Stamps attack runs out of gas

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:22 PM ET

HAMILTON -- At half- time, Henry Burris had thrown for nine yards, but still held a four-point lead.

By the end, the Calgary Stampeders offence knew it was to blame for a 24-17 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in front of 19,448 fans at Ivory Wynne Stadium.

With more dropped passes than anyone could count, the Stamps had just 257 net yards thanks to Joffrey Reynolds' 121 along the ground, but two Arland Bruce touchdowns in the fourth quarter were the difference for the homeside.

But the Stamps defence could hardly be blamed because they held the Ticats to just 10 points through 45 minutes and were worn down in the final frame.

"I really can't put into words how bad it was," said Burris, who finished a dismal 10-of-25 passing for 114 yards.

"When we did get something going, we did things to shoot ourselves in the foot. We didn't make enough plays tonight. This is an untypical offensive output.

"This isn't something I expected because this was a big game for us here. We hoped to pull off a big victory. We didn't make enough plays to win and Hamilton did."

The loss drops the Stamps to 6-5 on the season to break a three-game winning streak, while the Ticats improve to 6-5. Calgary hosts the B.C. Lions next Friday at McMahon Stadium.

To add injury to insult, the Stamps lost receiver Ryan Thelwell to an Achilles' injury late in the fourth quarter.

It was a weird final few minutes, as a fan ran onto the field, eluded security and climbed on the goal-post. He shimmied all the way up to the top of one post and was at one point hanging on by the flag. After sliding down the pole and dancing along the crossbar, he was escorted off by security.

Despite being down 17-10 after three quarters, the Ticats took control to start the fourth quarter. Quarterback Quinton Porter engineered a 68-yard drive and capped it off with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Bruce to make it 17-17.

After Sandro DeAngelis missed a 43-yard field goal attempt that was returned 41 yards by Airese Currie, Porter drove down into Stampeders' territory for a second-and-short.

With short-yardage QB Adam Tafralis in, the Ticats went deep, with Bruce catching his second TD of the quarter to take a 24-17 lead.

"You know that's in their repertoire," Stamps head coach John Hufnagel said. "It wasn't like he was wide open. Dwight (Anderson) had good coverage. They made a good play."

The Stamps had a good start thanks to their defence.

Porter fumbled early in the first quarter, giving the Stamps good field position for a one-yard Burris touchdown run.

Then Malik Jackson stripped running back DeAndra Cobb, and Milt Collins returned the fumble 40 yards for a touchdown.

But the defence couldn't do all the scoring, and the Stamps went silent the rest of the way.Burris was just 2-of-10 passing for a measely nine yards in the opening 30 minutes. Reynolds provided all the offence with 72 yards along the ground.

"We didn't play with a lot of skill," Hufnagel said. "Credit Hamilton because they caused us some problems trying to catch the ball. We have to do a better job playing skilled football."

Porter finished with decent numbers, going 19-of-32 passing for 246 yards, while Cobb ran for 85 yards on 17 carries.

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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