Stamps finish was no slam dunk

ERIC FRANCIS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Calgary's got another pyramid scheme to deal with and the perpetrator is a 277-lb. Stamps defensive linemen who claims he has the power to dunk a basketball.

Confusing?

So was yesterday's 44-44 tie at McMahon Stadium, where an apparent game-winning block of a Saskatchewan extra point attempt was just one of the oddities included in the strangest, and most entertaining, CFL games of the year.

"That," said head coach John Hufnagel, managing a grin mere minutes after hurling his clipboard on the sideline, "was interesting."

The controversial block came in overtime as Roughriders kicker Luca Congi was about to tie the game when Stamp Tearrius George made like Michael Jordan and punctuated a mighty leap by swatting the single point attempt away. The ball was scooped up by Brandon Browner, who took it the length of the field for what appeared to be the game-clinching, one-point overtime win.

However, minutes later the official turned on his mic and introduced a new word to the English language -- "Pyramiding."

His finding was that George used another teammate to help him get the sort of vertical generally reserved for, well, men well under 250 pounds.

"I can still dunk!" smiled the 6-foot-4 George, laughing while suggesting he's capable of a 66-inch vertical.

"I just jumped and they tried to slam me. I thought pyramiding was only off your own man. I didn't know it was off either side. I jumped towards the gap and they closed on me, holding me up. Nobody was in front of me in terms of my own men."

Replays were inconclusive, but what was visible was his hand extending higher than the upright.

"I've seen him throw a 360 (degree) windmill (dunk) down one time," corroborated Mike Labinjo.

"He was up there. That was one crazy game."

The game could very well have ended minutes earlier when, instead of facing third down and about 30, John Chick took a bizarre unnecessary roughness penalty on Henry Burris that led to the Stamps drawing first blood in overtime.

The Stamps then let the visitors off the hook later when Dwaine Carpenter turned a third and five into a first down by responding to seeing his team one player short by calling a timeout neither team is entitled to in overtime.

"A late hit, a delay of game to keep teams alive ... things that just never happen in a game happened," said Stamps veteran Jeff Pilon of a first-place showdown that essentially solved nothing.

"That's the first time I've ever seen pyramiding called -- Barron Miles in B.C. has perfected jumping or using the centre to block it. Even if it was lifting, he was up by the crossbar -- that takes unbelievable effort and skill."

All this on a day when the teams combined for more than a thousand yards offence and 10 touchdowns as well as a game-tying two-point convert by Saskatchewan's Rob Bagg with 41 seconds remaining in regulation.

It left both dressing rooms full of wide eyes and endless chatter as they rehashed the kookiness of it all.

So surreal were the circumstances, those in town without high definition cable were subject to a blackout due to miscommunication between the team and the league, as well as TSN.

"That's probably one of the most bizarre games I've ever been in," said Joffrey Reynolds whose three-touchdown, 137-yard rushing effort was overshadowed by the bizarreness of the afternoon.

"Great football game to be in and to watch, but I probably lost a couple years on that one."

If ever there was a game meant to be a tie, this was it.

Neither team deserved to lose.

And Tearrius George deserves a medal for defying gravity -- no matter how he did it.

ERIC.FRANCIS@SUNMEDIA.CA


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