More labour left for Stampeders

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:47 AM ET

CALGARY - Even after 12 years in the CFL, you can still experience a first.

Kevin Glenn isn’t really looking forward to this one.

In winding down from Monday’s 31-30 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos at McMahon Stadium, Glenn was asked if he’s ready to do it all over again Friday.

Whoa. Let a guy catch his breath, eh?

The Stamps and Eskimos have been doing it every year since 1993, but not everyone in the CFL gets to experience this quick turnaround.

“I’m not trying to think about that,” Glenn said with a laugh. “When I didn’t play for Calgary, and we would watch this game, we would say to ourselves, ‘How the heck do they turn around and play on Friday?’

“That’s the way the schedule goes, so we have to do it. The coaches do a good job of saving our legs and get us ready.

“We have to mentally be ready to play this team again on Friday. They will be very angry, especially in their house.”

The starting quarterback has at least come to a team that has figured things out in dealing with it.

Head coach John Hufnagel gave the players the day off Tuesday, and will only take them through a light practice Wednesday.

On Thursday, they will hop a bus to Edmonton and try to get some rest Friday morning. When they kick off at Commonwealth Stadium, it will be about 97.5 hours since they left each other at McMahon Stadium.

“The good thing is it’s the same team,” Hufnagel said Tuesday. “All the preparation you did the first game aids the second game.

“The bad thing is it’s so close. These are usually two physical games, so it’s a toll on the players. They have to have the mindset over the next 60 hours to do everything they can to get their bodies and get their minds ready to play.”

Since Hufnagel took over as GM/head coach in 2008, the Stamps haven’t lost the second-half of the Labour Day doubleheader.

Even when they’ve lost on Labour Day, which was the case last year and in 2008, they’ve rebounded well.

When this series started, it was hard for either team to pull the sweep.

Sweeps occurred only three times in the first nine years it was played.

Now, the Stamps are going for their third sweep in four years and fourth in six. This one might be tougher.

The Eskimos only lost on a wide 48-yard field goal. Not much separated the teams Monday, and it could come down a couple plays Friday, too.

“It’s going to be rough there,” said returner Larry Taylor, who brought out the missed field goal to seal the win.

“Those guys are jacked. They are back at home. It’s one of those things that when you are home, you rely on your crowd for energy. It’s going to be another big one. We know what’s at stake.”

The crowd did play a factor Monday. There were only 32,102 at McMahon Stadium, the smallest gathering on Labour Day since at least 1996, but those who did show up brought their best voices.

“I like what they were doing at the end of the game,” Hufnagel said. “It aided us, not only with emotional spirit, but possibly hindering their communication.

“Anything you can do to help in that manner is good stuff. That’s why they call it home-field advantage.”

After two straight home defeats, Hufnagel was happy to deliver a win for their supporters, and entertain them, too.

“I’m glad it was that type of game, especially after the performance we gave our home fans in the Labour Day Classic last year,” Hufnagel said.

“It bothered me for a long time. Exactly 366 days.

“I was pleased we won two games in a row to, hopefully, get us on a bit of a roll.

“Unfortunately, we’re not as good as I would like to be in winning at McMahon.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby


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