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Bo Levi Mitchell, Stampeders remain hot with victory over Roughriders

Calgary Stampeders' quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, right, hands the ball off to Jerome Messam during first half CFL football action against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Calgary, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Bo Levi Mitchell just keeps getting the job done for the Calgary Stampeders.

Mitchell completed 25-of-37 passes for 312 yards and threw a touchdown to Anthony Parker in the first quarter on Thursday night to lead the Stampeders to a 35-15 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The 26-year-old quarterback – in his fifth season with Calgary – has now tossed at least one touchdown pass in 21 straight games to tie Doug Flutie (1996-97) and Anthony Calvillo (2012-13) for the fourth-longest streak in CFL history.

“I heard about that,” said Mitchell nonchalantly after the game. “It’s 21 straight games that my receivers have caught a touchdown pass. That’s the way I look at it.

“It feels good. Shoot, playing in the CFL you should throw a touchdown pass every game, unless you get hurt.”

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Parker was more willing to praise Mitchell for the feat.

READ MORE: Veteran quarterback Durant returns under centre as Riders visit Stampeders

“He’s making great reads out there and putting the ball where only we can get it,” said Parker, who hauled in his second TD pass from Mitchell this season. “He doesn’t make too many mistakes and that really helps us out. It’s pretty cool to see that, at such a young age, he’s doing the things that he’s doing. I think the sky’s the limit.”

Rene Paredes kicked five field goals, while backup QB Andrew Buckley and running back Jerome Messam also ran for TDs as the Stampeders (4-1-1) won their third in a row while extending their unbeaten streak to five straight.

“It was a hard-fought win, it really was,” said Calgary coach Dave Dickenson, who will now turn his attention to preparing the Stamps for a rematch against the Riders in Regina on Aug. 13.

“We’ll have to look at the film and adjust a little bit and be ready for Round 2 in nine days.”

After missing two games with a sprained left ankle, Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant returned to the lineup and tossed a 45-yard touchdown pass to Rob Bagg on Saskatchewan’s first drive of the game.

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The Riders (1-5) were unable to find the end zone after that play and had to settle for three field goals by Johnny Mark, who Saskatchewan signed on Thursday as a last minute fill-in for injured kicker Tyler Crapigna.

“Physically, I’m a little beat up,” said Durant, who completed 17-of-28 passes for 247 yards. “Mentally, I’m just sad. We had a lot of opportunities to put some points on the board and we didn’t do it.

“It’s frustrating. We moved the ball, but we can’t settle for field goals. We have to try to punch the ball into the end zone when we get the opportunities.”

After Paredes opened the scoring for the Stampeders with a 35-yard field goal, the Riders answered right back as Bagg hauled in a long bomb from Durant to cap off a seven-play, 70-yard drive. The Roughriders attempted a two-point convert, but Bagg was unable to catch a short pass from Durant in the end zone.

The Stamps jumped out to a 10-6 lead at 14:39 of the opening quarter when Mitchell tossed a 16-yard TD pass to Parker.

Although Mark missed a 47-yard field goal just before the five-minute mark of the second quarter, he atoned for that mistake six minutes later when he connected from 42 yards out to pull Saskatchewan within a point.

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“It would have been nice to get that fourth one there, but a short week I guess that’s alright,” said Mark, who played for the University of Calgary Dinos from 2011-15.

Paredes then booted one through the uprights from 24 yards out at 13:20 before Mark responded with a 40-yard field goal 41 seconds later.

On Calgary’s last possession of the half, Mitchell completed a 17-yard pass to Messam and a 30-yard strike to Bakari Grant to get the Stampeders back into Riders territory with nine seconds left on the clock.

That allowed Paredes to kick his third field goal of the game – from 31 yards out – as time expired to give Calgary a 16-12 lead.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter as Mark hit his third of the game from 34 yards out at 6:56 before Paredes kicked a 25-yarder with 23 seconds left on the clock.

The Stamps sealed the victory in the fourth quarter as Buckley ran for a five-yard score before Messam scampered into the end zone from one yard out. Paredes then rounded out the scoring with a 17-yard field goal as time expired in the game.

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