Burden's off Burris

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

Henry Burris can walk around Calgary with head held high now.

Not only did the quarterback lead the Calgary Stampeders over B.C. Lions 32-25 yesterday at McMahon Stadium to avenge a humiliating defeat from a week ago, the victory also locked up a home playoff date for the club.

"I was scared to show my face around Calgary because of last week," said Burris about last week's 39-13 defeat in Vancouver.

"Hopefully we've made the fans excited.

"We have to continue to ride this wave.

"Everyone is smiling now but we haven't done anything yet."

The Stamps (10-7) have one regular-season game left -- at Winnipeg Saturday -- before they will get set to host the Saskatchewan Roughriders Nov. 5 at McMahon Stadium in the West Division semfinal.

Burris, who had a strong outing by going 21-of-37 passing for 307 yards with two TDs and one pick, prefers not to look past the Bombers, despite being on a collision course with his former team in the playoffs.

"I'm just looking forward to Winnipeg right now," Burris said.

"We want to make sure we're going into the bye on a high note.

"We want to keep winning," he continued.

"We had two losses (in a row) and now we want to make it five straight (wins) to end the season."

The Lions (11-5) didn't make it easy on the Stampeders, despite losing their starting QB midway through the third quarter.

Buck Pierce reinjured his throwing arm on a hit by J.R. Ruffin and gave way to Jarious Jackson, who hooked up with Kendrick Jones for a 32-yard touchdown with seven minutes left.

Burris, who threw touchdowns to Ken-Yon Rambo and Elijah Thurmon, replied with a drive that ended on his own three-yard touchdown run.

Down two majors, the Lions made it interesting when Jones blocked a Burke Dales punt that Ryan Thelwell recovered for a TD.

B.C. then tried an onside kick but it went into the arms of Stamps slotback Nik Lewis to seal the win.

The score was closer than it should have been but Stamps head coach Tom Higgins was happy to come away with the victory, the first in six tries against the Lions.

"It's all about the Ws now," said Higgins.

"There are some things that can still be corrected. That's the beauty of this time of year. We asked them to accept the challenge and they did."

Unlike a week ago in B.C., the Stamps won the battle on the line of scrimmage, holding the Lions to one sack and establishing a running game.

Calgary's defence shut down running back Joe Smith, holding him to 41 yards on 10 carries, and receiver Geroy Simon, who was held scoreless.

Said Lions coach Wally Buono: "You can't play football when you're not 100 percent committed to playing hard and playing with emotion."

Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds continued his strong season by rushing for 92 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown.

"The line was a whole lot better than in B.C.," said Reynolds, who set a career high with 1,467 yards this season.

"They played more physical than us (last week) and this week we bounced back.

"When you run, the defence gets on its heels and that's what happened.

"It was a good offensive game for us."

Reynolds is in a battle for the rushing title next week against Bomber Charles Roberts, who trails Reynolds by 58 yards but has a game in hand.

Tickets for the playoff game go on sale to the general public Thursday, a day after the deadline for season-ticket holders to reserve their seats.


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