Former 'mates burn Roughies

DAN TOTH, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

REGINA -- So much for Henry Burris' infamously slow starts.

The Calgary Stampeders quarterback was fast out of the blocks last night, completing eight of his first nine passes in a 53-36 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Although it was far from his best performance as a pro, Burris was efficient and effective against his former team, connecting for 263 yards passing and three touchdowns without throwing an interception.

He also pulled the ball down to score on a 13-yard run before tossing the ball into the crowd.

"All that hoopla is behind me and now I'm just thinking about doing the things we need to do to be successful," said Burris, who was also victimized by several dropped passes by his receiving corps.

"It seems like each week offensively we get better and start moving the ball more efficiently. We cut out the mistakes today and when we do that, we finish off drives. Thankfully, we did that today."

The Stamps rode Burris' performance to a 17-3 first quarter lead despite working into a 48 km/h prairie wind at Mosaic Stadium.

On the second play of the game, Burris hit former 'Rider Elijah Thurmon sprinting down the sidelines behind coverage with a 73-yard TD strike for a 7-0 lead. Thurmon scored a second TD in the fourth quarter.

It was the type of steady performance Burris must have dreamed about against his former club, which he left as a free agent after the 2004 season, although the Stamps let the 'Riders back into the game in the second quarter. The game was tied 20-20 at the half.

The Stampeders also had majors from Nik Lewis, on a 23-yard pass in the first quarter, and Joffrey Reynolds, who crashed through the 'Riders defence for a 29-yard score in the fourth. Reynolds finished with 110 yards on 15 carries.

The win improved the Stampeders' record to 3-1 to sit alone in first place in the CFL West. They are also enjoying a three-game win streak against the 'Riders.

Stamps placekicker Sandro DeAngelis kicked six field goals from 26, 30, 35, 36, 43 and 52 yards.

The sensational sophomore has now booted 15 consecutive field goals since missing his second attempt in the season's opening game.

The kicking performance was even more remarkable when staged in the league's windiest stadium.

"Mind over matter and, if you don't mind, it shouldn't matter," DeAngelis said.

"I've worked enough on my craft to know that if I just do what I'm supposed to do, it should go in. Every coach realizes that you can't kick 50-yarders into the wind but anything that's realistic, I'm going to make. I expect to make them."

The Stamps defence limited 'Riders QB Kerry Joseph's effectiveness, although he completed 28 of 39 passes for 334 yards and three TDs.

Stamps head coach Tom Higgins said his team's start was impressive but fighting back after the 'Riders tied the game at the half was even more satisfying.

"I loved the fact we were able to make some minor adjustments (at halftime) and there was no panic," Higgins said.

"It was just a matter of having to make some plays and we were able to make those plays in the second half that gave us an opportunity to score as many points as we did."


Videos

Photos