The Calgary Stampeders certainly looked like defending Grey Cup champions on Friday night, and they had help from the Toronto Argonauts.
The Stamps scored 31 second-half points and racked up three defensive touchdowns en route to a convincing 44-9 win over the Argos in front of more than 33,000 at McMahon Stadium.
Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds had two touchdowns in the winning effort, Calgary's first victory of the season.
Three Canadian Argo receivers suffered injuries Friday: Andre Talbot, Tyler Scott and Matt Lambrose. Talbot, playing in his first game of the season after being sidelined by a back injury, didn't make it through the first quarter before he was injured.
Stamps quarterback Henry Burris went 23-for-32, passed for 328 yards and one touchdown to hand the Argos their second straight loss.
"What you saw was poor execution all the way around," said first-year Argos head coach Bart Andrus. "We need to correct things in a lot of areas. Calgary deserves credit. They showed why they are defending Grey Cup champions."
Both Calgary and Toronto are now 1-2.
Argos quarterback Kerry Joseph went 27-for-45, passed for 306 yards and threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. Toronto's only points came off three first-half field goals from kicker Justin Medlock.
Reynolds, who led the league in rushing last season, was the only offensive player to score for Calgary on Friday as the Stamps defence took advantage of six Argo turnovers.
"The defence was able to hold them the whole game, and we got a couple touchdowns early, and it was kind of a snowball effect after that," said Reynolds. "Any time you can get 21 points off of turnovers, any coach or anyone will tell you that will win you the game."
Two defensive touchdowns in less than two minutes in the second half sunk Toronto's hopes of getting back in the game after heading into halftime down just 13-9.
Calgary's Dwaine Carpenter blocked Joseph's pass and picked up the loose pigskin for a 55-yard touchdown. Toronto's next possession saw Joseph's pass land in the hands of Stamps defensive back Dwight Anderson, who ran it back for a 52-yard major.
With less than two minutes to go, Brandon Browner picked off a Joseph pass for a 25-yard touchdown.
"The defence came out and took the ball away from them and scored three touchdowns," said Calgary head coach and G.M. John Hufnagel. "It was a great effort by our [defence]."
Argos miss early chances for majors
Burris went 6-for-6 and passed for 69 yards before Reynolds ran for his second touchdown of the season, a one-yard run to give Calgary its first opening-quarter touchdown of the season at 5:56.
The Argos marched more than 70 yards on two separate drives in the opening half but failed to convert on touchdown opportunities, settling for a pair of close-range field goals at 15 and 28 yards.
Medlock struck his third of the game from 25 yards out to make it 10-9 late in the second quarter.
Calgary kicker Sandro DeAngelis opened the third quarter with a 26-yard field goal, and with less than two minutes to go in the half, hit his second, a 42-yarder that went in off the right upright to make it 13-9. He added his third of the game in the fourth quarter.
The Stampeders cushioned their lead soon after as Burris came up with a 57-yard pass to Jeremaine Copeland, setting up Reynolds for a 32-yard touchdown pass to give Calgary an 11-point lead.
The Argos were in field-goal position and appeared to be getting back into the game when a scrambling and hurried Joseph tried to make a pass after running a reverse. Carpenter blocked the pass and ran it back for the first of three straight defensive touchdowns for Calgary.
"We lost bad man," said Toronto receiver Arland Bruce III. "[Losing] 44-9 is not Argo football. Everything hit the fan in the second half."
Both teams were wearing throwback uniforms from 1960 for retro weekend in the CFL.