Receivers race to grand finale

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

The answer — not surprising — was delivered with break-neck speed.

Asked earlier this week to identify the fastest member of the Calgary Stampeders, receiver Romby Bryant called his own number.

“Who’s the fastest? Me,” Bryant said. “Hell, yeah.”

Before the inquisitor could even blink, the usually soft-spoken Bryant was seeking a second opinion.

“Hey, Rambo,” he hollered. “Who’s the fastest guy on this team?”

Stamps receiver Ken-Yon Rambo simply pointed back in Bryant’s direction.

Debate settled.

At least for now.

Perhaps a better question is which Red & White receiver will be the fastest to hit quadruple digits?

Heading into Monday’s rematch with the host Montreal Alouettes, the Stamps have three pass-catchers on pace for more than 1,000 receiving yards this season.

Star slotback Nik Lewis, who is shooting for his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard campaign, currently leads the way with 858 aerial yards. Rambo has racked up 822 receiving yards, while Bryant has registered 811.

“That means we’ve been consistent,” Lewis said. “And we’ve been producing.”

It’s been a decade since the Stamps had a trio of 1,000-yard receivers, dating back to a productive campaign from each of Allen Pitts, Travis Moore and Mark Boerigter in 2000.

During the 1990s, the likes of Pitts, Dave Sapunjis and others routinely gave the squad a hat-trick of horses hitting the milestone.

For the current crop of Stampeders, though, this is uncharted territory.

“We’re explosive, man. We spread the ball around,” Rambo said. “If you want to win games, you’ve gotta spread the ball around to all your playmakers and let them make plays. You can’t single out just one guy.”

The opposition can’t single out just one guy, either.

Just ask Als defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke, who watched his team surrender 412 yards through the air in the Stamps’ 46-21 triumph last weekend at McMahon Stadium.

Bryant had a pair of touchdowns — including a long bomb on the offence’s third play from scrimmage — and Rambo and Lewis each made one trip to the endzone.

“The more power you have in an offence, it’s just great for everybody,” Lewis said. “Montreal plays you man-up, like ‘We’re gonna be better than you.’ That’s the way they play, and they have a lot of great talent, so they deserve to play that way. But we just feel like if we can go out and be better than them, then we win.”

“They can’t double everybody,” Bryant added. “Nik opens it up for Rambo. Rambo opens it up for me. Arjei (Franklin) opens it up for Rambo or me or whoever ... You can’t double-cover on both sides of the field.”

That means somebody is a few catches away from cracking the 1,000-yard barrier.

Probably sooner than later.

The race is on.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/WesGilbertson


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