Lewis shows Pettway mercy

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:49 AM ET

CALGARY - When asked about good friend Nik Lewis’ competitive nature, Kenny Pettway says he always goes 100% in everything he tries.

Just as he finishes that statement though, Pettway pinpoints a time when the Calgary Stampeders slotback let up.

Maybe it was just because Lewis knew he could really do damage to a good friend.

Back in 2010, Pettway led the Edmonton Eskimos in sacks, and he faced the Stamps three times, meaning the defensive end lined up against Lewis quite often.

If the two former Southern Arkansas Muleriders weren’t such close friends, Pettway might never have suited up in football again.

“He could have taken my head off, but he didn’t,” Pettway said. “At the time, he told me ‘I could have killed you on that play.’

“He just shielded me off instead of doing what Nik Lewis usually does, flipping people over. I thanked him for that, and my wife thanked him for letting me walk off the field.”

Good thing Lewis did let up. The Stamps may have found themselves an answer to the pass-rush problems that have plagued them in the past.

Pettway signed with the Stamps on Monday after a long back-and-forth flirtation with the team.

Over the past 12 months or so, Pettway was waiting out to see if he could land another NFL job. With a two-year-old daughter at home, the 29-year-old didn’t want to leave his wife stranded.

All the while, Lewis was telling him to stay ready and crossed his fingers that his friend would eventually find a way to Calgary.

The duo were freshmen together at Southern Arkansas and have stayed in close touch ever since.

Lewis was a groomsman in Pettway’s wedding, and during his stint in Calgary, Pettway will be staying at Lewis’ house.

“He’s so strong, but he also has great size and speed,” Lewis said. “It’s going to be hard to stretch the edge for running backs. He gives us another explosive defensive player.”

If Pettway shows he’s still in good condition after a year away, he could wind up giving the Stamps as solid rotation at defensive end along with Charleston Hughes and Chris McCoy.

All he was doing at home was working out and hoping the time would eventually be right for him to come back to football.

Being away was tough, but now his wife feels ready to take care of their daughter on her own while he’s in Calgary and she’s back in Texas.

“The football games would come on TV, and

I would want to turn it off,” Pettway said. “I hated seeing it knowing I could be out there and I couldn’t. It was hard to sit and wait, but it was the best thing for me and my family at the time.”

As much as Lewis and Pettway are excited to be playing together, they are equally happy not to be facing each other anymore.

During the Labour Day rematch in 2010, the Esks’ Pettway pushed Lewis right into Stamps QB Henry Burris and picked up one of his seven sacks that year.

Both players remember it well.

“It was supposed to be a bang-bang play,” Lewis said. “Henry was supposed to throw the ball out of bounds and Kenny drove me back into Henry, reached over my head and grabbed Henry and pulled him down.

“I heard THAT one from the family.”


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