Wicked way to lose game

Eskimos receiver Fred Stamps hauls in the winning touchdown with Stamps safety Milt Collins draped...

Eskimos receiver Fred Stamps hauls in the winning touchdown with Stamps safety Milt Collins draped on him with nine seconds left to play. (Sun Media/Jason Franson)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Henry Burris passed a legend.

Ricky Ray and Tristan Jackson stole the spotlight.

After Burris took the lead with less than two minutes left on a TD pass to Jeremaine Copeland, Jackson had a 35-yard kickoff return off a short boot to give Ray a chance at victory.

The Stamps have seen this before, and Ray didn't miss.

The Edmonton Eskimos quarterback hit Fred Stamps with the winning score as the homeside notched a wild 38-35 victory last night in front of 33,065 fans at Commonwealth Stadium.

"We thought we had this game in the bag," Burris said.

"We still had to make a stop on special teams, and we didn't do it.

"They have a great returner and quarterback in that locker-room. This is exactly what they were supposed to do."

With 269 first-half passing yards, Burris passed Doug Flutie for the franchise's all-time lead and the Stamps appeared to be off to the races.

Burris needed just 239 yards to pass Flutie's mark of 20,551 and did it in fine style, throwing two touchdown passes to Copeland and one to Teyo Johnson for a total of 479 yards.

But it was Jackson who took control in the fourth quarter.

Quiet all game, Jackson zipped through Stamps defenders for a 71-yard punt return midway through the final quarter to set up a Ray to Maurice Mann 20-yard major.

With three minutes left, the Stamps replied with a 12-play, 88-yard drive that featured Burris hitting Copeland on a 29-yard pass on third-and-10.

Copeland's touchdown gave the visitors a four-point lead.

It slipped away in the end, but it was an impressive performance by the offence.

"This is rough," Copeland said. "We were in the same situation last year, lost the game with a last-second TD (by Jason Tucker).

"It's a pill we have to swallow and we need to know to play four quarters. We're not going to hold our heads about this. We have them two more times in the next three weeks. We will come back healthy and ready to play."

In the third quarter, the Stamps converted two Eskimos turnovers into Sandro DeAngelis field goals to take a 28-21 lead heading into the final frame.

The Eskimos chipped away with a Noel Prefontaine field goal before Jackson's amazing punt return set up the go-ahead touchdown.

For the second straight week, the Stamps were unable to stop the ground attack, and this time it was Arkee Whitlock who burned them.

Whitlock rumbled for 106 yards along the ground and another 69 yards through the air despite only having 23 yards from scrimmage at halftime.

The quarterback was even running against the Stamps.

Ray scrambled for a 27-yard touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter as the Eskimos replied to every Stamps scoring drive with their own.

Good friends Jon Cornish (Calgary) and Calvin McCarty (Edmonton) had touchdown runs on consecutive drives in the first half.

Even with Ray going 28-of-37 passing for 342 yards and three touchdowns, Burris was the better quarterback. He just didn't get the ball at the end.

In passing Flutie, Burris put up a performance the star would have been proud of.

"It's a big accomplishment but would have felt better to do it in a winning fashion," Burris said.

"It goes to show the type of teammates I have in this locker-room. There have been great players I've been with in my time in Calgary.

"The guys have worked their tails off. It's sad to have it happen in a loss, but it does feel good overall."


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