Sweep on it

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

For the Edmonton Eskimos, it is time to sweep.

Tied with Calgary for last spot - and the final playoff berth - in the West Division, the veteran Eskimos know they have to sweep this back-to-back series with the Stamps - which starts tomorrow.

In a year when Edmonton and Calgary only play three times, if the two clubs remain tied at the end of the year, the team with the most head-to-head wins will win in the tie-breaking rules.

Unfortunately for Edmonton, the Stampeders lead the regular-season series 1-0 thanks to a 34-32 win on Aug. 4.

"You hate to put emphasis on any one particular football game, but to tell you the truth I think it is essential that we go get both of them," said veteran receiver Trevor Gaylor, referring to beating Calgary in these back-to-back games.

"We will not have an opportunity to put this team (Calgary) behind us in back-to-back games the rest of the year.

"That opportunity is rare to have in general but we are lucky it is front of us now.

"So it would be a good chance to take advantage of it."

The annual Labour Day game is set for tomorrow at McMahon Stadium. (2 p.m., CBC)

The clubs meet again next Friday in Edmonton in the usual rematch.

"It is huge (to sweep)," continued Edmonton linebacker A.J. Gass.

"It is huge for the tie-breaker, but is huge for our standings as they are right now.

"It's a four-point swing (with two wins).

"It is extremely big for us to go down there (to Calgary) and stay focused for four quarters and do the best we can to get that win."

The teams enter the Labour Day game at opposite ends of the momentum chart.

Although both clubs are 3-4-1 in the standings, Calgary has lost just once in its last three games.

Edmonton - on the flip side - has lost three of its last four games.

No Stamps for Stamps

Fred Stamps is not going to play the Stamps in this highly-charged back-to-back series.

The Eskimo wide receiver had an emergency appendectomy on Friday. He will be out of action for about a month.

"At first we all thought it was food poisoning," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia, "only to find out that wasn't the case.

"We rushed him to emergency and he had surgery (Friday) night."

The Esks are not planning to put him on the nine-game injured list, meaning he will eat into their salary cap by not playing.

Maciocia isn't tipping his hand on who will plug Stamps' spot on the roster. But watch for J.F. Romeo or newly acquired Mike Lindstrom to play more.

Without Jason Tucker (knee) and Pat Woodcock (knee), Edmonton's receiving pool is almost dry.

Watch for the club to try and find another healthy body soon.

FINISH LINES: Chuck Alston is not a happy camper.

Although he is remaining very professional in the public eye, the Esks defensive lineman is not pleased that he was taken off the roster yesterday.

"I hope we win (tomorrow)," said Alston.

"There is no ill-feeling. I understand it is a business. But I would like to know a little sooner than this."

While the club hasn't made any roster moves official on defence, it appears defensive end Rahim Abdullah is going to play with newcomer Isaac Keys also being on the active roster.

That is what likely forces Alston to stay at home.


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