CFL·CFL WEEK 4

Nick Arbuckle helps Stamps down Riders in 1st career CFL start

Nick Arbuckle threw two touchdown passes in his first career CFL start to lift the Calgary Stampeders to a 37-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.

Calgary QB goes 19-of-22 for 262 yards with 2TDs, no interceptions

Stampeders quarterback Nick Arbuckle runs the ball during Calgary's 37-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday. (Matt Smith/Canadian Press )

Nick Arbuckle took a page from Cody Fajardo's book and ran with it.

In his first career CFL start, Arbuckle overshadowed his quarterback counterpart and led the Calgary Stampeders to an impressive 37-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"He's a confident kid," said Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson, as his team improved to 2-1. "He did a nice job handling the noise. You can tell he knows what he's doing … he's letting the defence take him to his throws. He's not afraid to take a chance."

Arbuckle, filling in for the injured Bo Levi Mitchell, completed 19-of-22 pass attempts for 262 yards and two touchdowns in a game Calgary led throughout.

"He'll have to keep doing it. That's always the tough thing — to do it again, again and again," Dickenson added. "But I do think he'll probably have that opportunity for the next few weeks."

WATCH | Stamps roll past Riders:

Nick Arbuckle went 19/22 with a pair of passing touchdowns in the Calgary Stampeders 37-10 spanking of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. 1:02

It was the second consecutive game in which Arbuckle led the Stampeders to victory. Last week, he entered the game in the fourth quarter and rallied his team to a victory over the visiting B.C. Lions.

On Saturday, he had plenty of support.

"There were so many guys out there making plays," he said. "Our offensive line played phenomenal. Both of our running backs stepped up and played really well. Everybody was clicking and focused on what they were supposed to do."

Calgary's first possession of the game was a sign of things to come. A 10-play, 73-yard drive was capped with a two-yard touchdown run from Ka'Deem Carey. Carey and Terry Williams combined to rush for 122 yards against a usually stout Saskatchewan defence.

The Riders dropped to 1-3.

Calgary led 15-3 at halftime and poured it on in the second half.

After a one-yard touchdown run by Fajardo on Saskatchewan's opening possession of the third quarter, Arbuckle responded with a five-play, 103-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Eric Rogers.

The ensuing Saskatchewan possession saw Tre Roberson intercept a Fajardo pass and return it 48 yards for a touchdown to put the Stampeders ahead 30-10.

Arbuckle finished his night with a 76-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Begelton late in the fourth quarter.

Begelton had four catches for 102 yards and Rene Parades kicked three field goals.

"There were a lot of nerves before the game," Arbuckle said. "I think they went away after a play or two, especially after I got hit.

"It was fun to play from ahead the whole time. Obviously the 108-yard touchdown drive we had was really a big difference maker."

With Mitchell, the reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player, on the six-game injured list, the starting quarterback job is Arbuckle's to run with.

"Calgary has been the team to beat and they have been the team to beat in the CFL," Ed Gainey, Saskatchewan defensive back, told the media. "They're like the (New England) Patriots of this league. It seems like they can never do wrong no matter who's in the game. They always find a way to get it done."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.