Stamps finish with victory

Calgary Stampeders Nik Lewis, left, is tackled by Winnipeg Blue Bombers Jonathan Hefney....

Calgary Stampeders Nik Lewis, left, is tackled by Winnipeg Blue Bombers Jonathan Hefney. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:53 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Three passes, one rush, and now the quarterback is all tuned up.

The same can't be said for the Calgary Stampeders, but they managed another win.

Henry Burris had close to a perfect outing in a 35-32 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Friday night at Canad Inns Stadium.

He left following two series after throwing a touchdown strike to Romby Bryant and scampering for a 15-yard gain.

Clearly, with a playoff home date set Nov. 21 against either Saskatchewan, Edmonton or B.C., Stamps head coach John Hufnagel didn't feel it necessary to risk any damage to his starting pivot.

"I'm 35," said Burris. "I look forward to getting a chance to rest the bumps and bruises. We will let the other two teams slug it out, and we will be ready and fresh come the 21st.

"I have a lot of energy right now."

Hufnagel couldn't rest everybody, and the Stamps were given a scare late on a Jon Cornish fumble during a kickoff late in the fourth quarter.

Cornish took a hit to the head from Bombers linebacker Rico McCoy and suffered a mild concussion. Jesse Lumsden then suffered a knee injury tackling Brandon Stewart after he picked up the fumble.

Lumsden appears to be more serious as a talkative Cornish said he will definitely play in the playoffs.

"You can get hit hard sometimes," Cornish said. "I should have gone down as we just need to secure the ball. The guy had a good shot on me. The ball came out, and that's unfortunate. I don't really remember it, actually.

"I'm fine. I could play in two days. This is a mild concussion. I won't be playing for a few days. We're going to relax this week."

With the win, the Stamps finish the season at 13-5, finishing the season the same as 2008, when they won the Grey Cup.

Had Burris been injured and unable to perform in the post-season, Drew Tate is a more than capable replacement.

In his first action lasting more than two quarters, Tate showed once again the he's able to lead an offence. He threw touchdowns to Randy Chevrier and Ken-Yon Rambo, and ran for 24 yards.

He finishes the season with seven TD passes and no interceptions or fumbles.

"I haven't had a chance since college to play like this," Tate said. "The offensive line gave me plenty of time to throw. The run game was really good. They played us tough."

The Stamps running game was solid, as Joffrey Reynolds rebounded from a couple of rough outings to rush for 55 yards on 13 carries.

Kicker Rob Maver also had a great game, hitting the goahead field goal from 37 yards out and was perfect on four attempts.

After missing from 44 yards out last week and having it returned for a touchdown, Maver hit the game-winner from 38 yards out.

"They're fun. I just feel more comfortable in close games," Maver said. "I don't know what it is."

With a howling 33-km wind that gusted much harder, Maver hit a 28-yarder directly into it and the ball looked like it might come back.

"It was probably the best hit balls I've ever had," Maver said. "I thought it would push back through. It was a tough wind."

On the defensive side, the Stamps had trouble shutting down the run, as Fred Reid rumbled for a 49-yard gain in the opening quarter.

Once Reid went out with an injury, backup Chris Garrett entered the game and quickly broke off a 23-yard scamper.

With nothing but pride on the line, the Stamps defence was beaten a few times on deep plays but mostly did a nice job considering the circumstances.

Brandon Browner and Dwight Anderson had interceptions, and the defence stood tall at the end when it mattered most.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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