Pivotal choice

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

Craig Dickenson will never completely emerge from his brother's shadow - but last week he did make teams across the CFL sit up and take notice.

Not once, not twice, but three times last Thursday, the Calgary Stampeders special teams' unit schooled the Montreal Alouettes.

And Dickenson was doing the teaching as the Stamps special-teams co-ordinator.

"It was one of the best (games) I've been associated with," said Dickenson, whose brother Dave may go down in history as one of the best pivots to ever play in the CFL.

"The guys executed to perfection."

FAKE FIELD GOAL

Calgary hit the Als with a fake field goal, which featured holder Brett Ralph shovelling the pigskin to Wes Cates, who picked his way through the stunned Montreal unit until he dove into the end zone 38 yards later.

The play was called back on a quirky ineligible receiver call.

But that didn't deter Dickenson, who tried a fake punt in the second quarter, with Brian Clark taking the direct snap and rumbling nearly 30 yards for another first down.

And then to start the second half, Calgary made Montreal look foolish by recovering a short kickoff.

So what does Calgary have in store for Edmonton on Labour Day, in the most critical game of the season to date for the last-place Esks?

"You can quote me as saying we're out of all the trick plays and have nothing left," laughed Dickenson yesterday.

In reality, Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia believes something is coming his way.

"If I am a betting man, I would think that with the success rate they had last week - and I did witness it first-hand because I was at the game (in Montreal) - I would think they would have a few things lined up come Monday and will try to run them.

"But I am sure we will be well prepared."

That task falls to assistant coach Malvin Hunter, who seems to have the Calgary game film memorized.

"The surprise on-side kick came on their fourth kickoff of the game," said Hunter.

"They were watching Montreal's front line and the first time Montreal did it properly, they hung in there.

"But the second and third time, those guys got out early and so (Calgary) had the (guts) to call it and it worked."

But it's something the Esks need to avoid on Monday.

"We're going to have to bring our A game, there is no doubt," said ace special teams veteran Mike Bradley.

"And in games like this, special teams can be the difference maker."

But Mike Botterrill - who was brought to Edmonton for his shutdown ability on special teams - is remarkably confident.

"We're up to the challenge, we think that we can compete with them and we should be able to dominate them this week," he said.

"Montreal was pretty unprepared for the things that Calgary threw at them, but now that we get a chance to see it on tape, that is not going to be the story (here) anymore."

CALL FROM DAVE

But if Dickenson and his crew are successful again on Monday, he'll likely get another congratulatory phone call from his brother. Dave - in Montreal as his B.C. Lions face the Alouettes - is bound to be watching the game. And watching Craig's fashion.

"(Dave) said I have to work on my sideline (look)," explained Craig.

Dave's advice: tuck the play sheets in the back of the pants, not the front.

"He's good for me, staying on top of fashion (styles)," said Craig.


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