Roy Finch helps Stamps roll into bye week on a high

We knew the Calgary Stampeders would have weapons on offence this season. We knew they had playmakers on defence. Now they have possibly the most explosive player on special teams around the entire CFL.

For the second straight week, the Stamps got life early in the game thanks to Roy Finch, the pint-sized return specialist who’s had a roller-coaster season already but is now clearly at the peak of his powers.

On Thursday night, Finch field a punt and head-faked his way through defenders while taking the wide side of the field. He went through the Toronto Argonauts defenders with ease much like he did against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats a week earlier, scoring a 103-yard touchdown.

In that home game, Finch woke his team — and the crowd — up with his big play. The same thing happened on Thursday.

Combined with a defence that has been swarming and stifling the past three games, and an offence that is balanced with Jerome Messam running and Bo Levi Mitchell distributing, the Stamps are looking deadly right now.

And here’s the rub. Mitchell, among many other players, including receiver Lemar Durant who went down with a suspected knee injury on Thursday in Toronto, get a bye week to rest up and refocus for a crucial time in their schedule when many of them are fighting through aches and pains.

Coming out of the break, the Stamps face the B.C. Lions and Edmonton Eskimos twice in a five-game span, with a home rematch against the Argos tucked in there, so this break comes at a great time.

In their past three games, the Stamps have outscored their opponents 128-35, an average of 42-11. This is a team that doesn’t usually strive for a blowout, but they’ve been so much better than the opposition the past three weeks that they couldn’t help but posting big scores.

Mitchell said after the game that there are improvements to be made in all three phases and he’s probably right, as there were a couple of turnovers via fumble on offence and Mitchell was under a lot of pressure against the Argos, surrounding six sacks.

But the mistakes are easily masked over seeing as how the defence erased one of those turnovers with one of their own. Once again DeVone Claybrooks’ group created havoc in the backfield, and one of the would-be turnovers — Michael Kashak crumpling Ricky Ray and sending him out with an arm/shoulder injury — didn’t even count as it was called back by penalty.

Since losing the Montreal Alouettes in Week 4, the Stamps seem determined to assert themselves back to the top of the CFL power rankings.

They improve to 5-1-1, which puts them behind the undefeated Edmonton Eskimos right now with a large-scale Labour Day doubleheader on the horizon.

But the Stamps are now scary in all facets of the game after knocking off the East Division leaders with ease.

Finch has a lot to do with that, and he certainly earned the team’s hard hat for best effort on Thursday night.

Remember, early this season Finch sat out two games due to a drug suspension, and the team brass was obviously miffed that he failed to get clearance on a product for which he could have been exempted.

Finch sat out the two games, and had to watch as Tunde Adeleke returned a punt for a touchdown in his place, but he’s come back focused and motivated.

He’s making the most of this second chance. If he keeps this up, it gives the Stamps just another breakout player and someone that can give the opposition fits.

That’s just what they need as they head into a week of self-evaluation and reflection.

Ian Busby

Ian Busby

Ian Busby has covered the Stampeders and the CFL since 2003, with eight years as a beat reporter. He is now a producer at Breakfast Television.
Ian Busby
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Ian Busby
About Ian Busby (163 Articles)
Ian Busby has covered the Stampeders and the CFL since 2003, with eight years as a beat reporter. He is now a producer at Breakfast Television.

23 Comments on Roy Finch helps Stamps roll into bye week on a high

  1. IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 8, 2017 at 3:12 pm //

    The best returned since Henry “Gizmo” WIlliams
    Is there any nicer uniform than the crimson red jerseys and helmets with the white running stallion?

    • Calgary is the class of the CFL at this time, very solid team top to bottom but Edmonton and BC aren’t far behind.
      On any given day any team can win in the CFL (remember the 2016 Grey Cup)?
      Calgary’s uniforms are nice but not near as nice as the double blue!!

    • Sorry but when Winnipeg went back to the royal blue and gold they own the best uni’s in the game. Take note Esks and Ticat fans, that is gold, you both have yellow 😉

  2. White Horse // August 8, 2017 at 3:50 pm //

    Gizmo had blazing speed and the CFL records today to prove it. I believe he had 25 touchdowns nullified by penalties in his career. I like Finch and he is shifty and has speed for sure. Rainey and Speedy B are also remarkable. Your special teams protection makes a returner big or little, not stature!!
    Looking forward to Labour Day.

  3. longtimetcfan // August 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm //

    Except for the fact his punt return TD against the TiCats should have been called back on 2 obvious blocks from behind at the point of attack, one nearly giving a would-be-tackler whiplash.

    Ironic considering the negated Banks punt return in the Grey Cup 🙂

    • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 8, 2017 at 5:14 pm //

      Get over it. Calgary dominated and deserved that win . NO QUESTION!

      • longtimetcfan // August 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm //

        Not saying Stamps didn’t deserve the win as the TiCats stunk the place out but that doesn’t excuse the uncalled and obvious clips.

        Maybe the officials didn’t want to jeopardize another million dollar opportunity as per the Argo-Bomber weak call and mess.

  4. Not only dangerous on Punt return. Pretty effective out of the backfield too.

  5. Labor Day = Calgarys Grey Cup.

    • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm //

      nope..I think the Grey cup is Calgary’s Grey cup.
      Labor day is the premier regular season game for all fans. Epic tradition in footballs temple. Nothing is better!

    • dangnabbit // August 8, 2017 at 10:20 pm //

      A lot of people don’t understand that the Grey Cup is not *supposed* to be the top two teams playing. The loser of that match is called the runner-up, not second place; strictly speaking you would need a double-elimination format to award second place to the loser of the Grey Cup match.

      But for a lot of people who can’t wrap their head around that, the scheduled Labour Day contest between Edmonton and Calgary is more likely to be what they want than the scheduled Grey Cup match is. Other matches come and go from season to season, but those two stay constant – and between the two, if you think Grey Cup should feature the top two teams, Labour Day is “Calgary’s Grey Cup”.

  6. Numerous Calgary players have given interviews, stating that their fans have said “we don’t care if you win the Grey Cup, just as long as you beat Edmonton on labor day”, And this has been stated over decades.

  7. Thanks for clearing that up

    • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm //

      They are the equivalent of rider fans who wear pilsner boxes on their heads and play banjos. Those people are there for notariety and to drink. All teams have these types of marginal fans. They come in many forms

      • Those are true fans that travel from all over the province to support their teM no matter what. Of the stumps lost two games in a row people wouldn’t walk from University heights to watch a game. I live in Calgary horse….I’ve seen the wheels fall off the bandwagon

  8. They would be the ones with the ones with designer cowboy hats and the metal tips on their cowboy boots. But if you support your CFL team that’s what counts, even if its a empty beer box on your head, or a hat that you have on backwards and not know it, good luck Sept 4. GO ESKS GO !!!

    • Where the crap is on the inside of the boots

      • White Horse // August 9, 2017 at 8:53 pm //

        Yup and Dave…grab a tissue early, Stamps in the Grey Cup for sure. Would you actually bet your hard earned dollars against Dickenson, Huff and BLM…are you smoking? You will be dealing with knots in your curlies in Nov/17

  9. Mmmbacon // August 9, 2017 at 1:56 am //

    Hes likely trying to get away from that disgusting uniform. Im sure its burning his skin.

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