Only wins count

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Moral victories suck.

Look no further than Calgary Stampeders linebacker John Grace for confirmation of that fact in the aftermath of his team's 25-23 Labour Day loss to the Edmonton Eskimos.

"When you don't win, you never take moral victories because they're not worth nothing," spat Grace while pulling off his equipment in the sombre Stampeders locker-room. "You can't say, 'Oh, we played tough.' You can play tough for 18 games and lose them all, then what the hell is that? We played tough all last year and it didn't mean anything at the end of the season.

"It's time for us to win games and it's all anybody in the stands came here to see. A win, not a tough game. We're going to be graded on wins and losses, not how well we play, period."

Grace played great, particularily in the second half, collecting three Ricky Ray sacks. Defensive end Rahim Abdullah added a fourth.

While the defence watched Ray dink and dunk his way down the field in the opening half, completing 19 passes for 212 yards, he added just 56 yards more in the final two quarters.

"He was throwing dunks and things like that and that's something as a defence we have to rally and make plays and get him off the field," said Grace, whose unit effectively shut down the Esks' offence in the final 30 minutes.

"In the first half we just weren't doing it and in the second half we figured out what they were trying to do to us and coach made some adjustments."

Head coach Tom Higgins shared Grace's take on silver linings.

"We feel we're a good football team but now we feel we're going to be judged on whether we win or lose," said Higgins, whose Stamps fall to 4-6, tied for third in the CFL West. "The only thing we can do now is suck it up and go up to Edmonton and win a football game.

"There's glimmers of hope that this organization, football team, is coming around but as the clock ticks, we're starting to run out of time."


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