Suffocating Stamps

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

EDMONTON -- With a second chance in the Battle of Alberta, the Calgary Stampeders finally got it right.

Four days after a comeback fell short in the Labour Day Classic, the Stamps defence confused Ricky Ray and created five turnovers as Calgary beat the Edmonton Eskimos 16-11 last night at Commonwealth Stadium.

Sandro DeAngelis was good on field goals of 23-, 16- and 37 yards, while Ken-Yon Rambo caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Jason Gesser as Calgary improved to 5-6 on the season.

The Stamps are back within striking distance of the 7-4 Eskimos for second place in the West Division. Calgary won its first game in Edmonton since 2001, the last time the club was in the playoffs.

Head coach Tom Higgins, who was on the other sideline for the last four seasons, was pleased to finally win a turnover battle.

"The defence had another stellar performance," Higgins said. "It was tough sledding out there just to operate the way we do normally. There's a lot of fond memories that come back from the crowd, which I thought was in this football game. It's not an easy place to ever win when you bring a team in to this place. It's humbling to come into this stadium and be on the other side. A lot of teams leave this locker-room dejected because they can't win here."

Edmonton got a 21-yard field goal and 63-yard single from kicker Hayden Epstein, while Jason Tucker caught a 31-yard TD pass in the final minute for the club's only scoring.

The story of the game was Ray making uncharacteristic mistakes and his inability to avoid the Stampeders pass rush.

The Stamps got a scare early in the second quarter when Burris scrambled out to the sidelines and didn't get up. The quarterback stumbled on the run and put his left hand down to brace himself, spraining his thumb.

Jason Gesser replaced Burris for the rest of the series and was perfect on a four-play drive, ending with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ken-Yon Rambo. Rambo took the hitch pass and crashed to the goal-line with the aid of o-linemen Taylor Robertson and Jeff Pilon.

"They were coming from everywhere and I had my blockers. They were guiding me and I just followed them in," said Rambo, adding the performance wasn't pretty but the Stamps will take the win. "It can be nasty or it can be nice but as long as we came up with the win, that's all that matters."

Calgary's defence shut down the Edmonton offence in the first half, getting constant pressure on Ray and forcing three interceptions on bad throws. Nate Terry picked off two deep balls and returned them for 63 and 50 yards each, while defensive lineman Randy Chevrier had his first CFL interception.

Ray finished 35-of-47 passing for 279 yards as the Stamps defence stymied him. Linebacker John Grace was pleased with the effort.

"Overall, we're a good team and it's time for individuals to make plays," Grace said. "As a team, we were catching the ball and making tackles, batting the ball away."

Rambo said the men on the other side of the ball were in awe.

"The defence played very, very well. They made plays, picked the ball off," said Rambo.

"We were inconsistent on offence but were able to get it done. We'll just go on to next week and play better in Hamilton."

- - -

CALGARY STAMPEDERS: 16

EDMONTON ESKIMOS: 11


Videos

Photos