Defence still facing lack of attention

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

Head buried, linebacker JoJuan Armour was signing hats, jerseys and posters with rhythmic efficiency when something caught his attention.

An autograph-seeking fan peered into the circle and, in a whisper that obviously wasn't quite quiet enough, asked if anyone could identify the player shelling out signatures.

"Henry Burris," Armour himself replied.

It's been that kind of season for Armour and the rest of the Stampeders defensive core. When the club rolled up to McMahon Stadium yesterday after claiming their first CFL title in seven seasons Sunday in Montreal, it was the same ol', same ol'.

While fans mobbed Burris, receivers Ken-Yon Rambo, Nik Lewis and Jeremaine Copeland, kicker Sandro DeAngelis and even head coach/GM John Hufnagel, most members of the Stamps' stingy defence could've hopped in their cars and sped away without causing anything more than an inconvenience for the throngs of fans crowding around the familiar faces.

It's nothing new for a unit that's been griping for weeks nobody is paying attention.

"We've always been underestimated, but we're a winning machine," said Stamps defensive lineman Eddie Freeman. "All we do is win -- no-name and all."

That no-name defence is a one of the big reasons the buses pulled up yesterday with a new passenger -- a big, shiny, silver mug -- on board.

The Stampeders limited the high-octane Alouettes offence to just one touchdown and a pair of field goals en route to a 22-14 win, hoisting the Grey Cup even though Burris and his bunch put up its lowest point total since Labour Day.

The Stamps took the lead in the third quarter and a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions -- one by cornerback Dwight Anderson, and the other by linebacker Shannon James --helped seal the deal.

"For me, it was just pure satisfaction," Labinjo said. "I felt like we were David and they were Goliath and we had just slayed the dragon. We were underdogs, the crowd was ridiculously loud and we shut 'em down.

"We held the best team in the CFL to 14 points, one in the second half, and it couldn't have been a better ending."

Even if the offensive stars got the bulk of the credit.


Videos

Photos