," Glenn said. "They still had faith to say 'Hey we're going to win this game,' and that's big. That's big when you get in a situation like that and still know that guys have got your back."
Calgary defensive back Tad Kornegay knew that Glenn had it in him to redeem himself after Edmonton's Joe Burnett picked off the errant pass and ran it back 34 yards for a touchdown to put the Eskimos up 30-25.
"When Kevin went out for that last drive when we were down, I told Kevin, 'Be the hero. This is what we do it for. You made the mistake. You threw a pick. Who cares? We got the ball back. Be a hero.' And that's what he did," Kornegay said.
Rookies Bo Levi Mitchell and Matt Walter had rushing touchdowns for the Stampeders, who had lost their previous two home games.
Glenn also threw a touchdown pass to Jon Cornish, Rene Paredes kicked a field goal, while Rob Maver booted a single.
Filling in for injured starter Steven Jyles, Kerry Joseph plunged into the end zone for a one-yard score at 8:07 of the final quarter. Burnett's touchdown then gave the Eskimos a short-lived lead.
"It was disappointing," said Joseph, who went 17-of-27 for 311 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. "We came into a hostile environment against a good football team. We fought to the end. They made some plays towards the end. We had a chance to win it at the end but we didn't. You've got to tip your hats to those guys."
Joseph also tossed touchdown passes to Fred Stamps and Hugh Charles in the second quarter, while Grant Shaw kicked three singles.
"Calgary did what they needed to do to win the football game," said Edmonton coach Kavis Reed. "They executed mentally, physically and emotionally and we did not."
On the last play of the game, Shaw attempted a 48-yard field goal into the wind, but the ball sailed wide to the left and Taylor ran it out of the end zone as time expired.
"It's awesome," said Taylor of making the play to preserve the victory. "You have to give the guys credit up front for holding the guys at the line and giving me the chance to get it out of the end zone."
The same two teams won't have much time to rest as a rematch is set for Friday at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium.
"I love it," Kornegay said. "We'll both be sore still, tired … angry. It'll be another good game."
The Stampeders appeared poised to score on their opening drive of the game before Edmonton's Clint Kent recovered a Nik Lewis fumble. Five plays later, Burke Dales was tackled for a loss deep in Edmonton territory after he couldn't handle a low snap from Ryan King cleanly.
Calgary then opened the scoring when Mitchell plunged into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown at 8:17 of the first quarter.
With the Stampeders threatening to score again in the second quarter, Edmonton's Rod Williams picked off an errant pass by Glenn and ran for eight yards to give Eskimos the ball back on their own 17-yard line.
Joseph then engineered a 10-play, 93-yard drive that culminated in a 35-yard touchdown pass to Stamps.
On Edmonton's next drive, Joseph tossed a 73-yard touchdown pass to Charles, who caught the ball at midfield and broke a tackle before running the rest of the way into the end zone.
Although the Eskimos failed to convert the touchdown, Shaw booted an 89-yard single on the ensuing kickoff to give Edmonton a 14-7 lead through two quarters of play.
After Shaw kicked a 67-yard punt single to open the scoring in the second half, Cornish caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Glenn at 7:15 of the third quarter.
The Eskimos then had to settle for a 64-yard punt single by Shaw before Glenn led the Stampeders on a seven-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in an 11-yard touchdown run by Walter to put Calgary up 21-16 after three quarters.
"He was moving like a freight train and I don't think nobody was going to stop him," said Glenn in regards to Walter's TD run.
It was Walter's first-ever CFL touchdown.
"I just wanted to make it count," Walter said. "All I wanted to do is do my part and get that thing in the end zone and show the coaches that I can play."
Paredes then kicked a 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter before Maver booted an 85-yard punt single to extend Calgary's lead.
Notes: Joseph has now rushed for a touchdown in three straight games. … With the return of Jerome Messam to the Edmonton lineup, fellow running back Cory Boyd was a healthy scratch for the Eskimos. … The Stamps now have a record of 31-25-1 on games played in Calgary on Labour Day, including a 21-25-1 showing against the Eskimos. … The announced attendance at McMahon Stadium was 32,102.