Stamps punter gets physical

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

Burke Dales spotted a unique opportunity for himself and flew like a missile through traffic.

With Tremayne Kirkland contemplating picking up Dales’ punt, the Calgary Stampeders veteran decided it was time for a recovery.

Dales thought he would get there just as the Edmonton Eskimos returner had it in his mitts, but instead the punter hit the returner before he touched it.

Although Dales knocked the ball ahead and recovered the fumble, he was flagged for illegal interference.

“I was wondering why he didn’t pick the ball up,” Dales said. “But I didn’t have much time to think because

I was right there.

“I felt great doing it. Anytime I mis-hit a ball, the first thing on my mind is to head downfield.

“They had a big dude on me all night. I was running by, and I saw him coming out of the corner of my eye, so I picked my speed up. I had my eye on the ball.”

The play would have worked to perfection had one of the two players touched the ball first, but instead Kirkland left it on the turf.

“That was the biggest shock for me,” Dales said. “He was right over the ball. I thought if I dove at the ball I would take his knees out and injure him. I didn’t want to do that.

“I just wanted to get in a position where we collided and I still got the ball.”

Seconds ticked off as both teams stood around waiting while officials sorted out the play to determine a penalty.

Regardless, Dales still had another great night in what is becoming another all-star worthy season. He booted eight punts for an average of 45.4 yards, and only five were returned for a total of 38 yards.

He still wanted the onside punt recovery, though.

“I don’t get to do it very often. When I do, I’ve always had the goal of getting the ball back,” Dales said.

“I got it back in college a number of times. It’s never happened at the pro level.”


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