Stamps tandem shines

Stamps QB Barrick Nealy escapes the Lions' grip during pre-season action on Wednesday. (Sun...

Stamps QB Barrick Nealy escapes the Lions' grip during pre-season action on Wednesday. (Sun Media/Jim Wells)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

The Drew Tate-Jermaine Jackson combination may never connect again, but for one night it was gold.

Such is life during the CFL pre-season. No matter how well they played, the pair are up against long odds at winning starting jobs with the Calgary Stampeders.

Tate is battling for a third-string quarterback job, and Jackson is hoping to catch on with a deep receiving corps.

In the third quarter of last night's 37-30 victory over the B.C. Lions at McMahon Stadium, Jackson executed a perfect crossing route and Tate hit him with a great post-corner pass.

Despite getting incorrectly called out at the one-yard line, the play was the second major for the duo. Tate officially completed it with a one-yard plunge.

"He had a heck of a game," said Tate of Jackson, with a bit of a smirk. "I thought he was fast but after running 50 yards, he should score. They called him out at the one."

Can you say Flutie-Pitts? Probably not.

But the Stamps will have a hard time letting either one go.

Although Tate is small for a pivot these days, his passing was on target in going 4-of-6 for 97 yards and what should be two TDs.

Jackson looks like a combination of the Jeremaine he's trying to replace (Copeland) and the slotback on the other side (Nik Lewis).

The 27-year-old spent the past two seasons in Arena ball and is getting a long look. He has Copeland's reach and Lewis' bull mentality, but whether the Stamps need him is another question.

"A good way to start. My first taste of the CFL was real good," said Jackson, who thought he should have had two TDs.

"They said I stepped out at the one. I don't agree with that. I wanted it. That's too bad. I wanted the two scores. That's alright because we got the touchdown right after that."

In the fourth quarter, lifelong Arena League QB Matt D'Orazio found Jabari Arthur open across the middle and the sophomore Canadian shed tackles for a 81-yard touchdown.

Henry Burris started the game for the Stampeders and led the team to field goals on two of three drives before leaving going 3-of-7 passing for 42 yards.

It was a light night for Burris but the reigning Grey Cup MVP hardly has to prove himself.

The outing could be a rough one for the Stamps in terms of injuries.

Defensive back Brandon Smith was the first to leave, suffering a left knee injury in the first quarter. He is headed for an MRI.

Backup Barrick Nealy suffered a groin injury in the second quarter after rushing five times for 67 yards, including a touchdown run.

His injury brought Tate on in emergency relief but the former Roughriders practice roster pivot was up to the task without much of a warmup.

The third loss was Canadian running back Jon Cornish, who took a hard shot to the thigh from Lions defensive back B.J. Tucker. Defensive end Mike Labinjo (ribs) and defensive back J.R. Ruffin (concussion) also left the game but Smith's injury is probably the most serious.

Overall, the defence played well at times but gave up a few big plays and took a few penalties, which showed up on the scoreboard.

"We need to get a whole lot better to be competitive in the West Division," said head coach John Hufnagel. "I'm maybe overly critical but that's the way I am."


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