Reynolds to get the darn ball

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Thanksgiving obviously has put food on Henry Burris' brain.

He wasn't talking turkey, but the Calgary Stampeders quarterback has already made plans to serve up a dish to running back Joffrey Reynolds in today's clash with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

When it was pointed out to Burris the running back had only a handful of carries in last week's loss, the Stamps QB came up with a unique way of saying he expects the league's top rusher to see more action.

"He's gonna get a nice peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich this week," Burris said. "We're going to keep things balanced, take what they give us ... but we definitely need 21 in the game plan and will find ways to get him going.

"He's the leading rusher in this league for a reason, so we've got to go out there and continue that for him."

As much as the CFL is a passing league, Reynolds' production in last week's 37-34 defeat is proof positive victories require a rushing attack.

He had only five carries for 25 yards in Regina, a minscule total for the runner who's pacing the CFL with 1,071 rushing yards.

Reynolds, who romped for 128 yards on 24 carries in the Stamps' only win over the Riders this season, doesn't want to get into a "give-me-the-ball" tirade.

"I'm more focused on helping us get the first-place spot," said the rusher who's surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in all four of his full CFL seasons. "It doesn't matter if I get 25 or 30 carries or that's just me blocking and picking up the blitz 25 or 30 times.

"First place here at home would be great."

Still, you know the Roughies expect to see Reynolds receive more handoffs in this outing.

"You'd be crazy not to expect they're going to try to get Joffrey Reynolds some touches," said Roughies defensive lineman Scott Schultz. "The onus is on us to stymie that success and get it to the point they can't use him.

"That's the goal, but it's been hit or miss. The times we haven't stopped him, he's run amok. The times we haven't, it's proved well for us."

The easy assumption would be to think the Stamps simply don't even consider using Reynolds in those games.

But that's not the case, mostly because the Riders were doing an excellent job last week taking away the run, said Stamps centre Rob Lazeo.

"It's not that runs weren't called," Lazeo said. "They schemed us in that game to stop that. Why wouldn't you? We run the ball well. When you run the ball well, teams scheme against you to make you pass the ball. We knew they would try to do that so we game-planned towards that.

"It's a chess match."


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