All systems go

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Even with their next opponent's head coach watching in person, the Calgary Stampeders were confident enough to put everything they had on the field.

Not that it matters what Edmonton Eskimos bench boss Danny Maciocia saw from the Stamps as they manhandled the Alouettes 41-23 in Montreal Thursday.

Picking out a few holes in either of the three phases won't be easy as the Eskimos try to get back in the West Division playoff race when they head to Calgary for Labour Day.

Head coach Tom Higgins was quick to point out how well his trio of co-ordinators performed in the victory that moved his club to 6-4 while riding a three-game win streak.

The game's three stars could have been Craig Dickenson for special teams, Denny Creehan for defence and Steve Buratto for offence.

When Buratto's system starts clicking, which it did against the Als, it becomes nearly impossible to stop.

Buratto sends his receivers in motion and then puts the ball in the hands of his playmakers.

In the win over the Alouettes, five different offensive players were given a chance to run with the ball.

A reverse to backup running back Wes Cates went for 64 yards, then Buratto used the same type of formation but added a new dimension.

Receiver Ken-Yon Rambo came across and ended up with the rock after it touched two others' hands.

Even when a new runner failed to make great yardage, as Nik Lewis did in the second quarter when his helmet flew off from a hit by D.D. Acholonu, giving the defence a new look kept it on its heels.

This is all without mentioning running back Joffrey Reynolds, who only made 11 carries but still notched 50 yards, and quarterback Henry Burris, who had his finest performance of 2006.

The Stamps defence did its part, pressuring quarterback Anthony Calvillo and flushing him from the pocket.

For the second straight outing, running back Robert Edwards was held in check by the Stamps and kept from the endzone for the third straight game.

On special teams, Dickenson was impressed with how Higgins let him run trick after trick after trick.

Dickenson had never called more than one successful fake in one game so three is an impressive feat.

Having a bye week between back-to-back meetings with the Alouettes helped the Calgary co-ordinators fine tune a game plan.

Most of the creative plays they performed Thursday -- a fake field goal, punt, onside kick and reverses -- were all in the playbook when the Alouettes visited McMahon Stadium two weeks ago.

They didn't need them in that win but the game plan didn't change for the rematch.

There was some worry momentum wouldn't be sustained through a bye but the Stamps put that to rest early in Montreal.

"We were worried that we might be rusty but we came out and we executed," Higgins said. "So our break was very beneficial for our football team."

Now the team has four days off, including yesterday, before it begins preparing for the Eskimos.


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