Stamp of approval

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Smilin' Hank enjoyed his best performance as a Stampeders QB but the biggest grin last night belonged to the smallest player -- kicker Sandro DeAngelis.

The rookie booted a 38-yard field goal as time expired, allowing the Stampeders to knock off the Montreal Alouettes 40-37, sparking an avalanche of teammates who buried DeAngelis in an on-field celebration.

"I've tried that kick ever since I was a 10-year-old kid -- missed it plenty of times and made it plenty of times -- it was something I've practised a lot," said DeAngelis.

"I knew I was going to make it. I really enjoyed the last two minutes. I just looked around the stadium, savoured it and said, 'OK, tonight's going to be my night.'

"It's definitely a moment I'll never forget."

Montreal's Damon Duval had tied the game with an 18-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining after Calgary's defence shut down the Als at the Stampeders 11-yard-line.

Henry Burris completed 17 of 22 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns for the Stamps while also running wild for 96 yards on 13 carries. Although it wasn't his highest passing total of the season, his complete control of the Stamps' offence was unmatched in seven previous games this year.

Burris is now 2-0 as a Stampeders starter in Montreal's Molson Stadium, having also won in 1999 during his first stint in Red and White, replacing injured Dave Dickenson.

"It felt good coming back in here," said Burris. "The atmosphere is fantastic.

"I felt comfortable and all the receivers were getting into the right spots. I just told myself I had to make good decisions on my own. I've been kicking myself for the mistakes I made early on this season but they made me better for games like tonight."

The 4-4 Stampeders take over sole possession of third place in the CFL West while the Alouettes remain tied for second in the East with a 4-4 record.

Alouettes QB Anthony Calvillo had another brilliant night, completing 34 of 46 passes for 406 yards and three TDs -- to Terry Vaughn, O'Neill Wilson and Dave Stala -- while running back Robert Edwards scored from two yards out. Calvillo also tossed an interception to Stamps newcomer Shane Walton, playing his first game at halfback for Calgary.

Although Calvillo bludgeoned Calgary's defence most of the night, the Stamps shut down Montreal in the final minute with Calvillo in position to score the winning TD. Pass pressure led to a Calvillo incompletion before Rahim Abdullah knocked down a toss on second-and-10 from Calgary's 11, forcing Montreal to kick the tying field goal.

Burris's favourite target was Nik Lewis, who grabbed six passes for 115 yards. Former Alouettes receiver Jeremaine Copeland, in his first contest against his former club, caught three passes for 30 yards and one TD.

When unable find an open target downfield, Burris pulled down the pigskin and took off, a key component to the victory.

His best run was a 30-yard effort on the final drive, moving the ball to Montreal's 15, setting up the club's final touchdown. Another 19-yard scamper in the final minute moved the ball into Montreal territory, setting up DeAngelis's winning boot.

Burris's feet impressed head coach Tom Higgins as much as his quarterback's arm.

"By him running the football, it allowed us to keep drives alive and also keep Anthony off the field because every time he had the ball, it seemed he was putting points on the board," said Higgins, whose Stamps head to Hogtown to face the Argos in just six days.

"For us to be successful, Henry needs to play that kind of football and we're very proud of him, pleased, and now we get to heal our wounds and go into Toronto and get another victory."

Brett Ralph scored the Stampeders' first touchdown on the game's opening series, a 56-yard toss from Burris.

Although the Stamps found the scoreboard first, the Als enjoyed quarter leads of 10-7 and 25-20 while the Stampeders held a 30-25 edge after 45 minutes.

DeAngelis kicked field goals of 25, 27, 38 and 45 yards.

Duval was good from 18 and 19 yards.

Stampeders punter Burke Dales conceded a safety with 12 minutes remaining, reducing Calgary's advantage to 30-27.


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