Stamps offence grounded
By Wes Gilbertson, QMI Agency
|It was that kind of a day for Johnny Forzani and the Calgary Stampeders. (Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency)
CALGARY - The air show ended after the annual CF-18 flyover, a Labour Day Classic tradition.
And the Calgary Stampeders’ ground attack?
That never got going, either.
The Stamps offence sputtered throughout Monday’s 35-7 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in the annual rivalry match, with the running game notably absent in the first half.
The hosts generated just 28 rushing yards before the break, with quarterback Henry Burris accountable for three-quarters of that total.
Two-time CFL rushing champ Joffrey Reynolds had four yards on three carries, while Jon Cornish — TSN analyst Duane Forde’s pre-season pick for the CFL’s top Canadian-born player — didn’t touch the ball.
The Stamps seemed to make more of an effort to involve the ball-carriers in the second half, running the rock on five of their first seven plays after the intermission.
Reynolds finished with only 13 yards on six attempts and still doesn’t have a
100-yard outing this season, marking the longest stretch of his career without hitting triple digits. His streak of six consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns is also in jeopardy.
Cornish had 43 yards on seven second-half carries and also caught two passes for 13 yards.
There’s no doubt the Stamps have as many offensive weapons as any other team in the three-down football ranks, but they’re not nearly as dangerous when their running game is so quiet.
Sad to see empty seats at the Labour Day Classic. The Stamps reported an attendance of 35,650 — a sellout — but there seemed to be a lot of no-shows. If your tickets didn’t get used, you didn’t miss the most entertaining contest in CFL history … Fans love their trick plays, and the Eskimos pulled off a doozy in Monday’s clash. Jason Armstead fielded a punt and fired a pass across the field to Adarius Bowman, who churned up 44 yards of turf before being tackled. Wonder if Stamps special-teams co-ordinator Mark Kilam has anything like that up his sleeve? If he does, we haven’t seen it so far this season, although the Stamps did try a reverse on the opening kickoff of the second half … The Eskimos offensive line has been awful in 2011, but the Stamps hoggies were worse Monday. Burris was sacked three times and pressured all day.
What got into Torrey Davis? The Stamps’ rookie defensive lineman has been in several shoving matches during practice, but he was spotted pulling two teammates out of skirmishes in Monday’s matinee … Injured Eskimos receiver Jason Barnes (@JayBarnes81) logged on to Twitter to rib Bowman after his 31-yard touchdown in the third quarter. “Hahahahaha I see u AD. Runnin off camera to throw up!” Barnes wrote … The Stamps have two wins in five home games so far this summer. Only the B.C. Lions (3-6), the Toronto Argonauts (2-7) and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-7) have had less success on their own turf. Not exactly fine company … Monday’s 50-50 winner was wearing a green shirt. Another triumph for the Eskimos? Regardless of his rooting allegiance, he was all smiles after winning about $45,000.
Saskatchewan Roughriders RB Hugh Charles seems to have a bright future on the football field. But if it doesn’t work out, the back-flipping ball-carrier might be able to score a gig with the Eskimos’ high-flying cheer team … WR Nathan Coehoorn’s homecoming will have to wait. The former Calgary Dinos receiver was scratched by the Eskimos. Coehoorn and Stamps rookie Anthony Parker formed a dynamic duo during their days with the Dinos … How’s this for efficiency? Late in the third quarter, the Eskimos had racked up only 172 yards of total offence but had scored 32 points … For those keeping track at home, the Eskimos hold an all-time record of 25-20-1 against the Stamps on Labour Day.