Returner's speed kills Stamps in end

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

EDMONTON -- They tried the pooch kick, but the greyhound picked it up anyway.

With a four-point lead, the Calgary Stampeders tried booting a kickoff away from dynamic Edmonton Eskimos returner Tristan Jackson.

But Jackson sprinted up for the short kickoff, bobbled it, then went 35 yards to set up the game-winning score last night as the Eskimos beat the Stamps 38-35 at Commonwealth Stadium.

"We knew coming in it's a chore to handle him," said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel.

"They did get the one big return, and we tried to do that safe kick and they still get the big return. We have to do better.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow. It's very disappointing to lose that way, and we have to get better."

The late kickoff return came after Jackson took back a fourth-quarter punt 71 yards to set up another touchdown.

But the Stamps defence didn't come up big when it needed to either, allowing the Eskimos to get a go-ahead touchdown after both plays.

The Stamps let Arkee Whitlock run wild for 106 yards, all of which came in the second half, and Ricky Ray threw for 342 yards.

"We missed tackles from what I've seen. We were in the right spots to make plays but we have to come up and make those plays," said linebacker Dwaine Carpenter.

The Stamps did get two big turnovers in the third quarter.

Matt Grootegoed punched the ball from Whitlock's grasp on a long run, and Dwight Anderson picked it up and ran it back to midfield.

Later in the frame, Tom Johnson dropped Whitlock for a loss on a third-and-one gamble, but the Stamps settled for field goals on each successive turnover.

If the Stamps were to make a stop at the end, it might have been considered a decent performance against an effective offence.

But with a total combined yardage of 1,054 by both teams, it looked like it was no fun being a defensive player.

"As a defensive player, you want to be on the field to win the game," Anderson said.

"You get paid for those situations. We have some things to clean up the second half of the season.

"We keep doing the same thing and unless we stop, we're not going anywhere."


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