Stamps big three provide fire power

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:56 PM ET

Chances are if the Calgary Stampeders score four offensive touchdowns in a playoff game, three of them will come from their big three.

In a weird anomaly this CFL season, an astounding 76.1% of Stamps offensive majors have come from three players.

It’s either quarterback Henry Burris running it in, tailback Joffrey Reynolds running or catching, or Jeremaine Copeland catching the TDs.

“That stat should probably not go in the paper,” said Copeland when told the number. “We should keep that out.”

So Edmonton Eskimos, just stop Burris, Reynolds and Copeland and the Stamps should wilt in Sunday’s West semifinal at McMahon Stadium.

“It’s not a matter of just shutting us down,” Copeland said. “When we get down there, anyone can score. We have playmakers across the board. It could be anybody’s game.

“This is a new season so anyone can come up with it.

“You can’t shut down three people. Somebody will get in that endzone sooner or later. We hope to have a bunch of them this post-season.”

The biggest reason for this high stat is Copeland’s 12 receiving majors and other pass-catchers getting stopped before scoring.

No other receiver had more than two TDs, and Reynolds managed to have two majors through the air as well.

With several drives getting inside the five-yard line and eventually to the one, Burris did a lot of diving in for TDs.

Seven of his 11 TDs were from one yard out, while two were from the four.

“Guys keep getting Tecmo-Bowled and tackled at the one,” Burris said with his trademark laugh. “So I just sneak it in from there.”

When the Stamps were successful last season, a major reason was getting every offensive player involved in the fun.

Ten different players had receiving TDs this season, but that’s a lot to do with injuries and shuffled lineups and not a matter of having a five-man corps with even numbers.

Starting receivers Nik Lewis, Brett Ralph and Ryan Thelwell had one each, while fullbacks Teyo Johnson and Rob Cote had two apiece.

Ken-Yon Rambo and Romby Bryant didn’t score in their limited action.

“We try to spread the wealth around so you can’t key on different people but it shows the success guys like Joffrey and Cope have had,” Burris said.

“When we’ve had chances to get into the endzone, those guys have stepped up and done it.

“Guys will get chances and we’ve talked it out. Be ready is what I always say to them. You never know when your chance will come.”

Copeland had 50% of the 24 receiving touchdowns for the Stamps in what was a down year for the team in that category.

With Burris throwing 39 TDs last year, the Stamps had a huge dropoff in that area, but the rushing TDs increased accordingly, with quarterback going from three last year to 11 this year.

Having three players doing all the scoring on offence doesn’t usually add up to success. But if Copeland can keep up his production, the Stamps may continue to beat the Eskimos.

“I wouldn’t say the quarterback and running back are weird,” said centre Rob Lazeo. “The running back usually leads in touchdowns.

“One receiver can stand out in touchdowns above everybody else, but to stand out as much as Cope has shows what kind of an athlete he is.

“He’s in the right places at the right times. Seeing some of the those catches too, they are highlights of the month. It’s just awesome.”


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