Stamps tuneup good one to miss

Lions' Rajon Henley decks Stamps QB Brad Sinopoli during second half pre-season action at McMahon...

Lions' Rajon Henley decks Stamps QB Brad Sinopoli during second half pre-season action at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Wednesday. (QMI Agency/Darren Makowichuk)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

The biggest cheer came for the Boston Bruins, not like they had anything else to get excited about.

Those few thousand who braved the wetness at McMahon Stadium Wednesday night fall into two categories: Hard-core supporters or completely insane.

If they showed up hoping to see the likes of Henry Burris, Nik Lewis, Ken-Yon Rambo and Joffrey Reynolds perform in the uniform for the first time since November, they were horribly disappointed.

When it was announced that the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 to win the Stanley Cup, the biggest cheer of the night erupted. Canada’s team the Canucks are not.

Burris threw eight passes. Three were caught. The rest flew wide. Lewis caught one, which was for a first down — his specialty.

Reynolds broke off a 19-yard run. He’s fine. Same as always.

The first-team, the expected starters, were out by the time the second quarter started. The Stamps were down 10-0 to the B.C. Lions at the time, not that it mattered.

The only thing that does matter is Rambo ran smack into a Lions defender on an overthrown pass.

Being a trooper, he forced his way to his feet and went back to the huddle. Finally, he made his way to the sidelines. He never returned.

“I took a little bump, but I’m good,” Rambo said. “He got me in the jaw a little bit. I was out for a little bit, but I came back.

“That’s just me being me. I like to stay in the game. Luckily, they said I was done after that. I would have gone back in if they said the first group was up again.”

There was a scary moment earlier, as defensive end Robert McCune tweaked something while knocking Travis Lulay to the ground.

Those looking for good news could find it with newcomer Demetrice Morley at safety.

By the time he dropped a sure interception in the second quarter, the former Tennessee Volunteer already had picked off Lulay and Jarious Jackson on similar plays.

Manning the safety spot, Morley slid over on deep passes and jumped in front of the intended target.

Milt Collins, the man pencilled in at safety to start training camp, would have probably tried for the knockout hit. A different style, to be sure, and maybe that’s why Collins is working almost exclusively as cornerback.

Collins wasn’t dressed to battle Geoff Tisdale or Johnnie Dixon for that position, but it’s not like either did anything to stand out.

The crowd thinned, and the backups came out to play, and some of those players will be happy hardly anyone saw what happened.

The coaches will be reviewing some ugly tape.

“This is what pre-season is all about,” Rambo said. “We have this pre-season to work out the kinks, see what’s working and what’s not working.”

Centre Zac Carlson couldn’t find the quarterback much the way he couldn’t find his passport a week ago.

Late for camp getting a new passport to get back from the San Francisco area, Carlson twice muffed snaps that were scooped up by Lions.

If he was counting on a strong performance to stick around, he is out of luck.

The Stamps may actually have a real issue in this area, although Tim O’Neill is a durable player. They need two centres on the roster, and Jon Gott is already out with a concussion.

Rookie first-round draft pick Anthony Parker had his first pass go through his fingers, which would remind many folks of his final game with the U of C Dinos when he had slippery hands in the Vanier Cup.

Veteran returner Larry Taylor didn’t do much, once bobbling a punt before taking a loss. Landan Talley was making headway on a return before he was blasted in the head by Jason Arakgi and lost the football.

There wasn’t much else going right for the Stamps, but the best part is hardly anyone noticed.

If you skipped it to see the Canucks’ Stanley Cup dreams go up in smoke, we don’t blame you.


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