Esks' Stamps back in form
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
|Receiver Fred Stamps smiles after completing a pass during an Edmonton Eskimos practice held at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sept. 13, 2011. (IAN KUCERAK/QMI AGENCY)
Fred Stamps is back to his old self.
Just in case anyone was worried about the 39 yards he gained on just two catches while returning from injury against the Calgary Stampeders last week, Stamps led the receiving chart with 130 yards on 14 catches Friday.
By halftime, the Edmonton Eskimos slotback was already up to 111 yards and nine receptions and on pace to eclipse the CFL record 16 catches in a game set by four players — most recently, Arland Bruce in 2010.
"They came up to me near the end of the game about the record," Stamps said. "I didn't know about it until the last series, but it was a close game and the guys on Hamilton, they started acting a little weird and we didn't want to have them take any shots or anything like that so I'm glad we didn't try to go for it.
"I wanted to get the record but as long as we came out with the victory, everything else doesn't matter."
Except staying healthy, of course.
"It felt good to go out there. I felt like myself to go out there and run around," said Stamps, who missed three games following abdominal surgery before returning for last week's Labour Day rematch. "Me and Ricky connected on a couple plays.
"That's the most important thing, the win."
As well as the re-emergence of the Eskimos rushing attack, which put together 223 yards on Friday, despite not having that much production over their past four games. That goes back to a 27-4 loss in Montreal, where they were held to a combined -1 yard.
In that time, the Eskimos rushed for a grand total of 206 yards over the four previous outings.
"Credit to the offensive line," Stamps said. "They played absolutely good football (Friday) night. Words can't explain. You saw the holes the running backs were running through.
"That's the type of football we need to play. That opened things up all around."