Confident Stampeders right at home

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:16 PM ET

The company line has changed.

After going winless in three regular-season dates with the Saskatchewan Roughriders last campaign, Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris billed the 2009 West Final in Regina as an opportunity to “make the wrongs into a right.”

Heading into Sunday’s playoff rematch at McMahon Stadium, it’s all about sticking with what they did right in a pair of wins over their green-clad rivals this summer.

Yeah, two triumphs does make a big difference.

“Oh it does, it does,” Burris said after Saturday’s chilly walkthrough. “The fact you’re playing at home just shows you went out and handled business during the regular season, and it put you a step above the rest. Now, everybody has to come to you to try to make it happen. They have to go through you to get to Edmonton.

“That’s the one thing that gives you the confidence. Even though teams go on the road, like we were last year, saying that things are different and all this and all that, we knew that we were going in with everything stacked against us.

“But hey, if we have a chance to go in and shock the world (in last year’s West Final), that’s what our job was to do. And that’s what they’re hoping to do.”

A Roughriders victory wouldn’t exactly shock the world — especially after their resilient double-overtime triumph over the B.C. Lions last weekend — but it would be scored as an upset.

The Stamps won two of three regular-season showdowns, starting with a convincing 40-20 victory on home turf in July.

The Riders eked out a 43-37 win in an overtime thriller in late September, but the Red & White returned to Mosaic Stadium and made a statement with a 34-26 decision five weeks ago in a battle for West Division supremacy.

“Success definitely breeds confidence, but we can’t really look back at past encounters with them,” said Stamps running back Joffrey Reynolds. “This is a game of its own.

“But having had some success against them does put your mind-frame at a different level.”

It’s not just two regular-season victories against the Riders that has the Stamps riding a wave of confidence into Sunday’s Grey Cup qualifier.

Let’s not forget that John Hufnagel’s squad won a league-best 13 games this season. Their offence racked up the most total yards of any CFL outfit, while their defence surrendered the fewest.

Trying to hammer home a point about confidence, Stamps long-snapper Randy Chevrier motioned to the locker-room.

“It’s what we have in there, beyond those doors,” Chevrier said Saturday. “It’s the way that we’ve won games and the things we know we’re able to do. Our confidence comes from other parts, plus the confidence of being at home. That adds to it.

“I don’t think it necessarily has to do with the season-series, because they’ve done some things to beat us in one game. And there’s enough of us that have been here long enough to know anything can happen in the CFL. Look at Toronto, you know? So confidence has to come from within.

“It’s not because we’re playing Saskatchewan that we’ll be confident. Whoever we would play, we’d be confident against.”


Videos

Photos