Stamps sloppy out of gate

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:49 AM ET

CALGARY - There is too much blame to spread around for the Calgary Stampeders to put a season-opening loss on one leg.

Certainly, Rob Maver didn’t do his job Friday night during a 23-21 loss to the Toronto Argonauts as the sophomore kicker missed three field goals, two of which were clearly makeable.

The fact is the Stamps were sloppy in a lot of areas, most notably on offence.

Not all drives have to end in field-goal attempts, and when the Stamps came away with three-point shots instead of touchdowns on their first two, it was a sign of a long night ahead.

“Each year is a different script,” said quarterback Henry Burris, who finished with decent numbers, going 26-of-37 passing for 287 yards and an interception.

“We thought we would come out and put up 50 points. It’s not like last year. We have to keep getting better every game.”

Unlike last season when they led a mostly charmed existence, the Stamps were dealt some adversity early in their opener.

First it was linebacker Malik Jackson going down with a concussion, leaving sophomore non-import Karl McCartney to play his spot.

Somewhere in there, receiver Ken-Yon Rambo pulled his hamstring.

By the end, Corey Mace suffered an Achilles injury that may be torn, which could mean the end of his season and tough blow to the defensive line.

Maver re-injured his quad in warmups and was fighting through it every time he took the field.

When he came out to hoof a convert late as the Stamps took the lead, teammate Jon Cornish stepped on his foot, adding to his rough night.

All four of those players are iffy for next week’s trip to B.C.

Head coach John Hufnagel said afterwards the Stamps are hunting for kicking help.

None of those injuries will be used as excuses, of course, and they shouldn’t.

Cornish did a number on Argos star returner Chad Owens, drilling him twice, with the final blow leading to a game-ending back injury.

The injuries that hurt most were the ones suffered before this game. With tackle Edwin Harrison and right guard Dimitri Tsoumpas not starting, the offensive line didn’t have an answer for CFL newcomer Claude Wroten.

The beast of a defensive tackle had two sacks by driving the line into their quarterback.

Still, Burris felt there was enough time to make some big plays.

He just missed four deep attempts, three overthrown and one too short that was a Tristan Black interception.

“Those could have been big plays,” Burris said.

“We have to make big plays when we get the opportunity. When we get scoring opportunities, we need to put points on the board.

“We were in position to win the game (up four points with three minutes left).

“As an offence, we have to do better on the second-to-last drive. I had Romby (Bryant) wide open and I overthrew him.”

The Stamps defence came away with some good numbers on defence as Cleo Lemon was held to just 187 passing yards.

However, Lemon was able to get into field-goal range at the end to come away with the win.

There aren’t too many players happy with their Canada Day, but Maver’s teammates were sure to pick him up afterwards.

“Stuff like that happens,” Burris said.

“Everybody has a bad game. I don’t worry about it. I’m more worried about us as an offence finishing off drives and keeping it out of his hands.

“I know I missed some throws but what game will I not say that?

“Maver missed some. I missed some, too. Other people need to step up and take some blame, too.”


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