Stamps on a tear

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:06 PM ET

CALGARY — The last time the Edmonton Eskimos were in Calgary, they ended up waking a sleeping giant.

 

While the Stampeders have since gone on a four-game tear following their last loss, a 24-19 decision at the hands of their provincial rivals, the Eskimos have gone 1-3.

“Yeah, definitely it did. We had a lot of wake-up calls early on, like Toronto in Week 1,” said Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris, adding the rivalry has tailed off over the past two seasons, only to be born anew in 2011. “The start that Edmonton had jumping out to 5-0, and right now just sitting one game behind us, it really kind of got the blood flowing again because we’ve had success against Edmonton over the past couple years and they came in here and did exactly what they were supposed to do.

“So it really got the blood boiling with us because it’s a big rivalry and it was on that we thought we had a good, firm grip on. But now it’s kind of changed.”

But the more things change, the more they stay the same, with Calgary going on to climb in the standings while Edmonton dropped.

All the injuries and personnel changes the Stampeders went through in the beginning of the year seem to have been shuffled off to the Eskimos, who have only managed to hand back first place in return.

“We just struggled getting out of the gate with so many new faces on offence,” Burris said. “Four out of the five starters up front were brand new for us. Two, usually three guys in the receiving corps were new for us in certain games, so we had a lot of growing pains earlier on.”

Sounds familiar to the Eskimos, who lost all four of their starting import receivers prior to this week, while coaches continue to play musical chairs along the offensive line to help with protection that has allowed 18 sacks in their last three outings.

“It sounds just like it,” Burris said. “It’s tough. Everybody goes through this point in the season and we went through ours early on.

“Hopefully we can do what it takes to keep ourselves out of that funk again.”

And it starts with getting some revenge for the game they already lost to Edmonton this season.

“They beat us the last time and they’re looking to come down here and do the same thing and kind of even up the score in the standings,” Burris said. “First and foremost, if they beat us one more time, they win the season series and that’s something that we don’t want to surrender to them.”

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