Team effort tames Lions

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

At halftime, fans in Saskatchewan were likely screaming at the Calgary Stampeders.

With nothing on the line for the Stampeders, the likes of Henry Burris and Joffrey Reynolds took an early seat yesterday against the B.C. Lions.

However, top receiver Ken-Yon Rambo stayed in long enough to secure his first yardage title, and the Stamps' depth players capitalized on their chance to shine.

Backup quarterback Barrick Nealy ran for three touchdowns, running back Jon Cornish scored his first major and Rambo made a key 49-yard reception from QB Will Proctor, as the Stamps beat the B.C. Lions 41-30 yesterday at McMahon Stadium.

You're welcome, Saskatchewan Roughriders fans.

The Stamps win means the Lions must go to Regina next Saturday for the West Division semifinal, with Calgary hosting the winner Nov. 15 in the division final.

The defence did its part in helping Rambo snag the title, holding Lions slotback Geroy Simon to just 27 yards on three receptions.

Rambo had three catches for 81 yards to finish with 1,473 on the season. Simon is second at 1,418.

"We had to look out for our guy," said Stamps linebacker JoJuan Armour. "You guys in B.C., you all dress warm in Saskatchewan now."

Added Rambo, "Defence is what did it for me. They played really well and shut Geroy down. Big kudos go to them.

"We're clicking, and things are at their peak. It's all flowing. Everyone knows their assignments. It's post-season time, and we're ready. We're going into the playoff on a win streak, and that's real big."

Before leaving at halftime, Burris was sharp in going 11-of-18 passing for 165 yards and a touchdown to Nik Lewis.

He left healthy and confident for the playoff run, as the Stamps finished with a 13-5 mark, their highest win total since the Jeff Garcia days of 1996.

"Everybody said this was a game that meant nothing to us, but every game means something to this team," Burris said. "This is one chance to get better and feel great going into the West final."

Reynolds had just one carry for 15 yards, but he still won the rushing title ahead of Riders running back Wes Cates.

This is the first time the Stamps can boast both the top receiver and top rusher at the end of a CFL season.

"This feels good from a personal standpoint, but I'm glad both me and Rambo have done it," Reynolds said. "It was an excellent team effort. It was a nice cap to the season.

"We're just looking to gain momentum going into the playoffs. It didn't help us in the standings, but it was nice to play good ball."

Lions QB Buck Pierce took a pounding from the Stamps defensive front, but he didn't leave the game due to injury.

He threw TD passes to Paris Jackson, Ryan Grice-Mullen and Stefan Logan, but two interceptions cost him dearly.

Ian Smart also fumbled a punt return the Stamps turned into a quick touchdown.

Although Nealy only threw two passes, completing one for nine yards, the backup managed the game well. Even Proctor, who joined the team last month, was effective.

"We proved to ourselves despite who is in there, we will keep focus," Burris said. "Despite the situation of the game, the guys are going to keep focus and get the victory."


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