Esks, Joseph kept going back to Stamps

Edmonton's Fred Stamps, left, and quarterback Kerry Joseph celebrate during the second half of the...

Edmonton's Fred Stamps, left, and quarterback Kerry Joseph celebrate during the second half of the Edmonton Eskimos CFL football game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Friday, October 5, 2012. (QMI Agency/CODIE MCLACHLAN)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:13 AM ET

EDMONTON - Fred Stamps put up his biggest numbers in any game this season on Friday.

But it didn’t start out so well.

On their opening series, quarterback Kerry Joseph followed up an incomplete pass to Stamps by hitting him right in the numbers.

The problem was, it was the numbers on the back of his jersey, which led to the ball ricocheting into the hands of Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive back Armondo Murillo.

But they went right back to him. And kept going back.

In the end, it paid off with a pantented Fred Stamps-like performance — the biggest of his career against the Tabbies and the first of its kind against any opponent in 2012.

“I’ve been here all year. It’s not easy to do that, but I’ve been here all year,” said Stamps, whose breakout performance earned him 204 yards and a touchdown on nine grabs. “I’ve just been waiting on my opportunity, that’s the main thing.”

What it took was yet another change at quarterback, with Kerry Joseph taking over from last week’s starter, Matt Nichols, as well as a change in offensive co-ordinator, with head coach Kavis Reed directing the play-calling.

“We felt more confident, and that’s what we’ve been needing,” said Stamps. “When we came out (Friday), it was just a different feeling. Like the whole team, it just felt hungry.

“I’m glad we got that five-game losing streak over with.”

In his biggest game of the season, Stamps was a big factor in one of the biggest drives of the season: a seven-play, 102-yarder that ended with a 15-yard touchdown by Hugh Charles, which was set up by a 42-yard reception in double coverage by Fred Stamps to lead 17-13.

“It was kind of crazy because I couldn’t see the ball with two guys on me,” said Stamps, who also drew defensive pass interference on the play. “I saw (the ball), then I just felt somebody grab my face.

“I don’t know. Credit to ‘Pops’, Dwayne (Mandrusiak), he gave us some pretty good gloves.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

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