Stamps expecting tough Riders

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:03 PM ET

When the Calgary Stampeders look at the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they don't see a team in a free-fall.

They don't see a team that was humiliated by 29 points in a rivalry game. They don't see an offence that put up just 180 yards in a 31-2 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Instead, all the Stamps can focus on is how the Riders owned them last year.

The hurt from the West final loss at Mosaic Stadium hasn't gone away. The pain of the regular-season finale defeat is still there, because a win in the finale could have changed the playoff location.

So it doesn't matter that the Riders are trying to regroup from a Sunday massacre in Winnipeg when they host the Stamps Friday night.

If the Riders are a wounded animal right now, the Stamps will go for the kill.

"The loss doesn't change anything," said Stamps slotback Nik Lewis. "If it was up to me, we would beat them worse.

"It's going to be a tough game, a tough place to play. We have to be ready or else we will lose. We have the focus.

"Everybody is tired of losing, so it's time to win. We lost last year in that place. I'm ready to get back down there and prove something."

The suddenly struggling Riders offence made another move Wednesday after a major shuffle Tuesday. Receiver and returner Ryan Grice-Mullen was added to the roster Wednesday and will help replace Dominique Dorsey, who was put on the nine-game injured list.

The Riders also released Prechae Rodriguez and elevated Cary Koch from the practice roster.

Realistically, the Riders need to get things sorted out on offence. The Bombers defensive line put massive pressure on quarterback Darian Durant for two games, and the Riders managed just 33 yards rushing Sunday.

The Stamps defence is tops in the league, and they sense a situation where they can take advantage.

"We came in this year with a grudge against them," said defensive back Brandon Smith, who has four INTs in two games.

"We came in with a chip on our shoulder against them. This is a team we need to beat consistently. They swept us last year. We didn't win a game against them. Coming into this year, we know we have to beat them to even make an attempt at the Grey Cup."

In the 2009 West final, the Stamps actually went up 10-0 and allowed a Riders comeback. Then they had to watch as the Riders took over their locker-room for the Grey Cup.

"We hated losing to them," said defensive tackle DeVone Claybrooks. "We still think about the West final every day.

"We have to take care of business this week. Every week, we want to leave no doubt we're the best in the CFL."

If the 9-1 Stamps do beat the Riders this Friday, it will make it a massive struggle for Saskatchewan to finish first in the West Division.

The Stamps would be up four games up with seven remaining, including another meeting in Regina Oct. 17, and Calgary would hold the tiebreaker.

"This is a statement," said cornerback Dwight Anderson. "If you want to be the best team in the CFL, you need to put that statement down.

"We want to show we can beat you anywhere, home or away. We're not worrying about two games later. We're just worrying about this game. This game is to get a win."


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