CALGARY, Alberta -- The end result was the same, but the stakes were larger and it took a lot more effort to get there.
On Friday night, Dave Dickenson's Calgary Stampeders (10-5) defeated his brother Craig and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-5) in a hard-fought 30-28 win to vault Calgary into first place in the CFL's West Division.
It was the third time this year the Great Falls brothers and former Montana Grizzlies had met on the field as head coaches. Calgary took the first two matchups 37-1 in the preseason and 37-10 back in July.
Since that July loss, the Roughriders had won nine of their past 10 games to overtake the Stampeders for first place in the West but ceded it back to Calgary by virtue of the season sweep. Both teams have identical 10-5 records.
“We played better, obviously, than the first one,” Craig Dickenson told the Regina Leader-Post after the game. “I have to be honest with you, they lost two or three defensive linemen and they were on fumes on defense. The reality is we should feel good (about playing better than the first game)."
“It was chippy from warmups,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson in a media conference. “They let us know they were here. We let them know. Let’s go do it on the field. Very evenly played game. I don’t think either team could look in the mirror and say we’re better than them. It was just a very hard-fought game that ended up a classic.”
Three regular-season games remain for each team before the CFL playoffs. A fourth matchup between the Dickenson brothers could come in the postseason.
“The second thing is they will have a full squad the next time we play," Craig added. "They did a good job of hanging in there and we didn’t take advantage of the fact that was a depleted Calgary team in the second half.”