EDMONTON — Drew Tate left a mess Henry Burris couldn’t clean up.
Now, the Calgary Stampeders are done, and it might be the final time Burris is in Red & White.
Burris tried hard, but he couldn’t bring the Stampeders back from a 16-point halftime deficit, and the Eskimos managed to hold on for a 33-19 CFL West Division semifinal victory in front of 30,183 fans at Commonwealth Stadium.
With the win, the Eskimos head to Vancouver for a West final date with the B.C. Lions next Sunday.
The Eskimos built a lead with touchdowns from Jerome Messam (who left with a leg injury in the third quarter) and Jason Barnes while capitalizing on Stampeders’ mistakes.
On a rushing play in the second quarter, Tate scrambled and tried diving for a first down. He came up limping, but the Stamps never got the ball again in the quarter, and Burris came out to start the second half based not on an injury to Tate but to shake up the visitors.
Tate finished 5-of-10 passing for 99 yards with an interception to TJ Hill and a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Damaso Munoz.
The Stampeders had a disastrous first half, despite taking an 8-3 lead thanks to Jon Cornish’s six-yard touchdown run.
It looked like disaster for slotback Nik Lewis, whose knee buckled on a hit from Weldon Brown. Lewis shook it off and returned to the game, but it was Tate who made a blunder that cost the team.
Tate just dropped the ball, and Damaso Munoz returned it 77 yards for the touchdown to put the Eskimos in the lead.
Before the second quarter was done, Ray led the Eskimos on two long drives for Messam (7-yard run) and Barnes majors (4-yard pass).
The second TD drive was aided by Stamps special-teammer Junior Turner taking a contacting the kicker penalty after hitting Eskimos’ Damon Duval on what would have been a punt single.
Penalties killed the Stamps all game, and they had a key one in the fourth quarter. On a second-and-one, the Stamps had too many men in the huddle, moving the line of scrimmage back 10 yards. They failed at second-and-11 and were forced to punt.
Stamps kicker Rene Paredes had field goals of 52, 42 and 23 yards, while Burke Dales had three punt singles.
Derek Schiavone had a 38-yard field goal, while Damon Duval had two punt singles for the Eskimos.
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