Running Ruffin gives Stamps a boost

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Had J.R. Ruffin not been able to catch Wes Cates in full stride, the Calgary Stampeders defensive back would have some explaining to do.

Such as, are you not as fast as Brandon Browner? Ruffin's teammate ran down T.J. Acree on Labour Day to stop a sure touchdown.

Ruffin came from well back of Cates yesterday to stop the Saskatchewan Roughriders running back from scoring a touchdown in yesterday's 44-22 Calgary victory at McMahon Stadium.

He didn't strip the ball the way Browner did, but at least he can say he's just as fast, if not faster.

Ruffin did beat Browner in a foot race a couple of weeks ago, so it would have been odd to see him not use his speed on the field.

"If I didn't catch him, I would have heard it from a lot of people," Ruffin said. "I was going to try and hit that ball out but he was too close to the endzone. So I just took his legs out, which was fine.

"I needed an extra boost because they were trying to take the momentum away from us."

Instead, the Stamps defence got a huge play when linebacker Brian Clark picked off Kerry Joseph in the endzone.

Ruffin's tackle saved a touchdown, just as Browner's did on Labour Day.

On the next play after Clark's interception, Henry Burris hit Nik Lewis on a 85-yard touchdown strike for a 21-1 lead.

"The biggest play was J. R. Ruffin chasing down Wes Cates at the seven," Lewis said. "If we give up that touchdown, it's a totally different game.

"Then Brian Clark gets the interception. That was the biggest turn of events."

The speedy defensive back played in just his second game since returning from knee surgery, and for the first time yesterday was inserted on kickoff returns by the Stampeders coaching staff.


Videos

Photos