Bombers fooled by Dales' footwork

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

In the aftermath of the Calgary Stampeders victory over Winnipeg, Vinny Sutherland and Keith Stokes should have some explaining to do to Bombers coach Jim Daley.

Not only did Stokes, one of the league's premier returners, get tackled by Stamps punter Burke Dales late in the game after he had beaten 11 other players, Sutherland blew the open-field block on the hobbling Dales.

Dales sprained his ankle earlier in the game and was limping around when Stokes came flying through the coverage.

But the rookie punter showed great athletic ability to shake the block and bring down Stokes, who has yet to score on special teams this season.

"I was trying to get the right angle on him at that point and try to make him cut up inside," said Dales. "I wanted to slow him up for the surge to get him. I just got enough of him to ride his back.

"It wasn't a pretty tackle by any means but it was effective. Ironically, special teams coach (Craig) Dickenson was making me work those angles in practice that week."

This isn't the first time Dales has made a touchdown-saving tackle. The punter brought down Aaron Lockett against B.C. earlier this season. But the fact he was able to do it on a bad ankle impressed head coach Tom Higgins.

"He punted very well, too," Higgins said. "It's amazing how it happens with an injury. He did the things he does naturally. The two punts he did when he was hurt were beautiful.

"He put himself in a position to make a tackle when we had 11 other guys miss him and that was a good thing."

'BACKERS SIGN UP: The Stamps announced yesterday that Scott Coe and Brian Clark have signed contract extensions, which locks up the starting four linebackers for years to come. With John Grace and George White getting long-term deals earlier this year, anyone trying to break into Denny Creehan's defence as a 'backer will have a tough time.

"It's not going to be fun for some guys coming in here, especially now that we're all signed up for a while," Coe said.

EXTRA POINTS: C Jamie Crysdale, DB Joey Boese and DB Pascal Masson all sat out yesterday's practice. Boese and Masson are definite scratches for Friday's game but head coach Tom Higgins expects Crysdale to be ready. Receivers Mike Juhasz and Nik Lewis didn't participate fully in drills but are expected to be ready for B.C. ... For his two-interception performance Saturday against Winnipeg, Calgary DB Anthony Malbrough was named defensive player of the week. Ottawa QB Kerry Joseph is offensive player of the week, Saskatchewan RB Corey Holmes took special-teams honours and Hamilton DL James Cotton is the top lineman.


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