Red hot

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- It was appropriate the Blue Bombers opposition wore red because the Calgary Stampeders were the hottest thing in Winter-Peg.

Henry Burris threw three touchdown passes and Coby Rhinehart had a gift touchdown from linebacker Brian Clark as the Stamps whipped the Bombers 46-24 yesterday at Canad Inns Stadium.

Head coach Tom Higgins was relieved to escape with no serious injuries in a game that was important to Calgary but meaningless to Winnipeg.

"There's no question about it because it's a wounded animal," Higgins said. "It's a good analogy because they fought back. There is nothing to lose for them.

"I was worried about it getting scrappy and one of our guys getting hurt. They had nothing after this game, so it might not matter to them if they pushed the envelope a little bit.

"It reminded us that they wouldn't just lay down and take it, we had to take it to them. We eventually took control of the football game by the fourth quarter."

Calgary improved to 10-7 and puts itself in a position to host the West semifinal if it can beat the Edmonton Eskimos next Sunday at McMahon Stadium.

A Stamps win would force the Eskimos into third and set up a second back-to-back Battle of Alberta this season after losing on Labour Day but winning the rematch in Edmonton.

Calgary picked the perfect time to go on a roll. No team is hotter in the CFL right now as the Stamps have won six of their last seven and ride into the final week of the regular season on a high.

Burris hit Copeland with a 70-yard bomb on the opening play for the offence yesterday and the receiver later made a seven-yard touchdown catch.

Receiver Nik Lewis scored two TDs -- from six and 26 yards out -- as the Stamps put on a clinic against the woeful Bombers defence.

"We're evolving as an offence," said Burris, who played his third game since being out with a thumb injury. "I attribute it all to sitting on the side and watching. We've grown as a group. Last week (against Saskatchewan), we were jumping offside too much. We put ourselves in second and medium today."

Running back David Allen scored on a 22-yard run, while Rhinehart hit paydirt on a pitch from Clark, who had intercepted Kevin Glenn at midfield.

Sandro DeAngelis was good on a 37-yard field goal and added a 46-yard single to round out Calgary's scoring.

Winnipeg running back Charles Roberts had a pair of touchdowns from one and two and compiled 116 rushing yards, setting a career high for the season.

Stamps running back Joffrey Reynolds ran for 79 yards and has one game to chase down Roberts for the rushing title but would need 245 yards against Edmonton.

After beating the Roughriders last week without an offensive touchdown, the offence proved it could get the job done when it matters.

Copeland only had three catches but made 87 yards on them and is pleased to see how well the Stamps have put things together heading down the stretch.

"We've felt pretty good from the get go," Copeland said. "But this game made us better.

"We got some offence going early and started to put some points on the board.

"We weren't settling for field goals. This is something we can build from going into the Edmonton game and the playoffs.

"We feel pretty strong right now."

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CALGARY STAMPEDERS: 46

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS: 24


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