CALGARY - The last time the Montreal Alouettes came to McMahon Stadium, Ken-Yon Rambo had a field day and Nik Lewis made a defender road kill.
So when talk comes up that the two-time defending Grey Cup champions should be a good test for the Calgary Stampeders, Lewis just bristles.
“Why are they the best team in the league?” Lewis said. “I don’t know why people say they are the test. If they are 7-0, then we could say it.
“What’s their record? 5-2. Same as us. Someone in Vegas said we’re one-point favourites. I guess they aren’t the best if Vegas says we should win.
“They won the Grey Cup the last couple years. If people want to say they’ve already won it this year,
I might as well go home and collect my paycheques.”
One would expect the Als and Stamps to hook up and the outcome to be tight. A year ago, it didn’t happen.
The Stamps welcomed the East Division powerhouses with an early 100-yard touchdown by Rambo.
The slotback, who came back from a torn ACL the previous season, took a slant route and found a hole, turned on the jets and left the Als defensive backs in his dust.
In the second half, Lewis took a short pass himself and ran directly into the tackle of defensive back Mark Estelle.
Believing Lewis would try to leap over him (which he did earlier that season to Winnipeg’s Brady Browne), Estelle was on his heels and blown back easily. Lewis scampered in for the touchdown afterwards.
“I still hate that play. That’s one of the worst plays in my career. It haunts me,” Estelle said with a mild laugh.
“It was a great play by Nik. He caught me off-guard. He ran right through me. I plan on getting some get-back.
“He’s not running me over again. I’m not letting that happen again.”
The Alouettes regrouped from that 46-21 loss Oct. 1 to put an even-worse beating (46-19) on the Stamps 10 days later.
Neither road team showed much fight, which seemed to quiet any talk about what could have been a Grey Cup preview.
“Each team held their focus at home,” Estelle said.
“I’m sure each team is planning on coming out focused in this one (Saturday).”
In a season where the Stamps offence put up huge point totals constantly, the win over the Alouettes does stand out.
When you scrimmage on your own 10-yard line and put it in the endzone, it gets noticed.
“You don’t get a lot of 100-yard touchdowns, especially on a slant route,” Rambo said. “It was a good memory for me, and I plan on having many more.”
Estelle avoided watching the end-of-year highlight show, knowing that Lewis’ play would make the cut and it did.
Rambo’s didn’t, but that doesn’t mean Stampeders teammates weren’t impressed.
“That went under the radar,” Lewis said. “You have to think he just came off a torn ACL. To outrun Chip Cox and those guys is amazing.”
Saturday’s matchup is a battle of the top two passing teams in the CFL, so there could be more fireworks.
Just don’t try to tell Lewis this is the best team he’s faced this season.
“We played Winnipeg, they are the best team in the league right now and we beat them,” Lewis said.
“Winnipeg only has one loss (heading into this week), so right now, Montreal isn’t the best team in this league.”