Already thinking revenge

Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis screams after a triumphant run against the Eskimos during first half...

Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis screams after a triumphant run against the Eskimos during first half action on Sunday. (Sun Media/Mike Drew)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders could be 60 minutes away from playing in their own Grey Cup.

And after a 24-21 win over the Edmonton Eskimos yesterday in the West semifinal at McMahon Stadium, the Stamps feel like they have the momentum to get back home in two weeks.

All that stands in their way between now and a home date Nov. 29 is the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"They are in trouble," said Stamps defensive end Charleston Hughes. "We have something nice coming their way.

"We're just focusing up right now. We've just been talking right now about next week, and that's where our mindset is right now."

The Stamps and Roughriders haven't met in a West final since 1971, when it was in Calgary. The Stamps won en route to their second Grey Cup title in franchise history.

The Riders, who sent former Stamps quarterback Marcus Crandell to scout the game yesterday, are hosting the West final for the first time since 1976.

"We're coming back for you Regina," said Stamps slotback Nik Lewis, who had seven catches for 100 yards yesterday.

"Where else would we rather be? It's the loudest stadium. The fans there support their team 100%. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

"My favourite fan is a Rider fan. I can't wait to see him. I'm coming back to Regina. I'm looking for you."

Quarterback Henry Burris threw touchdowns to Romby Bryant and Arjei Franklin, while Joffrey Reynolds ran for 127 yards as the Stamps outlasted the Eskimos.

Sandro DeAngelis had three first-half field goals and Burke Dales added a punt single to round out the Stampeders' scoring.

Burris went 19-of-32 passing for 264 yards, but he didn't make any key mistakes.

As expected, the Eskimos didn't make it easy on the home side.

After Franklin's touchdown in the third quarter -- his first of the season -- Eskimos returner Skyler Green took the ensuing kickoff back 93 yards to get the seven points back.

The Stamps took another 10-point lead when Romby Bryant scored on a 29-yard TD -- also his first of the season -- but the Eskimos took advantage of a couple of defensive penalties to reply.

With about seven minutes left, Hughes took two roughing the passer penalties and Shannon James was flagged for pass interference.

Ricky Ray ran for a one-yard TD to get within a field goal, and the Eskimos had another chance with four minutes left.

After the Esks took a holding call, pushing them back from the Calgary 47-yard line, DeVone Claybrooks sacked Ray to put the Eskimos in a second-and-29 situation and out of field-goal range.

"Charleston was able to flush him, and I run him down," Claybrooks said.

The Stamps failed to beat the Riders in three meetings this season, but they came close.

Chris Getzlaf had a last-minute touchdown Aug. 1 for a 24-23 Riders win at McMahon Stadium, while the teams settled for a 44-44 sawoff Oct. 17, also in Calgary.

The Riders won the final meeting convincingly, a 30-14 beating two weeks ago at Mosaic Stadium. So the Stamps have something more to prove.

"This game is over with and we're thinking green and white now," said Stamps returner Markus Howell. "We did our little hip, hip hooray, and now it's on to Saskatchewan."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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