Stamps reliving the horror

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

Even riding the high of a huge victory Sunday in Regina, the Calgary Stampeders were dealt a harsh wake-up call when they arrived home.

Despite beating their top rival 34-26 to take over first place in the West Division, the Stamps took in a horror film the next day.

They were the stars of said slasher flick.

Instead of looking at what they did right last week, all the preparations dealt with the 29-10 spanking the B.C. Lions gave them Sept. 25.

“That was an ugly game.

I almost started crying watching it,” said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris.

“We didn’t watch the film after that game because we knew this time was going to come, and we were going to have to painfully watch it this week. Trust me, it’s been tough for us to watch.

“It’s truly humbled guys. Everybody is feeling good about the win in Saskatchewan, but we know this win could be even bigger for us.”

So the Stamps are coming off an emotional game in Regina and facing a team they are simply better than in almost every facet.

They were taken by surprise the last time. It shouldn’t happen again.

“We’re looking forward to seeing them again, and we know they’re looking forward to seeing us as well,” Burris said. “They’re going to come in here confident from the fact they beat us here last time.

“We know this is the team that did that, and if we’re going to make amends for that, here’s our opportunity.”

The Stamps need just one victory to officially seal the West final home date Nov. 21, and they want to do it sooner rather than later.

The Lions are a fickle bunch. They have road wins over the two division leaders (Montreal and Calgary) but have lost several key players to injury (defensive back Davis Sanchez and running back Jamall Lee are done for the season).

In a situation atypical of the Lions under head coach Wally Buono, kicker Paul McCallum was declared ineligible for last Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos due to a clerical error. Still, they remain in the playoff picture.

There could be no more of a motivated opponent for the Stamps, as the Lions (5-10) need to finish ahead of the Eskimos (5-10) to lock up the final playoff spot.

“We have to be as high as we can go,” said Lions receiver Geroy Simon. “We can’t afford to lose any more games and play undisciplined football.”

Despite two straight overtime losses, the Lions won’t be a pushover, although they did allow more than 300 rushing yards last week against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Running back Joffrey Reynolds feels pretty good about himself now after piling up 124 yards against the Riders, but he doesn’t expect the Lions to make it easy on him.

“Just as sure as they gave 300 yards up, their coaches will be in the film room trying to correct that,” Reynolds said. “You never go into the game thinking about how many yards you will get or how successful you will be.

“They could have all 12 men trying to stop the run now. We will run our offence and take what they give us.”

If intensity was a problem the last time they faced the Lions, they shouldn’t have the same issue now that sparkplug Juwan Simpson is back in the lineup. Even after just one week out, the starting middle linebacker is itching to get out there.

“When you are in the thick of the season, guys joke about having a day off,” Simpson said. “Give me a couple days off, you say.

“When you actually have those days off, and you are hurt, you think to yourself, ‘This is not so good.’ I’m happy to be back and hope the guys feel that way, too.”

To Reynolds, beating the Lions handily would prove the Stamps are focused and championship worthy.

“We won the big game nobody has a problem getting up for, but when you come out with a chance to seal it at home, we have to get up for it,” Reynolds said. “If we don’t, we’re playing up and down football and we shouldn’t be doing that right now.”


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