Stamps drop the ball

IAN BUSBY, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:43 AM ET

After the first quarter, there were boos for the home team.

In the third quarter, there were oooohs for the massive hit Nik Lewis put on Adam Leonard.

At the end, there was a collective awww (bleep).

The Calgary Stampeders came out flat, then erased a 20-point deficit, then fell behind by five late in the fourth quarter after not being able to tackle returner Yonus Davis, and, ultimately, were defeated on a last-minute interception.

It took a bad drop by Arjei Franklin in the endzone all alone with less than a minute left for the B.C. Lions to secure a 36-31 victory in front of 28,054 spectators at McMahon Stadium.

The Stamps drop to 11-5 and fail in their first chance to clinch the West Division title.

The Lions improve to 6-10 and keep their playoff hopes alive with an up-and-down win in Calgary, their second in a month.

The Lions took the lead late in the fourth quarter thanks to their return game.

Again, it was Calgaryís new nemesis Davis.

The little returner took a Burke Dales punt 46 yards to get into Paul McCallumís range as the Lions took a 33-31 lead with five minutes remaining.

Davis helped beat the Stamps a month ago with great returns and this one was no different, even though the Stamps knew it was coming.

After a horrible start, the Stamps offence finally started clicking early in the second quarter, mostly due to Lewis.

After Rob Cote was drilled by Tad Crawford for an incompletion (Wally Buono challenged the ruling on a 13-yard pass), Lewis picked up a 17-yard gain to keep the sticks moving.

A few plays later, Ken-Yon Rambo made a great grab against Stanley Franks, the Lions defensive back who had previously caused a Rambo fumble, and the Stamps were finally on the board.

Two more long scoring drives in the first half were capped by Lewis touchdowns, and the slotback was over the 100-yard mark before the break.

When Lewis didnít play a month ago at home against the Lions, the Stamps couldnít do anything on offence and let a 15-0 halftime lead spiral into a 29-10 loss.

It was different this time.

Even when he didnít have the ball, Lewis was a monster. He caught Leonard looking at Burris on a scramble and drilled him with a crushing blow that had the whole stadium in awe.

The Stamps defence was responsible for the other first-half TD, as Charleston Hughes punched the ball away from Travis Lulayís grasp right to Keon Raymond, who went 47 yards for a major.

Raymond made the biggest play of the second half as he picked off a Lulay deep attempt for Steven Black.

For the second straight week, the Stamps came out of the gates like a wounded animal. Before they knew it, they were down 20-0.

Lions quarterback Lulay threw a 65-yard bomb to Black on the opening play and then ran in from 11 yards to cap the scoring drive.

By the end of the first quarter, Rambo had fumbled at the Lionsí three-yard line and Jon Cornish had the ball knocked free from Leonard, which Richard Jones returned for a 50-yard return TD.

Just like Sunday, when the Stamps had an early 14-0 deficit against the Saskatchewan Roughriders but managed to erase it.

This time, they couldnít complete the comeback.


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