Stamps slug out win

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Whenever Don King is in the building, there is a promise of a slugfest.

And in boxing terms, the Calgary Stampeders scored a unanimous decision, not quite the stunning knockout.

With the infamous boxing promoter among the 20,202 spectators at Molson Stadium, the Stamps did just enough to beat the Montreal Alouettes 23-19 last night.

"He came to watch a big battle," Burris said about King. "He saw some good highlights.

"Both sides were slugging it out. Whenever the offences had chances to capitalize, they did just that. Kudos to Montreal because they have a good team and they will be reckoned with down the road."

The performance wasn't exactly stellar for the Stampeders offence or defence to start out.

Anthony Calvillo came out and threw for 274 yards in the first half and built a 11-0 lead before the Stampeders responded with a Joffrey Reynolds touchdown run.

Calvillo, who finished 21-of-37 passing for 341 yards, threw a 67-yard touchdown bomb to former Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Jamel Richardson.

Damon Duval had field goals from 25, 30, 36 and had three singles for the rest of the Als scoring.

But at the end of the first half, Burris drove the Stamps into position for a field goal, and the Als took a 17-10 lead into halftime.

Reynolds took the second-half kickoff 61 yards and, a few plays later, Burris hit Ken-Yon Rambo with an easy five-yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone to tie it at 17-17.

"Getting those three points was huge, then coming out and putting together a nice drive to start the second half was nice," said Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel.

"I didn't think it would be high scoring and would be a defensive battle. I just didn't think 20 points would be enough."

Sandro DeAngelis kicked field goals of 25, 32 and a huge 40-yarder in the final minute to round out the Stampeders scoring. He was a hair short on a 50-yarder, but that was the first time he has missed against Montreal in his career. He was 19-for-19 until that point.

In the second half, the Stamps defence held the Als offence to just 70 yards and two punt singles, while their own offence used a great rushing attack to kill the clock. The Stamps kept the ball for an astounding 34:18.

Burris finished 28-of-37 passing for 302 yards, but he also ran for 93 yards. Reynolds picked up 82 along the ground and another 34 on passes.

"It was a big win, especially after the loss last week," said Burris. "What better way to do it than one of the top teams in the league."

There were some negatives. Burris dropped the ball at the end of a long rush in the first half and was errant on a few easier throws. And the special teams unit failed to convert on a fake punt that was direct-snapped to running back Jon Cornish.

"It was another second-half performance," said receiver Nik Lewis, who caught five passes for 49 yards -- the biggest a fourth-quarter grab that extended a drive.

"We need to put a full game together. This is an 18-week season and we will peak at the right time. Hopefully when we get there, we'll be ready to put it together. It feels good to get a win on the road. The first win outside Alberta since 2006.

"It's a big win. We have a confident group here. We have people making plays. As long as we have that, I don't see a weak spot on this team."

As for King, (who said on air he "loves the CFL" during the TSN broadcast), Burris hopes he was impressed with Canadian football up close.

"I just saw him. He waved at me and I waved back," Burris said. "Maybe he knows who I am? That was a pleasure. That's the great thing about playing in Eastern cities, you get to play in front of big-time stars like that.

"I just wonder who he put the odds on."

Chalk this one up to the underdog.


Photos