Kevin Glenn threw an interception on Calgary's opening drive of the first quarter and another late in the second, setting the tone for a mistake-prone Stamps offence in a 35-13 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Sunday's West Division final.
The win earned the Riders a trip to the 101st Grey Cup in Regina against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats next Sunday.
Calgary receivers Jeff Fuller and Maurice Price both made nice catches in the second quarter for long gains only to fumble and the Riders recovered the ball on both occasions.
Glenn completed 7-of-13 passes for 185 yards and no touchdowns to go with the pair of interceptions before he was replaced by Drew Tate to start the second half. The Stampeders finished the game with seven turnovers.
"You go from the highest high to the lowest low," Glenn said. "Right now it's pretty low. We felt that we had a chance and we came out and we didn't play good football. We turned the ball over. You've got to give them credit, they won."
The Stampeders looked like a different team than the one that dominated the regular season. Calgary had the CFL's lowest amount of total turnovers with just 27 in the regular season.
But if they were going to stumble, it would be against a Riders defence that forced 53 turnovers during the regular season, second highest in the league.
"Obviously we're a little bit in shock the way the game unfolded," said Calgary coach John Hufnagel.
"Having that many turnovers to ruin the game (and) to have that type of tackling by our team, it's hard to explain."
While Glenn and the Calgary offence struggled, Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant completed 24-of-30 passes for 280 yards. Durant threw touchdown passes to Rob Bagg, Chris Getzlaf and Weston Dressler in the first half and finished with no interceptions.
"They capitalized on every opportunity that they had," said Stamps defensive back Brandon Smith. "Our hats off to them. They played a good game."
The Stamps finished with a 14-4 record in the regular season to earn a bye and the right to host the West Division final.
The Riders finished second in the West with an 11-7 record and then beat the B.C. Lions 29-25 at home on Nov. 10. That earned them a rematch against the Stamps, who won two of three games they played against Saskatchewan in the regular season including both of the games played at McMahon Stadium.
"Words can't describe how we feel right now," said Smith. "We felt like we had a good week of practice. We felt prepared. Some things you just can't control. Turnovers played a big part in the game. That's something you just really can't plan for. When it happens, you just have to rebound and reload and we didn't do that."
The second half didn't start much better than the first for the Stamps as Brad Sinopoli caught a pass from Tate and ran for a 28-yard gain before fumbling to end the scoring threat.
On Calgary's next drive, Joe West caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Tate to pull the Stamps within nine points, but that was as close as they would get.
"Our offence didn't play well enough and our defence didn't play well enough and our special teams didn't play well enough," said Hufnagel.
The Riders did a great job managing the clock to eat up minutes in the fourth quarter, while Chris Milo kicked a pair of field goals and Kory Sheets ran for a one-yard touchdown to seal the victory.
Sheets ran the ball 28 times for 177 yards, while Saskatchewan held CFL leading rusher Jon Cornish to just 67 yards on nine carries.
"The thing is, the turnovers (were) part of that problem, because we'd make a play down the field and it would be a big play, but we'd lose the ball," Hufnagel said. "We weren't on the field very much to try and establish the running game."
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version referred to Cory Dressler instead of Weston Dressler.
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