Burris brilliant

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:05 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Henry Burris is still learning on the run.

The Calgary Stampeders quarterback received another passing grade -- this time with his feet -- based on his sensational play Thursday night, dashing through the Montreal Alouettes defence en route to a 40-37 win.

Completing 17 of 22 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns, the pivot also piled up some impressive mileage, scooting for 96 yards on 13 carries, including crucial gains of 30 and 19 yards on two series late in the game.

While the free-agent acquisition has been the target of plenty of criticism for his spotty play at times this CFL season, the performance was another step in the strong-armed passer's progress.

He's proving he can beat teams with more than just his arm.

With a league-worst 10 interceptions heading into the Montreal contest, Burris said he now needs to continue learning from his mistakes. Against the Als, Burris avoided the costly turnovers that have plagued the Stampeders offence through the first half of the season.

"When it happens, I try to make corrections on the mistakes and ask myself: 'What can I do better? Can I slow myself down?' " explained Burris, who certainly appeared to be in complete control of the offence Thursday night. "I think I slowed myself down and took my time going through my progressions and when my running lanes or check downs presented themselves, I took what they gave us."

Quarterbacks are paid to take what defences give them and Burris was brilliant against the Als. He grabbed the ball and ran wild against a defence caught off-gaurd by his willingness to call his own number.

"Last week, B.C. played a couple of those defences and I just stayed back and took what the defence gave us and passed the ball," Burris recalled. "I think that helped open up the running lanes this week because I didn't run as much against B.C. in that same defence last week. (Montreal) did a good job of defending our guys and when they put extra emphasis on defending our receivers, that opens up running lanes for me. Their defensive line was coming hard and that opened up lanes, too, so I tried to take off with the ball and take advantage of it."

While returning to .500, the 4-4 Stamps are now within striking distance of the second-place Edmonton Eskimos. After clashing with the Argos in Toronto Wednesday night, the Stampeders return home for the back-to-back Battle of Alberta, a critical segment of the season should Calgary hope to host a playoff game this autumn.

The teams meet a third time in the final contest of the regular season.

INJURY BYTES: Stamps GM Jim Barker, scouring NFL camps for talent, was searching for a defensive end to replace wounded Demetrious Maxie within minutes of the injury, thanks to some high-tech innovations. Stamps president Ted Hellard was at field level when Maxie suffered a leg fracture, spurring the club's boss to use his Blackberry hand-held device to instantly fire off a text message to his personnel man south of the border.

With Maxie expected to miss more than a month, Calgary's D-line predicament is magnified by the short week with the Stamps facing the Argos Wednesday.

While another lineman is expected to arrive ASAP, expect tackle/long snapper Randy Chevrier to slide over to Maxie's end position against the Double Blue.

HE HAS PULL: Sandro DeAngelis's game-winning field goal was the pinnacle of his short pro career but it's not the first time he felt the weight of an entire team on his shoulders -- figuratively and literally.

The rookie kicker's 38-yard boot was much like a kick he connected on while still in high school.

"It's all relative," DeAngelis said of the pressure involved. "I kicked a game-winning field goal in high school and now I've kicked one as a pro. It's all relative and it's a moment I'll never forget."

While hopping about the field in celebration, DeAngelis was swarmed by his teammates, including linebacker Scott Coe.

"The thing I'll remember is Coe saying, 'Now I have some pull,' because the other day he wouldn't let me play with his video game because he said I had no pull.

"Now I've got some pull! He was on top of me screaming that."


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