Summers gets help after mental miscue

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Demetris Summers has likely never been so relieved to see his team score a rouge.

The Calgary Stampeders speedster put his team in a tenuous position after surrendering a single near the end of the first half yesterday, but teammate Burke Dales turned down the heat with a booming one-point punt in the fourth quarter of an eventual 24-21 playoff victory over the Edmonton Eskimos.

"After I seen us get the point, I turned to one of my teammates and said, 'Man, he made it up for me,' " Summers said. "I gave one away, but I appreciate Burke getting one back."

Summers left the majority of the 31,356 fans at McMahon Stadium -- and likely most of his Stamps teammates, too -- scratching their heads after taking a knee even though he had plenty of time to lug the ball out of the endzone with just 23 seconds remaining in the first half. The single point trimmed the Stamps' edge to 9-7 at the break.

Although the Eskimos never managed to take a lead after the intermission, there's no doubt Summers was sweating about the possibility of giving kicker Noel Prefontaine an opportunity to erase a two-point lead with a field goal in the final seconds.

Summers admitted "it wasn't smart" to concede the single, but fellow return-man Markus Howell chalked it up to inexperience.

"We're coached up to do certain things, and he's coached up to do that, but he has to know the situation," Howell said. "In that situation, you don't give up the single, but I've been there as a young return guy, so I know what he's going through on that one play.

"But you know Meat is going to make big plays ... You've gotta take the good with the bad."

Summers certainly made a big play in the first quarter, finding a seam on a kickoff return and churning up 91 yards of turf before Eskimos special-teamer Mark Restelli hauled him to the turf on the 10-yard line. The Stamps couldn't turn it into seven points, but the big return did set up Sandro DeAngelis' first of three field goals.

Summer finished with 136 yards on four kickoff returns but lamented not being able to hit paydirt on his longest dash of the day.

"I just hit a seam, and I turned it up," Summers said. "I tried to get into the endzone, but I guess I've gotta work on that."

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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