Stamps hear coach's message loud and clear

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:34 AM ET

Calgary Stampeders speedster Romby Bryant celebrated his third-quarter touchdown with a mimed tennis match against teammate Johnny Forzani.

For the first time this CFL season, the Stamps didn’t stop returning serve after building a big lead.

Bryant’s major gave the hosts a 30-3 lead over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Less than six minutes later, it was 37-3 for the Red & White.

Rene Paredes added a fourth-quarter field-goal and the defence pitched a second-half shutout as the Stamps galloped to a 40-3 shellacking of their West Division rivals in Sunday’s showdown at McMahon Stadium.

These Stampeders should already have a couple of routs on their schedule.

They cruised to a 24-point lead through three quarters of an Aug. 12 tilt in Regina but allowed the Riders to make things interesting before leaving Mosaic Stadium with a 45-35 victory.

In the Labour Day Replay at Commonwealth Stadium, the Stampeders squandered several opportunities to put the host Edmonton Eskimos away early en route to a 30-20 win.

In the aftermath of last week’s loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Moncton, Stamps head coach John Hufnagel questioned the mental fortitude of his squad.

During Sunday’s matinee against the Roughriders, they proved that message had been heard loud and clear.

More importantly, they kept proving it.

Once again all alone in top spot in the West Division standings, the Stamps’ next challenge is to build on that lead, too.

SHORT YARDAGE

Something that just doesn’t seem quite right: Stamps’ running back Joffrey Reynolds standing on the sidelines in street clothes. Despite being scratched for a second consecutive outing, Reynolds — the Stamps’ all-time leading rusher — should be commended for the class he’s shown in handling the awkward situation. That being said, Jon Cornish has certainly shown he can carry the mail as a feature back. Four of his first five touches against the Riders resulted in first downs, and his next carry was a two-yard touchdown. Cornish finished with 181 combined yards from scrimmage … Another backup with a bright future is Stamps’ second-string signal-caller Drew Tate, who has looked solid in relief two weeks in a row.

LONG SNAPS

Nice to see some red in the stands in a Stamps-Roughriders game at McMahon Stadium, even if the red was the result of empty seats … Those in attendance were treated to a remix of Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot that was so bad it could make your ears bleed. Too bad the 4,000 fans handed free vuvuzelas couldn’t drown that out. When the 80s music wasn’t being bludgeoned, the sound of the vuvuzelas made the tilt sound like a match from the 2010 World Cup of Soccer … Speaking of big hits, Stamps defensive end Charleston Hughes knocked Riders QB Darian Durant into next week with the type of lick that should make kids think twice about becoming quarterbacks. Hughes was a beast all afternoon, by the way … After several shoving matches in practice, it was only a matter of time before Stamps defensive tackle Torrey Davis was involved in a dust-up during a game. The rookie traded blows with Riders hoggie Chris Best during Sunday’s match.

EXTRA POINTS

Before Durant finally completed a pass early in the second quarter, a witty Riders supporter posted on riderfans.com, ‘We ought to look into rule change that would allow us to put one receiver in the stands so Durant can complete a pass on second down.’ Tate hurled a ball into the stands after his second-quarter touchdown, and the green-clad fan that caught it tossed it back … After his first touchdown, Hughes was handed the ball and punted it into the crowd. So much for keepsakes.


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