Rare losing skid 'in the past'

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Remember the last time the Calgary Stampeders lost back-to-back contests?

Defensive end Jim Davis doesn't.

Ditto for DeVone Claybrooks, John Eubanks, Tearrius George and Charleston Hughes.

"It hasn't happened since I've been here," grinned middle linebacker Tim Johnson. "That's one thing we can hang our hats on."

Some Stampeders fans likely don't remember, either.

The last time John Hufnagel's Horsemen lost two consecutive outings was way back in early June, when they dropped their season-opener to the Montreal Alouettes at McMahon Stadium and were beaten by the Blue Bombers the following week in Winnipeg.

Since then, they've employed six new starters on the defensive side of the ball and made a habit of rebounding from defeats, having outscored their opponents 169-114 after suffering a loss the previous week.

"That's good. That says that guys learn from their mistakes and learn from a loss, and it shows character within the team," Davis said. "That's the good thing about losses -- you learn from your mistakes. As long as we have that attitude, then we'll be able to bounce back from this loss."

One day after suffering a 30-14 setback to the Saskatchewan Roughriders that cost them the division title, the Stampeders weren't exactly in a nostalgic mood at McMahon Stadium.

They'll host the third-place Edmonton Eskimos in a West Division semi-final showdown next Sunday. After reviewing tape of Saturday's sloppy loss at Mosaic Stadium, most of the players had their eyes locked on the road ahead.

"What loss? I don't remember no loss," Hughes deadpanned. "That's in the past. I've pretty much blocked that out of my memory right now.

"Ain't nothing you can do to change it."

Johnson, though, insisted the Stamps should remember the sting of their loss to the Riders, the only divisional opponent they haven't been able to beat so far this season.

"It's important to not forget," Johnson said. "Keep that in your craw. Keep that in your sack. Don't forget about it because that's a driving force. What happened (in Regina) was good for the Stampeders. It was humbling. I'll tell you one thing, if we remember (Saturday) night on Sunday against Edmonton, Edmonton will know it."

The Stampeders boast a 3-1 record against their provincial rivals this season, including a pair of one-sided shellackings at McMahon Stadium.

They limited the Eskimos offence to only one touchdown in a 32-8 win on Labour Day, then surrendered just two field-goals and a rouge in a 30-7 triumph three weeks ago.

That sounds like something worth keeping in the memory bank.

"It's a simple as one-two-three now -- one game against Edmonton, one game in the West Final, one game in the Grey Cup ..." Johnson said. "It's a three-game season, and we're approaching it like that -- just one game at a time. Edmonton is coming into our house, and we've got to take care of business."

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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