Reynolds runs off at mouth

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

A year ago, Joffrey Reynolds sat in front of his McMahon Stadium locker -- shocked, disappointed and nearly speechless.

That day, the Calgary Stampeders tailback had committed two crucial fumbles in a shocking CFL West semifinal loss to the Edmonton Eskimos.

He felt responsible and apologetic for letting the game slip through his hands and knew he was one of the key reasons the Stamps were packing up for the year.

Last night Reynolds held court at the very same spot following a 30-21 playoff loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

But this time Reynolds wasn't to blame.

"I only got the ball at the end of the game," said Reynolds, who finished with 55 yards rushing on 15 carries and 34 more yards on two catches.

"I don't care what it is, you don't put your top offensive player on the backburner like that."

He was clearly upset.

"How can I not be upset?" said Reynolds.

"As a player, you want to get the ball in the fourth quarter. I don't think I really got it that much in the third quarter. The times I did get it was two big first downs."

Although he committed a first-quarter fumble the 'Riders failed to convert into points, Reynolds was hardly a factor in this game, despite averaging 100 yards per game against Saskatchewan this season.

"In the second half, we just totally abandoned the run," said Reynolds.

"We had the turnovers in the first half but that makes no never mind, we were still up 21-5.

"Those were non-factors. In the second half, we have to do a better job of protecting the ball and mixing up the play calling."

The tenacious defence of Roughies linebackers Maurice Lloyd and Kitwana Jones made running the ball nearly impossible.

"We ran some plays that ran right into the teeth of their defence," Reynolds said. "In the second half, we had more turnovers and, when you don't run the ball, you put your team in a box. If you're going to throw every time ... what can I do but block?

"I'm disappointed I wasn't able to get the ball in the fourth quarter until the very end. As your top dog on offence, it's not good for the offence (to not carry the ball)."

Reynolds' fumble came on what could have been one of Calgary's longest gains of the first half.

With only linebacker Tristan Clovis to beat, Reynolds tried to dodge the tackle only to have the ball punched out of his hands.

"It was a good play by him ... and a setback for us.

"I played my heart out, I'm sure the rest of the guys did and that's it. The end of the 2006 season.

"I'm at a loss for words as to what happened tonight."


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