Sandro boots TD theory

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

For four-plus seasons, Sandro DeAngelis has been the most reliable kicker in the CFL.

But the prevailing talk around the Calgary Stampeders is they don't want to rely on the Little Italian to score points.

The offensive players keep saying they want touchdowns instead of field-goal attempts, a notion DeAngelis rejects.

"Of course, you would like to have TDs, but this is three-down football and if first down goes awry, then the stats on second down are against you," said DeAngelis yesterday.

"Points are points and we'll take them any way we can get them.

"I laugh when people say it because I think it's a bunch of nonsense.

"The games where I'm not getting attempts is when we're in trouble because we're not moving the ball.

"When was the last time you saw a team have 12 drives and score seven touchdowns.?"

DeAngelis was good on 4-of-5 field-goal attempts on Monday in a 42-5 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders and earned special teams player of the week honours from the CFL yesterday.

His only miss was a 46-yarder that was into a howling wind.

The Stamps can trust that when they get into field-goal range, they come away with points, which isn't the case for a lot of teams.

"Whenever I've kicked four field goals in a game, more often than not, we win the game," DeAngelis said.

"But I don't know the stats on that."

When DeAngelis gets more than four attempts in a game, the Stamps are 6-2 this season. In his four-year career, the Stamps have a 15-6 record when he gets at least four attempts, and that mark goes up to 10-3 when he attempts five or more in an outing.

It's a sure sign the offence is clicking when drives are ending in points, but even head coach John Hufnagel prefers not to kick field goals and would rather hit the endzone.

But the coach trusts his kicker can get it done no matter the situation.

"Sandro has done well all year long," Hufnagel said.

"He's probably been used a bit more than I would like, but he's come through when we needed him."

In a sign of how well DeAngelis has played this season, his average actually dropped by going 80% against the Riders.

DeAngelis only trails Riders kicker Luca Congi, who leads with a 89.5% efficiency to 86.8% for the Stampeders' perennial all-star.

He has only missed once inside 40 yards this season and that was way back in Week 1 against the Lions, a kick that still aggravates the perfectionist.

In contrast this week, the Blue Bombers have struggled all season to a 6-9 record with a kicker who is only hitting at a 60% efficiency, which has caused much anxiety in Winnipeg.

DeAngelis is a solid 12-of-18 outside the 40-yard line, which means his offence only has to get to the opposition's 33 in order to have a good chance at points.

"I'm pleased they put me out for long field goals, because that means they have confidence in me," said DeAngelis, who was the 2006 CFL special teams player of the year.

"The reason we're not punting is they believe you can get it done. You can't get it done every time but I'm a firm believer I will make more than I miss.

"Hopefully the timing of the kicks are pretty important."


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