The fans showed up. Too bad the Stampeders offense didn’t. The Stampeders had everything going their way and built up an early 11-0 lead in frigid -20 degree temperatures. McMahon Stadium was packed and the fans were rocking. The Stamps defense was very good all night. Have you heard this story before?
If you are a fan of the Calgary Stampeders then you have. Henry Burris just didn’t get the job done leading the offense for Calgary. Burris was 19-28 with 1 TD and 1 INT and the timing of the interception was a back breaker. The Stamps were up 11-7 and marching towards the end of the first half and the Stamps ran a little screen pattern that was sniffed out by the whole stadium and Burris forced the pass only to be intercepted by James Patrick who returned it deep into Stampeders territory. The Riders punched it in to take a 14-11 lead, and the Calgary offensive unit just collapsed after that.
But wait the special teams could save the team. With three minutes left in the game Calgary punted the ball away and it was muffed by the Riders return man and the ball is rolling towards the Saskatchewan endzone. All someone had to do was fall on the ball yet two Stamps miss it, and the ball rolled dead in front of Wes Lysack. You are taught from day one to just fall on the ball. If Lysack did the Stampeders likely win the game. But for some reason he tried to pick it up and run with it, and of course didn’t. Of course the Roughriders LB Jerrell Freeman knee that and out ran FIVE Stampeders to get to the ball and dive on it in the endzone. That was pretty much the game.
It had to be heart breaking for the team and especially the defense that played very well for most of the game and did enough to win. DT Tom Johnson was good all game and led the defense on a day where they held the Roughriders to under 300 yards.
All in all it’s another dissapointment for the fans of the Calgary Stampeders and the rumblings will continue about this teams big game ability. Especially that of Henry Burris. The nicest man in the CFL. Nice doesn’t guarantee championships and the Stampeders management will have some hard questions to ask themselves in the off season.
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!