NEWS
09/07/2015 19:34 EDT | Updated 09/07/2016 01:12 EDT

Calgary Stampeders down Edmonton Eskimos 16-7 in Labour Day's Battle of Alberta

CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders gained breathing room atop the CFL's West Division with a 16-7 win over the Edmonton Eskimos in Monday's Labour Day game.

Calgary moved to 8-2 atop the division, while the Eskimos dropped to 6-4 in second spot.

Calgary's Greg Wilson had a touchdown catch. Rene Paredes kicked a trio of field goals with his third from 45 yards out late in the fourth quarter. Edmonton kicker Sean Whyte had two field goals and a punt single.

The Stampeders extended their win streak against the Eskimos to 12 in a row, including four straight Labour Day victories. The rematch is Saturday in Edmonton.

Their traditional meeting on the holiday Monday in September was the first meeting of the provincial rivals since Calgary downed Edmonton 43-18 in last year's West Division final.

Stampeder quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was 24-for-36 in passing for 251 yards and one touchdown throw. He was intercepted once. At 23-4, Mitchell surpassed Canadian Football Hall of Famer Jackie Parker for the best career record after 27 starts in the CFL.

James Franklin was the fifth different starting quarterback for Edmonton in as many Labour Day games following Ricky Ray, Kerry Joseph, Mike Reilly and Matt Nichols.

After a solid CFL debut last week to lead the Esks to victory over the Toronto Argonauts, the 24-year-old completed half his passes for 105 yards. Franklin was sacked by Charleston Hughes, Deron Mayo and Freddie Bishop III and also fumbled the ball under pressure from Mayo.

With the Stampeders up nine points, Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly went in early in the fourth quarter for his first action since tearing knee ligaments in Edmonton's season-opener in Fort McMurray, Alta.

The veteran was 5-for-12 in passing for 90 yards. Reilly was also sacked by Hughes.

Monday afternoon's clash in front of an announced sellout of 35,400 was played in sunny, windy conditions until rain arrived in the third quarter.

It was a defensive standoff until Calgary rattled off 10 points during the last two minutes of the opening half. Paredes was good from 32 yards out with no time remaining on the clock to give the hosts a 13-1 halftime lead.

Calgary's defence held the visitors to just five rushing yards in the first half, but the Stampeders lost No. 1 punt returner Tim Brown in the second quarter to a knee injury. Cornerback Joe Burnett was pressed into return duties for the remainder of the game. 

Reilly had a 15-yard carry and a 38-yard toss to Adarius Bowman on his first drive of the game in the fourth quarter. The Esks pulled within a touchdown on Whyte's second field goal of the game at 4:37. 

Paredes sealed Calgary's win with his long field goal with one minute 20 seconds remaining.

Edmonton recovered Burnett's fumble on Calgary's 28-yard line late in the third quarter, but settled for Whyte's 23-yard field goal and trailed 13-4.

The Stampeders produced the first touchdown of the game at 13:21 of the second quarter. Mitchell threw a 10-yard pass to Wilson in the end zone. The Calgary quarterback's 46-yard launch to Jeff Fuller on the same drive put Calgary in scoring position.

Whyte, signed last week because of Grant Shaw's injury, put the visitors on the scoreboard with a one-point single midway through the second quarter.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press