Stamps humble Tabbies

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

CALGARY -- With Halloween approaching, the Calgary Stampeders decided to make McMahon Stadium a house of horrors again.

While the game made no difference in the standings for either team, but the Stamps’ 55-24 pounding of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats certainly did a world of good for the home team’s psyche.

“This was an important game for us because it was the last time to have an audition at home,” said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris.

“We wanted to re-establish that great feeling at home. That we could come out and dominate again against a team on a hot streak. We did what we could to get the job done.”

Coming in losing two of three at home and four of six overall, the Stamps jumped out to a lead with a Dwight Anderson pick-six and never looked back.

By the time the halftime gun went off, Romby Bryant had two touchdowns and the lead was 24 points. It was over.

“Once (Stamps receiver Ken-Yon) Rambo got his 1,000 yards, things opened up for Romby,” said Burris. “He had a one-on-one matchup and he took advantage of it. He’s been Johnny on the spot this year. He’s taken over for Copeland as the guy with all the touchdowns this year.”

The Stamps (12-5) will finish out the season next Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4-12) at Canad Inns Stadium.

The Tiger-Cats (9-7), who were without their top weapon in leading CFL receiver Arland Bruce, found out just before kickoff that they had second place in the East Division all locked up. The Toronto Argonauts (8-9) lost a wild one at home to the Montreal Alouettes, 37-30, making the Ticats’ game meaningless.

They certainly played like it, despite replying to an early 10-point deficit with a Kevin Glenn touchdown pass to receiver Dave Stala, who added to his personal TD celebration highlight reel.

After scoring, Stala climbed the hill in the north endzone and then somersaulted down. That scoring drive came after Yannick Carter blocked a Burke Dales punt attempt.

It was all downhill from there for the Ticats.

Marcus Thigpen fumbled a punt return and the Stamps quickly converted that into seven points.

Then it was the Romby Bryant Show.

Henry Burris threw a huge bomb to Bryant, who bolted into the endzone for a 67-yard touchdown. Matched up with rookie Canadian Ryan Hinds, Bryant burned him hard all night.

Before halftime, Bryant had a six-yard TD and coming out of the break he caught a 33-yarder.

Coming off a season in which he set the CFL record for most yards without a touchdown (778), Bryant vaulted himself into second place in total majors this season with 14.

Talk about picking things up for the loss of Jeremaine Copeland, who took his 12 TDs from last season to Toronto.

The score was so in hand that with 8:35 left in the third quarter, Drew Tate took over for Burris, who finished 19-of-24 passing for 292 yards and three TDs with no interceptions.

The highlight of the fourth quarter came late, when Stamps running back Jesse Lumsden was inserted on offence and scored a touchdown with just over a minute left for the final points of the game.

"Just the simple fact we're hosting a playoff game at home, we wanted to let the fans know we do care about the home advantage that we do have," said cornerback Dwight Anderson.

"We wanted to come out and get back on that same edge we had at the start of the season. That's one thing coach was preaching all week."

About the only concern for the Stamps on offence is running back Joffrey Reynolds, who had just 12 yards on his first seven carries after getting eight yards on four carries in a 36-31 loss last week to the B.C. Lions.

The Ticats defence, which was the hottest in the league coming into this game, couldn’t match up and they had their string of TD-less football snapped at 168 minutes.

On the other side of the ball, the Stamps were back to basics.

Glenn faced plenty of pressure before he left midway through the third quarter, and Quinton Porter didn’t fare much better, being forced from the ball twice in his first possession.

The Stamps do have some concerns on special teams, on top of the blocked punt.

Rob Maver missed a 44-yard attempt in the third quarter and Thigpen took it back 112 yards for a touchdown. Maver is now 2-of-9 outside the 40-yard line this season.

The change from Deon Murphy to Landan Talley as the return specialist didn’t garner much of a boost.

The biggest return was by Arjei Franklin, who had a 21-yard punt return.

Still, everything that went right Friday night must give the Stamps a confidence boost heading into the post-season.

Now that’s scary for the West Division.


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