Ridden into submission

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 6:29 AM ET

REGINA -- Luckily, the Calgary Stampeders had a plane waiting.

They couldn't get out of the Queen City fast enough.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders gave the Stamps an old-fashioned beating yesterday at Mosaic Stadium, running up a score of 49-8.

It's Calgary worst defeat since losing 48-4 Aug. 8, 2003, to the B.C. Lions.

Right afterwards, the Stamps hopped a charter plane to Hamilton, where they will spend the next three days getting ready to face the Argonauts on Thursday in Toronto.

What went wrong yesterday? Where to start?

The offence went silent after responding to the Roughriders' first scoring drive, the defence couldn't contain the passing attack of Kerry Joseph and there was even a foul-up on special teams by putting a punt return on the turf.

"They didn't do jack to us. We did it to ourselves," said starting pivot Henry Burris, who left late in the third quarter after going 12-for-25 passing with one TD pass to running back Joffrey Reynolds, one pick and a fumble.

"We can't drop balls. We can't have turnovers.

"If we come out and play, we will win the game. We had chances to make plays. I can't have that fumble before halftime. That's why we got our butts kicked."

Although every player could take his share of the blame for the loss, receiver Nik Lewis held himself accountable for a few dropped passes early on.

"I'll take most of the blame," said Lewis, who finished with three catches for 23 yards. "If I'm in there and making plays like I usually do, we move the ball. I didn't make plays.

"This isn't me. I haven't been out there this season.

"I'm not walking with that swagger the way I usually do. I don't know what the difference is, but I don't have it. I know I have to do something."

On the other side of the ball, things were going great, as Joseph opened with a long drive and touchdown pass to Jason Armstead. He also hooked up with Matt Dominguez and D.J. Flick on a pair of TD passes.

To makes things worse for the Stamps, running back Wes Cates, who they traded to the Roughriders before the season started, scampered for a pair of majors.

The Stamps were down 22-8 late in the half and were driving when things took a dramatic turn. On the Roughriders' 43-yard line, defensive lineman Scott Schultz forced a fumble from Burris. The 'Riders went down and made it a 25-8 halftime lead.

"They beat us pretty much every which way you can," said coach Tom Higgins.

"My hat's off to them. We don't have much time to feel sorry for ourselves."


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