Kicked to the curb

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

We have managed to hang the blame on Matt Dunigan for almost everything that's plagued the Stampeders organization the past two years.

While the former Stampeders GM deserves criticism, lets credit him for doing something right during his reign in Calgary.

In one of his first acts as team boss, the rookie executive had the good sense to kick Duncan O'Mahony down the road, allowing the free agent to reunite with Wally Buono in Vancouver prior to the 2004 CFL season.

O'Mahony wanted both jobs here -- with a paycheque to match -- yet hadn't proven himself worthy of the financial boost.

Drafted by the Stamps in 2001, O'Mahony quickly earned praise as one of the league's top punters for two seasons before also taking on the role of placekicker for four games late in 2003 after veteran Mark McLoughlin stepped down to assume the GM duties.

O'Mahony failed so miserably -- finding the target on just two of nine attempts -- McLoughlin's return to the field was necessary for the final three games of the season.

Sound familiar? O'Mahony missed all three attempts -- from 33, 36 and 45 yards -- against the Roughriders Saturday night before Buono had finally seen enough. In a shocking move, Buono handed the kicking tee to slotback Bret Anderson for a desperation 48-yard attempt on the final play with a chance to tie the game, which the Roughies blocked.

Buono isn't often given to panic attacks on the sidelines but having Anderson, who had never attempted a regular-season field goal before, to perform the crucial kick demonstrates just how frazzled the B.C. boss has become.

The move has prompted speculation the 11-2 Lions will release O'Mahony when the team returns to practice tomorrow, although the Simon Fraser product continues to post a strong punting average while he had made nine of his previous 12 FG attempts. A more likely scenario would be for O'Mahony to surrender his placekicking duties. Buono worked out former Stamps kicker Mark McLoughlin yesterday and has offered a contract to 2004 Stamps kicker Clinton Greathouse.

O'Mahony hasn't helped his cause with his luke-warm relationship with the media. While he can be warm and engaging during interviews, O'Mahony passed the buck to the Vancouver press Sunday by suggesting to the assembled media when asked about his problems spat, "Maybe you all willed it to happen."

MONSTER CATCH: The monsters along the o-line rarely share the spotlight with receivers yet guard Taylor Robertson grabbed everyone's attention (even the referees) Saturday night with his pass-catching prowess.

With quarterback Danny Wimprine looking to dump a screen pass to running back Joffrey Reynolds, Robertson turned to his pivot to pick up a block, only to find the pigskin wobbling through the air towards his outstretched meat hooks.

Making the grab, the 6-ft. 6-in. 300-lb., former high school tight end carried a gang of Montreal tacklers 10 yards on his back before being hauled off his feet, momentarily forgetting he was an ineligible receiver.

"All of a sudden I'm like, 'Oh, (crap) I've got the ball. Might as well start running with it,' " a good-humoured Robertson recalled yesterday as linemate Jeff Pilon also offered his observations.

"I saw him running and I was like, 'Yeah, (crap), keep going,' " Pilon laughed. "I thought it bounced off Joffrey's shoulder pad and right into his hands (for a legal catch). He was fumbling, stumbling, just kept going."

Robertson appreciated his teammate's support but quickly pointed out everyone's sweat was wasted as the earth-moving play was wiped out.

"Jeff got right in my face yelling, 'Yeah, way to go,' " Robertson said. "And I'm like, 'Dude, it's a 10-yard penalty, now it's like first and a hundred.' "

SECOND BEST: While most Roughies rooters are convinced the hot club is destined for second place and the team's first home playoff date since 1988, there is a hitch. Saskatchewan is currently in a bind if second and third place in the West comes down to a tie-breaker with Edmonton and Calgary. The 'Riders, tied for second with Edmonton with 16 points, need to beat the Green and Gold at the Igloo in two weeks time to secure the season series against the Eskies while the Green Machine will need a 25-point victory over Calgary Oct. 23 at Taylor Field to claim the season set against the Stamps. Saskatchewan could prevent either scenario by continuing its roll through the final four games (Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, B.C.) to finish second outright, a distinct possibility in the eyes of 'Riders' faithful.

NUMBER 0

The number of road wins posted this season by the 3-10 Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who visit McMahon Stadium Oct. 14. The Tabbies were 5-4 away from Ivor Wynne Stadium last season.

ON THE FIELD

FRIDAY

Hamilton at Ottawa, 5:30 p.m. (TSN)

SATURDAY

Montreal at Sask., 5 p.m. (TSN)

MONDAY

Edmonton at Toronto, 11 a.m. (CBC)

B.C. at Winnipeg, 2 p.m. (CBC)

BYE: Calgary

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

I didn't play well and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm out of a job come Wednesday.

-- Lions kicker Duncan O'Mahony, a former Stampeder (2001-03), who missed all three field goal attempts Saturday against Saskatchewan prompting rumours he will be released by GM Wally Buono.


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