Bittersweet night for Stallings

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

While David Allen was in Seattle yesterday, living out his NFL dream, Tony Stallings was cherishing his chance to prove he belongs with the Calgary Stampeders.

A practice roster player for most of the 2005 CFL season, Stallings converted his opportunity as Allen's replacement by rushing five times for 90 yards, including a 63-yarder, while also making a 33-yard grab.

The import tailback's two best plays contributed to touchdown drives, although the Stampeders lost the West semifinal to Edmonton 33-26 at McMahon Stadium.

"It was fun -- kind of how you dream for it to be. We just didn't get the win," said Stallings, 27.

"I wanted to keep playing with these guys. It was my first time really getting out there and playing with them.

"I was all fired up and now it feels like it was over before it even began."

In the first quarter, Stallings slipped tackles by Eskimos defenders A.J. Gass and Joe Montford before bolting for 63 yards to the Edmonton 3, setting up a Henry Burris TD.

His 33-yard reception in the second quarter took the Stamps deep into Edmonton turf, setting up another Burris TD plunge.

"I just kept working and listening. I kept working hard. You may never get to play but it can pay off and you just have to have faith in yourself and God," said Stallings, in his first year in Calgary.

"As I walked around the room, I told everyone at least we were good enough to do it. After those other bad seasons, now we're good enough to win it. We've set the foundation and we're not losers, we're winners.

"To stick with the negatives just makes the next four or five months real hard.

"Just think about the positives.

"Let it hurt tonight, because that's going to make us better, but think about the positives if everybody's back together next season."

While Stallings was producing at McMahon Stadium, Allen was returning kickoffs and punts for the St. Louis Rams in a 31-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks yesterday.

Allen, who played four games for Calgary as an emergency fill-in for injured returner Terrence Wilkins, ran back six kickoffs for 112 yards along with a pair of punts for 16.

He was released from his CFL contract at the end of the regular season to pursue the NFL offer.


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