CFL Pass

Stamps win; Lemar Durant scores his first TD

Rookie receiver Lemar Durant made his presence known Friday night when he scored his first career touchdown as the Calgary Stampeders downed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 25-23 in a close Friday Night Football battle.

Traditionally the Stampeders have stocked up on offensive lineman during the draft but Durant at 18th overall was far too good of a value for Calgary to pass up. Many projected the Simon Fraser University grad to be a first-round pick, but the fact that Simon Fraser plays American football may be the reason he fell to nearly round three.

Durant’s career with the Clan was great where he had 175 catches 2,392 yards and 28 touchdowns – including an absolutely astonishing game in October of 2012 in which he had 12 grabs, 228 yards and *four touchdowns*, the last a Great Northwest Athletic Conference single-game record.

You can bet the 23-year-old has a chip on his shoulder due to his draft position. He now has eight catches on the season for a team that’s so deep at receiver, it’s actually remarkable he’s seeing *any* time at the position in his rookie season.

Just how good have the Calgary Stampeders been in the draft? Since John Hufnagel became general manager of the Stamps in 2008, just under half (28 to be exact) of the 58 players selected in the draft have seen the field in some capacity since 2013. It’s no coincidence that Calgary has been dominant in that time. With a championship last year and winning the race as the first team to ten wins this season, success just keeps coming to Cowtown. They head to Tim Horton’s Field to battle Jeff Mathews and the TiCats next week.

As for Winnipeg, success continues to elude the Blue Bombers. At least the Bombers have a competent quarterback in Matt Nichols to work with (234 yards and two touchdowns in Friday’s loss) while Drew Willy is out, but it’s just not enough. Life doesn’t get any easier as Nichols’s former team, the big bad Eskimos, pay Winnipeg a visit (a friendly one, I’m sure) next Saturday.

– written by Travis Currah