Not offence for Stamps in red zone

Calgary Stampeders Justin Phillips looks up at the clock as it runs out against the BC Lions in CFL...

Calgary Stampeders Justin Phillips looks up at the clock as it runs out against the BC Lions in CFL action at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, on July 28, 2012. (MIKE DREW/CALGARY SUN/QMI Agency)

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:59 AM ET

CALGARY - You can't blame the red-zone offence for this one.

The Stamps didn't have a red-zone offence.

The Red & White didn't snap a single ball inside the B.C. 20-yard line during Saturday's 34-8 mauling at the hands of the Lions.

That's not good enough at any level of football and Stamps head coach John Hufnagel knows it.

"We didn't play nearly well enough to compete with the B.C. Lions," Hufnagel said. "The longer the game went on, the more we wore down."

With his team moving the ball in spurts between the 30s, Hufnagel tried to make something happen early in the second half.

Trailing 16-8, and facing a third-and-three at their own 42-yard line, Hufnagel called a fake punt.

Like nearly everything else Saturday night, it failed.

"We weren't able to do anything in any of the three phases to turn the momentum," Hufnagel said.

"And that's such a large part of the game -- momentum.

"I tried to do something early in the third quarter by going for it on third down, just to try to ignite a spark.

"That didn't work, so that just put us deeper in depression."

Wide receiver Arjei Franklin took the direct snap and got two yards. The Lions took over and marched for a touchdown to take a 22-8 lead.

"You always look forward to that opportunity to turn the tide and gain some momentum," Franklin said.

"I'd like to take a look at it on film."

The Stamps did get the ball inside the red zone once.

Receiver Johnny Forzani hauled in a 36-yard pass on third-and-two, but lost the handle on the ball at the Lions 12-yard line and the defending champs recovered.

"It was just a lack of execution as a whole," Franklin said of the offence's performance.

"We have to get better. There's no question about it.

"It's unfortunate because we left some things out there."

Slotback Marquay McDaniel made a great effort and came up with a spectacular catch on the sidelines in the third quarter, but officials ruled he was out of bounds.

Hufnagel challenged the ruling, but replays proved inconclusive and the call stood.

McDaniel said he thinks he made the catch.

"I've gotta go see it," McDaniel said. "The replay looked good.

"The ref said my feet were out, and I thought 'no way.' "

If it had been ruled a catch, the Stamps would have -- finally -- been in business deep in Lions territory.

"It would have put us in the money zone," McDaniel said. "And we didn't get down there the rest of the game.

"So it would have been nice to get that."

McDaniel said it was frustrating to move the ball in the middle of the field, but then stall and come away empty.

"It seemed like, on some drives, we were moving good and then we just stopped," he said.

"I'll have to look at the film and see exactly what happened.

"But we have to execute better, keep drives alive, and keep the defence off the field."

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher


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