New Canadian Air Force

Stamps receiver Anthony Parker is one of the team's next generation of pass-catchers. (MIKE...

Stamps receiver Anthony Parker is one of the team's next generation of pass-catchers. (MIKE DREW/QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

CALGARY - The old Canadian Air Force in Regina is mostly grounded.

It looks like a new one could take off in Calgary.

The Calgary Stampeders got a glimpse of what could be a bright future Saturday night during a 32-20 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Jabari Arthur dove for what was originally called a touchdown reception, a catch that would have ranked among the best in the CFL this season if it wasn’t overturned on replay as a trapped ball.

Johnny Forzani used his great speed to track down a deep pass from Henry Burris, and the 46-yard gain set up a field goal for the Stamps.

And in the fourth quarter, rookie first-round draft pick Anthony Parker made his first CFL reception while playing an unfamiliar slotback position after Landan Talley went down with a dislocated shoulder.

While the Canadian receiving corps isn’t on the same level as the Saskatchewan Roughriders over the past few seasons, the potential is there.

“There’s no question about it,” said Parker, a product of the University of Calgary Dinos. “We have the talent in this room. I would be happy to be part of a new Canadian Air Force.”

The Stamps have the tools to do what the Riders did over two seasons in which they went to the Grey Cup.

Parker fills the Chris Getzlaf part as rover because of his versatility. Arthur could play the Andy Fantuz role, being a big body in the slot. Forzani certainly could outperform Rob Bagg as the speedy sophomore is already second on the Stamps in receptions and yards this season.

Fantuz is now in the NFL, while Bagg is sitting out this season with a torn ACL, leaving Getzlaf, veteran Jason Clermont and sophomore Jordan Sisco to carry on as a depleted Air Force.

The only thing missing from Forzani’s resume so far is touchdown catches. He was thrown to in the endzone once Saturday night but the pass was well wide.

On the deep pass he caught, all he needed was to break a tackle to make a run at the goal-line, but he couldn’t get free.

Just catching the pass was a sign of good things to come.

“I caught it fully extended,” Forzani said. “I wish I could have one step and maybe misdirected the defender. I know he wouldn’t have caught me.

“I would love a touchdown but I’m happy if we get a win. I don’t care what my stats are in wins.”

The reason so many of the Canadian receivers are getting chances right now is due to injury.

Veteran non-import Arjei Franklin is out until the end of September with broken ribs, and his injury suffered in Winnipeg gave Forzani a chance to step up.

On Saturday, Landan Talley (who replaced the injured Ken-Yon Rambo) went down with a dislocated shoulder.

Arthur first stepped into that position, and made a couple of clutch grabs, including one where he took a massive hit that sent him spinning with legs into the air and head to the ground.

“I feel like I played a football game,” said Arthur, who finished with three catches for 25 yards with the one grab called back. “I have bumps and bruises all over. But it’s a good feeling.

“The great thing about our receivers is we’re all versatile. When one goes down, the other has to step in.

“We don’t learn positions. We learn the whole offence. That came in handy (Saturday) night.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

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