Let's cheer it for Lewis

Nik Lewis had one of his best games of the season in the West semifinal, catching seven passes for...

Nik Lewis had one of his best games of the season in the West semifinal, catching seven passes for 100 yards. (Sun Media/Mike Drew)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

If the Saskatchewan Roughriders are annoyed with Nik Lewis' celebrations, they won't appreciate the Calgary Stampeders receiver's weekend plans.

"I'm going there to disappoint a province," Lewis said yesterday responding to comments he celebrates first downs too much.

"Not a stadium, but a province. The whole province is going to be Stamps fans (after this weekend).

"They had a Grey Cup win a couple years ago. They should be good for another 30 years."

Nothing like stoking the rivalry four days before the West final in Regina.

The Stamps refused to get into a war of words last week when Maurice Lloyd and the Edmonton Eskimos felt they were disrespected by the Stamps.

Ignoring those perceived slights seemed to work, and the Stamps came through with a 24-21 victory at McMahon Stadium.

The Riders did fire the first volley, as middle linebacker Rey Williams and defensive back Donovan Alexander both said they don't like Lewis' antics.

"They don't like people celebrating, then stop 'em from doing it," Lewis said.

Riders slotback Chris Getzlaf went as far as to say the motto in his locker-room is those catches are expected from his group and therefore not worth doing until you get into the endzone.

Clearly, Lewis' behaviour is not for everyone's tastes.

The elaborate touchdown celebrations are gone, but the slotback still screams to the heavens when he gets a first down, no matter the length of the reception.

The six-time 1,000-yard receiver gets plenty of publicity for it, and it seems he's part of every TSN intro for Stampeders' games.

Head coach John Hufnagel didn't find the Riders' remarks all that troubling and even took a shot of his own at his receiver when asked about it.

"If Nik got in the endzone a bit more, he wouldn't have to do the other things," Hufnagel said about the receiver who set the record this season for most yards with only one TD.

Lewis did have one of his best games of the season in the West semifinal, catching seven passes for 100 yards -- five of which were for first downs.

So there were plenty of first-down signals from the slotback.

Lewis hopes the Riders keep talking about what the visitors are doing, hoping that means the home side is lacking focus.

"They know who the better team is," Lewis said. "They are worried about us. We're not worried about them. We're not talking about them.

"We don't care about what they are going to do. We care about what we're going to do. When we do what we do, we're a better team than everybody else. When we don't do what we're supposed to do, we lose games."

There are more than a few Stampeders offensive players who believe they are their own worst enemy.

For years, the mantra in the Stampeders' locker-room is if penalties and turnovers weren't committed, the Horsemen would keep winning games easily.

"We know what we have in the locker-room," said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris.

"We have a very good team. If we play the right type of ball, we can beat anybody in this league.

"When we're not doing what we're supposed to do, those teams have cashed in and beat us."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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