The Calgary Stampeders just keep on rolling. Calgary moved to 9-1 on the season after beating the Edmonton Eskimos 36-20 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, and the score board showed a game much closer than it actually was.
The Stampeders came out of the blocks extremely sluggish and sloppy and the Eskimos managed to take advantage on a couple plays to keep it interesting in the first half. After an early Rob Maver field goal put the Stamps up 3-0 Calgary got the ball back and looked to be cruising when Henry Burris rolled out from some pressure and threw a terrible off balance throw to the sidelines that was easily intercepted by Chris Thompson and returned for an 86 yard touchdown giving the Eskimos an early lead.
Not long after Calgary drove down the field and Burris hooked up with Rob Cote on an 8 yard TD pass putting the Stamps back up. Then Edmonton QB Ricky Ray got a little time and Stampeders CB Brandon Browner looked like he had some trouble with his footing leading to a 69 yard TD pass to his new target WR Marco Mitchell. That was pretty much the end of the offensive output for the Eskimos though.
Edmonton was forced to concede a couple of safeties. And the Stampeders drove down near the end of the half capping off their drive with an 8 yard Henry Burris TD run. Edmonton kicker Noel Prefontaine gave the home fans something to cheer about on the last pay of the half nailing a 57 yard FG to cut the Calgary lead to 19-17 going into the locker room.
I’m not sure what was said in the Stampeders locker room at the half but I suspect that head coach John Hufnagel was not happy and Calgary came out flying in the second half. The defense was all over the Eskimos and Edmonton just couldn’t get anything going, with a large part of that being the fault of the Eskimos protection of Ray. LB Juwan Simpson led the hit parade on Ricky Ray sacking him 3 times.
The Stampeders offense just continued to move the ball at will led by Joffrey Reynolds 21 carries for 145 yards. Joffrey also broke the all time Stampeders rushing mark previously set by Calgary great Kelvin Anderson. Henry Burris only made the one real mistake all game and ended the day 29 of 35 for 404 yards throwing 2 TD’s to the one interception, while also running in two TD’s himself. Once again Ken-Yon Rambo was stellar as were all the receivers Rambo led the way with six catches for 102 yards. Eight different Stampeders caught passes in this game.
The biggest concern for the Stampeders has to be rookie kicker Rob Maver who was 1/3 on FG’s in this game and has been hitting 50% of his kicks in the past few weeks. Granted his misses have been long kicks he still needs to bear down and make kicks inside of 50 or he may not be around long.
Up next for the Stampeders are two real tests for this team in the next three games. First the Stampeders head to Regina to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. If the Stamps win this game they will have all but locked up first place in the West and the first round bye. After that The BC Lions come to town, and then are followed by the defending champion Montreal Allouettes. In three weeks we should have a very good idea if the Stampeders are indeed the class of the CFL or if they have rode a softer schedule to their impressive 9-1 record.
Have a good one!
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About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!