Stamps use quick start to bury Lions
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|Calgary Stampeders' Maurice Price celebrates an early touchdown against the B.C. Lions Friday night at McMahon Stadium. The Stamps won 41-21. (QMI Agency/AL CHAREST)
CALGARY - Drew Tate’s first pass since July 7 was picked off, showing the rust expected of someone recovering from shoulder surgery.
The second one — on the next play, thanks to a B.C. Lions fumble — went for a major.
The Calgary Stampeders were hoping to work out the kinks with their No. 1 pivot before the post-season started, and Friday’s meaningless meeting with the B.C. Lions was the perfect time.
If anything though, the game was too lopsided.
In the first half, Tate, Kevin Glenn and Bo Levi Mitchell all threw TD passes as the Stamps cruised to a 34-0 lead en route to a 41-21 stomping over the visiting Lions.
Only John Hufnagel knows which way the Stamps (11-6) go at quarterback next week in Edmonton as they close out the regular season and prepare for the West semifinal Nov. 11 at McMahon Stadium.
Tate only threw seven passes, completing five of them for 68 yards. He finished the game, just by handing off to running backs Jon Cornish and Matt Walter to ice it.
Kevin Glenn started the game, and did well enough to give the Stamps a good lead by hitting Maurice Price on a 53-yard touchdown that was all yards after catch.
Tate entered on the Stamps’ third possession and immediately threw up a ball that was well underthrown and picked off by Ryan Phillips.
Luckily for Tate, his pal Rob Cote knocked the ball from Phillips’ mitts on the return and the quarterback got a chance to redeem himself quickly.
The No. 1 pivot did just that, tossing a deep ball to Nik Lewis for a 44-yard major as the Stamps rolled to a 24-0 lead.
All Tate did was equal the previous possession for Glenn.
It was the second major in two games for Price in virtually the same play design, a short hitch route the speedy receiver took and burst through the defence, thanks to solid blocking.
Price didn’t finish the game though, as he slid into a heater on the Lions sidelines, injuring his shoulder.
The Stamps never seem to get through a game without some personnel losses, and this one is no different.
Defensive stalwart Keon Raymond left in the first half with a concussion.
Things couldn’t have started worse for the Lions offence. After taking two penalties, Malik Jackson came free through the Lions offensive line and drilled quarterback Mike Reilly, knocking the ball loose and pouncing on it in the endzone for a TD.
The Lions were so awful in the first 20 minutes even Bo Levi Mitchell got in on the fun. The Stamps third-stringer came in with the team on the one-yard line, and he tossed up a rainbow for defensive lineman Corey Mace.
Another field goal and the Stamps were up 34-0.
It looked over at that point, but Reilly wasn’t about to go down easily.
The backup, playing for Travis Lulay as the 2011 CFL most outstanding player rests a shoulder injury, engineered two touchdown drives, throwing major passes to Geroy Simon and Akeem Foster.
The Stamps defence chased Reilly in the fourth quarter, though, by throwing constant pressure in his face during his second career start.
Anwar Stewart led the way for the Stampeders, recording four sacks to tie the franchise record held by four different players.
Overall, the Stamps finished with eight sacks, with team leader Charleston Hughes keeping pace with Keron Williams for the league lead with each getting one.
With one game remaining, Hughes has 11 sacks, while the former Stampeder has 12.