Refereeing frustrates Stamps DB

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:36 AM ET

An indignant Dwight Anderson stared at a cluster of reporters and served up a sound-byte that will certainly cost him some dough.

“Tom Higgins, you got what you want, right?”

Higgins, a former Calgary Stampeders coach and now the CFL’s director of officiating, won’t be thrilled about that comment.

Then again, Anderson and some of his Stamps teammates weren’t exactly thrilled with the officiating in Sunday’s 20-16 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL West final Sunday afternoon at McMahon Stadium.

The Stamps finished with 13 penalties for 92 yards in the season-ending defeat, including several at key moments of the contest.

Cornerback Brandon Browner was called for illegal contact after drilling Riders receiver Weston Dressler on second down late in the second quarter, giving the visitors a fresh set of downs and setting up quarterback Darian Durant’s six-yard touchdown strike to Cary Koch that gave the out-of-towners a 14-11 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Durant fired an incomplete pass to Jason Clermont in the endzone on another second-down attempt, but Browner was fingered — once again — for illegal contact in his one-on-one battle with Riders slotback Andy Fantuz. On the next play, Riders running back Wes Cates scored the game-winning touchdown.

And as he celebrated a 36-yard gain in the fourth quarter, Stamps receiver Romby Bryant flexed his muscles for Riders safety James Patrick and was flagged for objectionable conduct.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s loss, the Stamps’ locker-room was full of disappointment and anger.

Stamps slotback Nik Lewis tried to avoid future fines, telling reporters, “You ain’t taking my money.”

Anderson, however, refused to bite his tongue. Several people pleaded with the all-star cornerback to calm down, but Anderson wanted to be heard.

“You can’t tell me we don’t have a right to our (bleeping) spot,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day, we have to defend as a defender. You tell me the receiver can put two hands on you and push off and then that’s pass interference when you jam him back? C’mon man, Tom Higgins. You like that? Is that what you (bleeping) want? You got it.”

Stamps defensive tackle DeVone Claybrooks was also upset about the officiating, although the former Super Bowl champion was slightly more diplomatic.

“The biggest problem that I have is when the game is on the line and you have guys out there playing hard, you can’t dictate the game. If you’re a ref, you should be seen and not heard,” Claybrooks said. “If a play is called to gain an advantage, that’s when you’re supposed to call a penalty. It was like they sent in a tape or something and just was head-hunting for us in the secondary, and I don’t think that’s fair. The ball wasn’t even thrown to a guy, and those type of plays in the red-zone decide the outcome of a game.

“None of the calls went our way,” Claybrooks added. “If we get beat to beat us, that’s one thing. But to feel like you didn’t get beat and feel like it was taken away from you is just a tough pill to swallow. But you’ve gotta give Saskatchewan credit — they made plays when they needed to make plays. At the end of the day, we didn’t.”

The Riders were penalized just five times for 15 yards.


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