Canadian Football League

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Stamps win part two of Canadian Football League home and home series

Backup quarterback Jason Gesser didn't get to play much but the CFL rookie was on the field long enough to engineer the only Calgary touchdown in a 16-11 victory over the sluggish Eskimos on Friday night.
With starter Henry Burris off getting his left wrist taped, Gesser came in for one series. The 27-year-old Hawaiian found Ken-Yon Rambo, who deked up the middle of the field for a 30-yard score early in the second quarter.
The TD helped the Stampeders take a 13-3 lead by halftime and the defence did the rest in front of 42,654 rain-soaked fans at Commonwealth Stadium.
Calgary (5-6) had lost 25-23 at home against the Eskimos on Monday but won this one in coach Tom Higgins' first game at Commonwealth since the 2004 West Division semifinal when he coached Edmonton in a 14-6 loss to Saskatchewan that basically cost him his job.
The Eskimos (7-4) lost at home for only the second time this season.
This one was a flagfest: there were 29 penalties for 216 yards.
Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray was rushed relentlessly on the wet grass and had three passes intercepted in the first half - a pair by cornerback Nate Terry, who had returns of 63 and 50 yards, and one by defensive tackle Randy Chevrier, who played with Edmonton in 2002 and 2003.
Ray was turned upside down after a hit from linebacker Scott Coe on a drive to open the fourth quarter and three plays later lobbed an unsuccessful pass in triple coverage for wide receiver Jason Tucker in the end zone.
Tucker went over 1,000 yards for the season with a 23-yard reception with less than two minutes left and then snagged a 31-yard score out of the air from Ray in double coverage with 30 seconds remaining for the final points of the game.
The Stampeders got 23-and 16-yard field goals from Sandro DeAngelis in the first half, and a 38-yarder in the third quarter. He missed from 41 and 30 yards.
Calgary linebacker John Grace, who was named defensive player of the week after three sacks of Ray on Monday, was injured in the fourth quarter.
Hayden Epstein, who assumed both the Eskimos kicking and punting duties ahead of 14-season veteran Sean Fleming for the second straight game, had a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter for Edmonton. He missed from 41 yards in the third quarter before nailing a 63-yard punt single in the fourth.
Higgins worked 11 seasons in various capacities and took the Eskimos to back-to-back Grey Cups, winning in 2003 when he was also named CFL coach of the year. He officially resigned last off-season and signed with Calgary.
Notes: Edmonton debuted bright yellow third jerseys . . . The Eskimos gave one dollar
from each of the 30,000 pairs of gold-coloured Alberta Centennial thundersticks to the victims of hurricane Katrina . . . The team's meet again Nov. 6 in Calgary . . . The two largest crowds in club history were recorded in Labour Day-week games - 62,444 in 2003 and 61,481 in 2002 - but this season the Eskimos delayed their annual giving of ticket vouchers to local schools until the Sept. 24. game against the first-place BC Lions.


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