Sure-hands promised by Burris

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

So much for a perfect season.

Henry Burris leads all CFL quarterbacks in rushing attempts and sits second in yardage along the ground so far this season, but the scamper the Calgary Stampeders star has been thinking about most is the one that ended with his first rushing fumble of the campaign.

Hopefully his last, too.

"For the rest of the season, I'll value the ball even more than ever," Burris said. "It happened last year (in the third game of the season) in Montreal, and I had just the one. I wanted this year not to have the one, but to have that reminder only makes you better as time goes on."

Burris tucked the ball and took off eight times in the Stampeders' 44-9 win over the Toronto Argonauts last Friday at McMahon Stadium, finishing with 50 rushing yards.

The Stampeders pivot also tossed for a season-high 348 yards through the air, including one touchdown and didn't surrender any interceptions after being picked off three times the previous week.

His lone blemish on the stat sheet was a third-quarter fumble.

At the tail-end of a seven-yard scramble, Burris was tackled by Argonauts cornerback Willie Middlebrooks. He lost his handle on the pigskin as he tumbled to the turf and the visitors recovered.

The following day, Stamps head coach John Hufnagel was critical of Burris and slotback Nik Lewis for each committing a fumble, referring to the turnovers as examples of "careless ball-carrying."

After practice yesterday at McMahon Stadium, Burris wasn't making excuses.

"I put my life into protecting the ball, especially when I'm running," Burris said. "I actually look at it like I'm holding one of my children and I can't let my child get away, so I'll value the ball even more and make sure, even if I am going down, that I keep it high and tight always."

Through three games, the 33-year-old has racked up 91 rushing yards on 20 carries -- the most of any quarterback in the eight-team loop.

Should the B.C. Lions, who host the Stampeders Friday night, beware?

"I take what teams give me. When the opportunity is there and they open up the running lanes, I try to take advantage of it. If B.C. presents that same opportunity for me, I'll take advantage of it, also."

EXTRA POINTS

Stamps LB Dwaine Carpenter was named the CFL's defensive player of the week yesterday after scooping a fumble and dashing to the endzone against the Argos. Carpenter had a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and his first CFL touchdown all on the same play ... Lions QB Jarious Jackson and his main target WR Paris Jackson were named the week's top offensive and Canadian players respectively for their roles in a 40-22 win over the Edmonton Eskimos. QB Jackson threw for 362 yards and four TDs in the Lions' first win of the season, while WR Jackson had nine catches for 126 yards and a TD. K Nick Setta was named the top special teams player, after hitting three field goals in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' 25-13 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.


Photos