Stamps seek redemption against Riders

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

REGINA -- When Nik Lewis last limped out of Mosaic Stadium, he thought the wasted opportunity would be his final one this season.

The third-down, game-tying play in overtime was set for the Calgary Stampeders, but his knee gave out on him as a Henry Burris sailed past.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders won that game 43-37 to keep their first-place hopes alive.

Now, as Lewis and the Stamps return to Regina for a rubber match with the Riders, they realize they can't keep squandering chances to put Saskatchewan away and lock down the West Division.

Sunday's meeting will give the winner the leg up on first place.

"I really feel like I'm ready to redeem myself," said Lewis, whose knee injury kept him out one week instead of fears his season as over.

"If it were better circumstances, I might catch that ball and we have a chance at winning that game. Even if we come out with the tie, things are a lot different right now."

The Stamps have had woulda, coulda scenarios from the past few trips to Regina.

The Stamps haven't won at Mosaic Stadium since Aug. 7, 2008, and they've lost the last two playoff meetings there, last year in the West final and 2007 in the West semifinal.

"We have to prove we can go there and win," Lewis said. "If we can't win this game, what makes us think we can win there in the West final? We are going in there to handle business. It's going to be a great game."

It's either win now, or win there on Nov. 21 in the West final.

"Win now," Lewis said. "Don't give them any false hope."

The irony is both teams fighting for first place are coming off terrible performances a week ago.

The Stamps were manhandled 46-19 in Montreal Monday, which is an understandable loss to the defending champs, but the Riders were beaten at home 24-19 by the Toronto Argonauts in a game they should have won.

The last time the Stamps rolled into Regina, they were 9-1 and the Riders were 6-4.

A win there would have put first place too far away from the Riders to reach. Instead, the window crack is open for the Riders thanks to three losses in four games.

The Stamps can't keep wasting these opportunities.

"They were pretty hot at one point in time," said Riders Darian Durant. "When we dropped a couple early in the year, with the way they were playing, we didn't know if we would have this opportunity.


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