Hogtown slaughter

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 1:21 PM ET

TORONTO -- It's bound to be a bad night when even the equipment manager gets sacked for a loss.

Early in the third quarter of the Stampeders 48-15 blowout loss to the Toronto Argonauts last night, equipment manager George Hopkins jumped into a melee on the Calgary sidelines.

Calvin Bannister had just picked off Michael Bishop and ran up the sidelines when the Argos quarterback hit Bannister into the Calgary bench.

As the Stamps and Argos battled on the sidelines, Hopkins was sent flying to the ground.

Three plays later, in what was the theme of the Stamps' six-night, two-game road trip, fullback Gerald Commissiong fumbled on a short-yardage plunge, killing any chance of cutting into a 17-0 lead.

"It's not an easy thing standing on the sideline watching things fall apart the way it did," said Stamps head coach Tom Higgins.

"They won the turnover battle, the field-position battle. They were more disciplined and it seemed in hand by half- time.

"All we did at halftime was to see if we could play the second half even and we couldn't do that.

"Pick an area. Offence, defence and special teams are nowhere close to where we need to them. You can't single one out because it wouldn't be justice to the other two."

Calgary (1-2) has now lost two straight after taking a 49-8 pummelling in Regina three days earlier. Toronto (2-1) has won two in a row and take a temporary lead in the East Division.

Every time the Stamps started to gain some momentum last night, they quickly lost it by making a costly mistake.

Trey Young picked off Bishop's first pass of the game but, when the Stamps got the ball, they took a unnecessary roughness call after moving it 36 yards.

Later in the opening quarter, there were turnovers on two straight plays as Khalil Carter grabbed a Henry Burris pass and lateralled to Orlondo Steinauer, who had three interceptions in the game.

But Young then drilled Argos running back Jamel White hard enough to knock the ball loose and get it back, only to see the offence not capitalize on the turnover.

To start the second quarter, defensive lineman Randy Chevrier dropped Bishop for a 12-yard sack to force a punt but Burris fumbled on the next offensive play.

Burris was then pulled for backup Akili Smith, who fared no better, throwing three interceptions before being replaced again after halftime. Higgins quashed any thoughts of a quarterback controversy by going back to Burris for the rest of the game.

"We would have loved to have happened is making a change and start to run on all cylinders," Higgins said. "That wasn't happening. A lot of time Henry gets the grief whether the team wins or not but that's not all on him."

Burris didn't know why he was pulled but took the sitting in stride.

"I never feel I should go out ... but I don't make those decisions," Burris said. "The penalties and turnovers speak for themselves. We know it's about field position and turnovers, and we won neither of those battles."

The win was possibly devastating for the Argos, who first lost White after he was drilled by Young and then Bishop left in the third quarter.

On a scramble inside the Stamps' five, Bishop was being wrapped up when Stamps lineman Anthony Gargiulo hit the Toronto pivot, who immediately clutched his right wrist.


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