Mallett strong in CFL return

CALGARY, Alberta — Martell Mallett had no problem stepping up in the Calgary Stampeders’ running game.

In his first professional game since his 2009 rookie-of-the-year season, Mallett ran for 116 yards on 14 carries and caught six passes for 59 yards. But a fourth-quarter surge by his original pro team, the B.C. (British Columbia) Lions ended Calgary’s 5-0 start to the Canadian Football League season late Friday as the Stamps fell 25-24.

Mallett got the call as expected after injuries sidelined Calgary’s top two running backs, Jon Cornish and Matt Walter. He led the team in both rushing and receiving yards Friday, but also had a fumble in the third quarter. He did not score a touchdown.

“Martell played well,” Calgary coach/general manager John Hufnagel told “He ran the ball hard with authority, showed some explosions, did a good job of pass protection and had some key first downs receiving.”

According to a Stampeders tweet, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell said Mallett “is such a powerful runner that he tore the finger off one of the QB’s gloves on a handoff.” It was not clear if that happened during practice or in the game.

Calgary led 21-10 at halftime, but B.C. came back with a field goal in the third quarter and outscored Calgary 12-3 in the final frame.

The Stamps will host Ottawa next Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Central (5:30 p.m. Mountain).