‘No place like road’ for Stamps

WES GILBERTSON , QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:28 AM ET

CALGARY - The Calgary Stampeders' latest marketing initiative is the so-called Game Face campaign.

So far this season, most of the fans have walked away from McMahon Stadium sporting frowns.

Heading into Saturday's showdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7:30 p.m., TSN, QR77), the Stamps have won three consecutive road games but are still seeking their first home victory of the current campaign.

"I thought it was no place like home. For us, it's been no place like the road. We need to turn that around," said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris. "This is our home base. You can't let anybody come into our place and beat you.

"We have let our fans down twice. When you play nine games at home, you expect them to be nine victories. We let two games get away from us. We have a tough opponent coming in and we have to make sure we re-establish our home advantage."

For the past few years, the fans at McMahon Stadium have been spoiled.

In each of the past three campaigns, the Stamps have suffered only two home losses per season. If they want to keep that streak alive, they'll have to run the table in their final seven home dates of this season, starting with Saturday's tilt against the Tiger-Cats.

If the Stamps don't register a win this weekend, they won't get another chance to put up two points on home turf until their Aug. 27 meeting with the Montreal Alouettes. Not since 1985, when they didn't post a victory at McMahon Stadium until Sept. 14, have they waited that long for a home triumph.

"I hope they don't expect to get a win tomorrow," said Tiger-Cats running back Avon Cobourne, always willing to stir up a war of words. "We're not thinking they are due and we are going to let them get it. We're not expecting to lose.

"Everywhere on the road is tough because it's not your fans. Everybody is cheering against you, especially on offence. Hopefully, we can turn their fans against them and get them to boo their offence."

The McMahon Stadium faithful has expressed a bit of displeasure in both losses so far this season, although the Stamps have certainly provided plenty of excitement with a couple of close games.

During their home-opener against Toronto, Argonauts kicker Noel Prefontaine booted a field goal with 17 seconds remaining to lift the visitors to a 23-21 victory.

Two weeks ago, the Stamps erased most of a 16-point deficit against the Edmonton Eskimos but couldn't complete the comeback as their provincial rivals escaped with a 24-19 win.

They've been involved in some nailbiters away from home, too, winning three road games by a combined total of seven points.

"All the games, at the end of a game we've had a chance to win them, which is all you can ask for," said Stamps defensive tackle DeVone Claybrooks. "It's just that at home, we've come up short, and on the road, we've made the plays. We're just one or two plays away from being undefeated at home, as well.

"We've just been one play short or we've missed one tackle here or missed one kick or something. You can't pinpoint one position or one player, everybody has had their share of shortness in home games and we're going to try to shore that up."

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