Certainly wasn't Ray's day

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders defence has Ricky Ray's number.

Forget about 15, the digit on the Edmonton Eskimos quarterback's jersey.

The magic number is three -- the amount of interceptions the Stamps have managed against Ray in each of the past two wins over Edmonton.

Jermaine Chatman had the biggest one in yesterday's 43-23 Stampeders victory at McMahon Stadium, stepping in front of a Ray pass on a hitch pattern to take it back for a 67-yard touchdown.

"They ran that route five times in the first half," Chatman said. "I said the next time they are going to run it, I will jump it.

"He went to the well one too many times and I jumped in front of it. I put my head down and bolted so no one could run me down from behind."

Ray led the league with 24 picks this season but that total wouldn't be quite so ugly if he didn't tossed up balls to Chatman, Joey Boese and Trey Young yesterday.

Although the Stamps did get solid pressure on Ray, nose tackle Sheldon Napastuk gave full credit to the defensive backs and linebackers, who also added three knockdowns to their three picks.

"This was all about our secondary," Napastuk said. "I tip my hat to the secondary. They did a good job of disguising coverages, blocking out receivers and rallying against the underneath dump passes. They really took control of this game for us."

Boese had the most impressive interception, diving and stretching out to snag a ball that was tipped off the hands of Ed Hervey.

The pick came at a crucial time, four plays after the Stamps offence committed its only turnover.

While Boese stopped short of saying the Stamps have Ray confused, he did admit the club is having great success against the QB.

"Our defensive staff mixed up the coverages and he doesn't know exactly what we're in," Boese said. "We were real focused on coming out and playing well today. The defence was ready to play."

On the hottest team in the league, Chatman is hoping the defence can get recognized as much as the sizzling offence.

"We're one of the best defences in the CFL," Chatman said. "We are all coming together to get a little bit of respect. We haven't had enough respect all year. We proved a point tonight."


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