Stamps rookie makes good

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:17 AM ET

HAMILTON — Sandro DeAngelis missed crucial kicks, and the Calgary Stampeders won.

It used to be DeAngelis made field-goals and the Stamps were victorious.

Now, Rob Maver is booting game-winners for the Stamps.

Maver’s 22-yarder with 10 seconds left sealed a wild 23-22 victory for the Stamps over the host Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday afternoon in front of 25,248 spectators at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

DeAngelis missed field-goals of 35 and 42 yards — the second one, returned by Deon Murphy 105 yards in the third quarter, led to a Nik Lewis touchdown reception.

DeAngelis’ 59-yard attempt was for the win on the last play was blocked by Brandon Browner, the same guy who delivered a punch in the mouth to the former Stampeders kicker on Murphy’s return.

“I didn’t get it done — that’s for damn sure,” DeAngelis said. “I let down 41 other guys … I didn’t do my part.

“I will have a little bit of a sleepless night thinking about how I can fix it, and I’m going to bounce back. I have to make those kicks. I’m better than that. I know that. I have to get back to basics.”

At least DeAngelis made one good play, as his tackle on Murphy during a kickoff prevented another huge return.

On the other side, Maver was perfect on three attempts, although his longest was

from 24 yards out. He also hit from nine yards away, and his game-winner was aided by Ticats linebacker Jamall Johnson taking a 15-yard piling-on penalty on three plays earlier to make the attempt on the winner easier.

“This isn’t an easy wind — the closer, the better,” said Maver, who got the game ball from snapper Randy Chevrier. “On a perfect day, I wouldn’t think about distance. When you kick into the wind, you have a constant reminder through your facemask no matter how you try to block it out.”

DeAngelis’ week started with Nik Lewis saying he had changed after helping the Stamps win the Grey Cup in 2008. After the Niagara Falls, Ont., native left as a free agent in February, Lewis wrote on his blog he didn’t even know DeAngelis anymore.

Following DeAngelis’ 2-for-4 performance with one blocked outing in his debut with the Ticats, Lewis didn’t really want to pile on.

But …

“He’s still a great kicker, but he doesn’t kick well here,” Lewis said. “This is his worst spot. People are trying to make it personal. It’s not personal. I have respect for Sandro as a field-goal kicker. He’s a great athlete and a great player. He gets the job done 99.9% of the time.

“It’s not my job to critique him and tell him what he did wrong or right. I can’t kick a field-goal. Rob Maver can, though. He makes them, too.”

Lewis has a point about DeAngelis’ history in Hamilton.

This was DeAngelis’ seventh game at Ivor Wynne, and he’s hit just 10-of-18 for a meagre 55.5% success rate. His overall career average heading into this season was 83.8%.

“No, trust me, I would rather kick here over Regina or Winnipeg or a lot of other places,” DeAngelis said. “Ivor Wynne is fine. I just didn’t do my part (Saturday).”

When DeAngelis signed as a free agent, the Ticats were hoping for the CFL’s most accurate kicker of all-time to continue his stunning career.

“We brought him in here to make those types of plays for us and to give us consistency, and I’m sure he will,” said Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille. “It looked like he had a tough day ... but he’s a great kicker, and I’m sure he will bounce back.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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