Lewis, Stamps root on rivals

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

CALGARY - There is a certain sadness about the regular season coming to an end for Nik Lewis.

Week 19 in the CFL will be the final time he can watch games, and he’s a bit bummed out.

And for the first time in a long while, other team’s results have a huge implication to the Calgary Stampeders slotback.

So Friday, Lewis will become a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan when they play the host Edmonton Eskimos. But by Saturday night, his allegiance will turn to the Montreal Alouettes when they play the host B.C. Lions.

If both his new favourite teams win and the Stampeders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday afternoon, the West final would be in Calgary Nov. 20.

“I hope they are entertaining games,” Lewis said. “It’s our last chance to sit back, relax and watch them.

“I probably watch about 90% of the games. I’m a fan of the CFL. I will miss it too.”

Lewis plans on being preoccupied with playing to watch the remaining playoff games.

With the Stamps, the Eskimos and the Lions all tied with 10-7 records heading into the final week of action, there are plenty of scenarios to chew over.

If the Eskimos beat the Riders at home Friday night, the Stamps have no chance at first place.

Still, that won’t change the Stampeders attitude for their afternoon tilt against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2 p.m.).

“If they both played on Friday or Sunday, we would have the same mindset to take care of business and get the win,” said Stamps receiver Johnny Forzani, who will also be rooting on the 5-12 Gang Green.

“I sent (Riders cornerback) Tristan Jackson a message asking him to get the win for us.

“We’re focused about us. That’s all we care about. It would be nice if the Eskimos lost and we won and Montreal won.”

There has never been a finish like this one in the history of the CFL. The Bombers and the Als also sport 10-7 records and are duking it out for first place in the East Division.

If the Bombers don’t win, they will be rooting for the Lions to give them help, which in turn would hurt the Stampeders.

Going on the road for playoff games doesn’t really bother the Stampeders this season. They have the league’s best road record at 6-3, but interestingly enough, they are 5-1 when taking a charter flight and 1-0 when driving to a game.

If they were to play in Edmonton or in Vancouver to open the post-season, they would either drive or charter depending on the city.

“Our No. 1 thing is we had success in all three stadiums in the West — at B.C. Place, Commonwealth and here at home,” said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris.

“For us, it’s just a matter of being our best going into the playoffs. That’s why this game is so much more important. We want to help ourselves out in the playoff situation, but we want to continue the momentum we have going into the playoffs.”

The Riders are in tough against the Eskimos.

Ryan Dinwiddie starts at quarterback, while the team will be without Wes Cates, Andy Fantuz, Lance Frazier, Nick Graham, etc.

“Sometimes young guys go in there and provide a spark,” an optimistic Lewis added. “The Riders won last week (19-3 over the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats).”


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