Friendly contest between Stamp, Argo

Stampeders Receiver Nik Lewis is tackled by Tiger-Cats DB Jason Shivers Saturday at Ivor Wynne...

Stampeders Receiver Nik Lewis is tackled by Tiger-Cats DB Jason Shivers Saturday at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton. The Stamps beat the Ticats 23-22. (MARK O'NEILL/QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:34 PM ET

HAMILTON — Nik Lewis found himself in the endzone with the football, so he dropped to his knees and threw his arms towards the sky.

The somewhat muted celebration in Saturday’s 23-22 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats should feel familiar to Calgary Stampeders supporters.

It was a tribute to Jeremaine Copeland, Lewis’ best friend who is now playing for the Toronto Argonauts.

With only one touchdown all of last season, Lewis is happy to get his first of 2010 out of the way.

It also give him an edge over Copeland, who is without a major after scoring

12 for the Stamps in 2009.

“I want to beat him … It’s going to be a fun competition,” said Lewis. “I think this is my best start in the first two games of my career. I’m happy about that. I’m looking forward to being better, though, too.”

Lewis is correct. With

12 catches for 142 yards, the 27-year-old Texan has bettered his best start (2009, nine catches for 135 yards).

Copeland isn’t off to such a great start with the Argos with seven catches for 80 yards.

The two will go head-to-head again Wednesday as the Stamps face the Argos at Rogers Centre, but Copeland is obviously excited to see what Lewis is doing.

“The best thing about it is he got that first touchdown out of the way early,” Copeland said. “He doesn’t have to worry about going for 1,000 and not having a touchdown.

“When I’ve been talking to him this whole off-season, he’s prepared. He knows it’s pretty much him right now. He’s the leader of that squad, and he has to carry them. I think he’s ready for it mentally.”

There were other breakthroughs for the Stamps receiving corps besides Lewis in the win in Hamilton.

Romby Bryant scored his first regular-season touchdown with the team since coming over in a trade with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last season.

P.K. Sam, who was traded for Copeland, caught seven balls for

62 yards, including a big 14-yard reception to set up the winning field-goal.

Getting into the endzone was nice for Bryant, but he couldn’t be as excited about his performance because he had two drops later in the game, both times in double coverage.

“Obviously, I have to get better,” said Bryant, who has

10 catches for 166 yards

in two games. “I have to concentrate more and stop looking ahead. I have to make the plays when they come to me. The ball made it to me. It’s not like it was deflected or something like that. Both of them hit my hands, so I considered them drops regardless of what happened (in coverage).”

Copeland said he had yet to see Lewis’ tribute but will cue it up on the highlight package.

With the Stamps staying in Hamilton over their three-day break, it’s a good bet the duo will get together at some point.

The bigger question is whether Copeland will honour Lewis when he gets his next major.

“He lets me know he’s going to be all right out there,” Lewis said. “I’m going to let him know I will be all right.

“It’s going to be good to see him. The rough part is I won’t see him again for the rest of the season. It was good to see them get their victory.

“They had a chance to fold the other day in the second half when Winnipeg came out and scored. They didn’t. They made big plays at the end and won the game. They are a dangerous team.”

Extra points

Injured Stamps receiver Ryan Thelwell (ankle) did a couple of short routes during a light practice and head coach John Hufnagel there’s ‘a chance’ he could suit up Wednesday … The Stamps suffered no major injuries in the win over the Tiger-Cats.


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