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(Friday, August 27th)
Final Score: Calgary 48, British Columbia 35
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Henry Burris threw two touchdowns and ran in another as he led the Calgary Stampeders to a 48-35 win over the British Columbia Lions at Empire Field.
The Stamps (7-1) won for the seventh time in their first eight outings for the first time since the 1996 campaign, managing to register the win despite three interceptions thrown by Burris in the first half. Burris finished the night converting 20-of-34 passing for 276 yards. Ken-Yon Rambo, who had just 12 catches and a pair of receiving TDs coming into the night, posted nine receptions for 108 yards and caught two scoring passes, one each from Burris and Drew Tate.
Lions (1-7) signal-caller Casey Printers returned to action after missing the last four games due to injury but was mostly ineffective for much of the game before tossing his first and only touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to Emmanuel Arceneaux. Printers, who hit on 10-of-26 for 191 yards, did score a major himself early in the meeting on the ground, but BC still lost its seventh in a row.
"We looked good at times, and at times we didn't execute like we should have," Printers said. "There's several reasons to be optimistic, we've just got to make the plays when they're right there in front of us."
Kicker Rob Maver tried to put the first points on the board early in the first quarter for the Stamps, but his 48-yard field goal attempt fell short. However, Yonus Davis failed to field the ball cleanly underneath the goal post and Calgary managed to recover at the nine-yard line.
Burris then took it upon himself to get the Stampeders into the end zone, slipping through the defense for the nine-yard major on the ensuing possession to put the visitors ahead by a 7-0 score.
Davis made up for his muff as he returned kickoff close to midfield. Printers then advanced the ball deep into enemy territory when he connected with Arceneaux on a 44-yard effort down the center of the field. Jamal Robertson later took a swing pass off to the right down to the one-yard line. After a couple of failed running attempts, Printers then put the ball into the end zone himself, although the play was challenged when it appeared he had fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line. The initial ruling was upheld, tying the game at 7-7.
The Lions moved out to a 10-7 advantage on the strength of a 33-yard field goal by Paul McCallum, but only moments later the Stamps regained the lead at 14-10 when Burris connected with Deon Murphy on a 48-yard scoring strike near the end of the first frame.
An 11-yard field goal by Maver in the second period advanced the Calgary lead to 17-10. With under six minutes remaining in the first half, Burris avoided a heavy pass rush and tossed a 20-yard TD to Rambo, pushing the lead to two touchdowns in the process. The play was challenged by BC, the club contending that Burris had passed the line of scrimmage before delivering the ball, but after review, the call on the field stood.
On the heels of another stalled drive by the Lions that began at midfield, McCallum's 40-yard field goal at the 2:25 mark of the second quarter cut the deficit to 11 points at 24-13.
Burris was picked off on back-to-back pass attempts in the final minutes of the half, the second eventually resulting in a British Columbia major when Robertson bulled his way into the end zone from a yard out to make the score 24-20 with just 28 seconds remaining.
Before the half could end the Stampeders advanced the ball deep into BC territory, thanks in part to a personal foul on a horse-collar tackle, allowing Maver to set up for and convert a 37-yard field goal as time expired. The 27-20 score at intermission represented the highest-scoring first-half so far this season in the CFL.
The first points of the second half came more than eight minutes in as Arjei Franklin hit the end zone from four yards out on an end around for the Stamps, making the score 34-20 after the successful PAT.
Play was halted for several minutes at the 5:18 mark of the third after BC wideout Darius Passmore collided with signage on the sidelines, requiring him to be immobilized and wheeled off on a stretcher after suffering a cut to his neck and was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution.
Calgary continued to pile on in the fourth quarter as backup quarterback Drew Tate stepped in for Burris on short yardage and leaned over the goal line from a yard out to push the advantage to 41-20.
Even though Burris was about to surpass Dieter Brock for 10th place on the CFL's all-time passing list, it was Tate who came back in to direct the offense late in the fourth for the Stampeders. Tate wasted little time in directing Calgary down the field and into the end zone again on a 19-yard TD pass to Rambo.
"We were able to make the adjustments at halftime, get refocused, and come out and control the clock in the second half and put the ball in the end zone when we really needed it," Burris said.
BC refused to go away quietly however, as Printers connected with Arceneaux on a quick 58-yard touchdown play, making the score 48-27 with under three minutes to play. On the final play of the game, Lions backup Travis Lulay let fly with a 41-yard heave into the end zone and it was reeled in by Geroy Simon for the major tally. The pair also combined on the subsequent two-point conversion to make the final score 48-35.
The last time Calgary began a season 7-1 was 1996 when it was under the direction of current BC head coach Wally Buono...A reception by Calgary's Nik Lewis in the first half extended his streak to 113 straight games with at least one catch...Lions cornerback Stanley Franks logged a pair of interceptions in the first half, giving him three picks this season, all of them coming against Calgary...Rambo registered the 300th reception of his career early in the second quarter...Calgary head coach John Hufnagel is now a perfect 9-0 all-time against Buono.
08/28 02:54:53 ET
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