The Calgary Stampeders set up the one-on-one battle they wanted, and eventually, it exploded into a mini-brawl.
It should have been expected when two of the biggest bodies and competitive players get matched up.
For the first time in their careers, Brandon Browner went head-to-head with Jamel Richardson during the Stamps’ 46-21 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday at McMahon Stadium.
It turned ugly at the end after a Milt Collins interception and things got heated between the two. S.J. Green and Wes Lysack came into fray with Lysack getting ejected.
Browner is usually a cornerback, and whenever the Stamps met the Als, he would cover wideout Kerry Watkins. With Watkins out with a shoulder injury, the Stamps moved their star cornerback into the middle to take out Richardson.
Both players are over 6-foot-3 and physically punishing, and each took their turns winning plays.
“I tried to step up to the challenge as much as I could,” Browner said. “It went well. We won the game. He made a couple of passes but he gets paid to do that. It happened to work out that way.”
Browner started blocking Richardson at midfield after the Collins interception in the endzone late in the fourth quarter.
Lysack then spotted Alouettes receiver Green come to his teammate’s rescue and hit Browner, so the Stamps safety followed it up by hitting Green.
“I saw an altercation on the field where someone was going out of the realm of football and not respecting the game and the players on the field,” Lysack said.
“Emotions got the better of me. I decided to take things into my own hands. I probably shouldn’t do that but how can I not when I see somebody who, at that point in the game, looked like he was trying to deliberately hurt one of our players.”
This sets up a great rematch a week from Monday as the Stamps visit the Alouettes on Thanksgiving.
Watkins won’t be returning any time soon, so it’s likely that Browner will try to neutralize Richardson again.
Richardson has a good outing Friday too, catching five passes for 124 yards, including a touchdown where he made Browner believe the play wasn’t going his way, then darted his hands up at the last second.
“He made me fall asleep for a minute,” Browner said. “He came onto me like it would be a run play.”
Despite only allowing the powerful Alouettes offence just three TDs, the Stamps defence wants to be better next week.
“We want to give up less than that,” Browner said. “I gave up one and (Dwight Anderson) gave up one (on a similar play to Green).
“We are supposed to be our top guys, so we want to knock those down.”
The Stamps secondary may be a little different Monday in Montreal. Rookie halfback Brandon Isaac suffered a shoulder injury and is doubtful to play.
If Isaac isn’t available, there would be some roster shuffling because there isn’t another import defensive back available after the release of Ahmad Carroll last week.
Carroll refused being placed on the nine-game injured list with a sports hernia and requested his release.
Stamps head coach John Hufnagel expects to have DL Robert McCune (hamstring) back in the lineup for the return to Montreal after a two-game absence. “I’m preparing in the manner he is but we will find out more on (Tuesday),” Hufnagel said … Hufnagel liked what Jon Cornish did returning kickoffs when he caught the ball. Cornish had 28 yards on one but let another slip through his legs. “He needs to play shortstop a little better,” Hufnagel said … CFL practice rosters expand Wednesday and Hufnagel expects to add five players this week.