Stamps seal win late in season opener

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:29 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders should thank the Flames for diverting the sports fanís attention on Canada Day.

Although the 30-16 victory over the Toronto Argonauts goes down as a Ďgood start,í a continuation of the sloppy play by the home side will lead to a long 2010 season.

With the lack of entertainment for the 29,333 spectators at McMahon Stadium, everyone must have still been talking about the Flames reacquiring Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay.

The Argos should have been an easier opener for the Stamps, who have a Grey Cup title in their sights this season.

And with Jeremaine Copeland and Jim Barker on the other sidelines, one would expect the Stamps to be fired up.

Unless you like defence, there was little to be excited about on the Stampsí side, but at least they are 1-0 heading into a two-game road swing through Ontario that includes a return match with Toronto July 14.

Starting quarterback Henry Burris threw for 324 yards, but he didnít toss a touchdown pass.

The Stamps defence did play well, but nobody was expecting anything from a completely revamped Argos unit.

In the major highlight, Dwight Anderson gave Chad Owens a nice welcome to the CFL.

After the Argos receiver made a catch, Anderson grabbed him and tossed him like a rag doll into the oncoming train of teammate Charleston Hughes.

The ball popped loose and the Stamps recovered.

In the final minutes, Wes Lysack forced a Cleo Lemon fumble and Malik Jackson returned it for a touchdown.

As is typical in an opener, there was sloppiness on both sides.

Burris tossed a first-half interception to Lin-J Shell on a deep ball he probably shouldnít have thrown.

And Jon Cornish lost the handle on a fourth-quarter carry, leading to a field goal for the Argos that cut the deficit to four points.

The Stamps built a 10-6 halftime lead thanks to a Joffrey Reynolds one-yard touchdown plunge and the first of five Rob Maver field goals.

Reynolds passed the 100-yard mark, moving into the all-time franchise lead in that category.

The visitors seemed quite lifeless until Owens fielded a punt in the fourth quarter and took it through would-be tackles 90 yards for Torontoís second major.

That cut the lead to one point, but the home side quickly put another field goal to create some separation.

On the next possession for the Argos, Copeland fumbled a reception at midfield and another field goal made it a seven-point lead.

The Lemon era in Toronto didnít get off to a great start, but the former NFL quarterback showed he does have elusiveness.

He needed it a few times against a stifling Stampeders rush.

The Argos sack totals might be down this season but only because of Lemonís great awareness.

Early in the contest, Stamps defensive end Mike Labinjo was barrelling down on Lemon, but the quarterback correctly threw it into the third row of the seats.

Lemon did toss a first-half pick to Keon Raymond on an underthrown pass, but the Argos have to be happy with some of the good signs from their new pivot.

Deon Murphy didnít make a great debut for the Stamps as the main kick returner.

He bobbled a punt in the first half, but it was luckily recovered by teammate Malik Jackson.

The rookie also caught a pass and promptly put it on the turf, this time losing it to the Argos.

In the second half, Murphy broke a 46-yard kickoff return but lost the handle out of bounds, and the Stampeders were able to retain possession.

The Stamps got lucky a few times, and thatís why they won.


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