Stamps assert themselves with convincing Labour Day win

If there was anyone still believing that the West Division had no clear favourite they have to change their tune now.

The Calgary Stampeders put to rest any doubts about who is the top team in the CFL with what transpired on Labour Day.

The Edmonton Eskimos were simply outclassed by the Stamps to the tune of a 39-18 score that wasn’t as close as a 21-point victory sounds.

Roy Finch scored on a 90-yard punt return, Jerome Messam punched in two touchdowns and Anthony Parker — playing in his 100th game — scored on a 24-yard rush.

The Stamps defence did the rest, shutting down Mike Reilly and the Eskimos offence until they put some late points up.

All three phases are coming together for the Stamps, and now with the second half of the season starting, this team would probably just like to fast forward to the post-season.

This year is unfolding much like last year did when the Stamps went 15-2-1 with a long winning streak through the summer and into the fall. Labour Day is the sixth straight win for the Stamps, who have vaulted to the top of the West Division.

With the Blue Bombers losing in Saskatchewan and the Eskimos loss, the Stamps are three points up on both of them, which essentially means they are two games up due to their tie against Ottawa to start the season.

The Stamps are virtually impossible to beat at home, upping their record to 5-0 at McMahon Stadium this year.

If they can get through this stretch of their season without a loss, they might be home free to host another West final with 60 minutes to qualify for a trip to Ottawa.

The rematch with Edmonton goes Saturday at Commonwealth, then they take on the B.C. Lions at home and are in Regina to face a suddenly hot Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Those are all key divisional matchups that mean if they can keep this run going, they can basically set themselves apart from the field.

It’s hard to see any flaws in the Stamps right now, but of course there is an injury issue and it always seems to be at the same position.

Canadians keep getting hurt along the offensive line, so that meant the Stamps dressed three American players to shore up the left side of their line. As long as Canadians stay healthy in other positions, this might not be a major problem as the likes of Randy Richards (left tackle), Justin Renfrow (left guard) and Ucambre Williams (centre) did a solid job against the Eskimos. But when right tackle Dan Federkeil went down for a period clutching his shoulder on Monday, it looked like the Stamps basically have no luck with the linemen.

Federkeil just came back from injury, and it was a key time as the Stamps put the reliable Spencer Wilson on the six-game injured list this week. Wilson provided a security blanket with his versatility and will be missed.

This was their downfall two years ago when they were patching up the line heading into the playoffs. What they need is the likes of Shane Bergman and Cam Thorn to get back into action and stay in there.

Outside of that though, the Stamps look like a well-oiled machine with eight games remaining.

They will be the favourites to win the Grey Cup by a long shot, so it’s a matter of maintaining this hot streak at the right time.

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 (166 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.

25 Comments on Stamps assert themselves with convincing Labour Day win

  1. white stallion in red // September 5, 2017 at 11:26 am //

    People can talk and speculate all they want about small winning streaks..Calgary is the best.Period. In the last number of years the injuries have been horrid.Yet here we are! 8-1-1!!!! People are criticising Bo…and he just wins and wins and wins….nothing is changing for this organization…..we aren’t going anywhere

    • The Stamps are already getting sized up for Grey Cup rings. Just like last year ……..

    • riderontheisland // September 5, 2017 at 3:20 pm //

      Ya not going anywhere including to the bank to cash a Grey cup winning cheque. Yes they win and they win and they win, then the playoffs start…………..pass the potato chips.

  2. You’re right, the Stumps are the best regular season team ever …. EE looked pretty bad again, but that looks good on them. Lots of games left, they don’t hand out the GC at labourday. Going to be a great 8 weeks.

  3. white stallion in red // September 5, 2017 at 11:37 am //

    None one is making GC rings…but I am printing tickets to the west final…are the riders gonna make it there Ladd law???

    • I think I’d rather go to the east final, and then take our chances against the Stamps in the GC. I can’t find my sports history book, but I seem to remember that the Riders do just fine against the Stamps after the season ends.

      • white stallion in red // September 5, 2017 at 8:31 pm //

        In the recent past but not always… never with Bo and always with Darian….so that’s changed

  4. Red&White Forever // September 5, 2017 at 11:39 am //

    Agreed. I’ve been saying it since before the season started: there’s the Stamps… and then there’s everybody else. Doesn’t mean that no one can beat them, it’s the CFL, just that they are by far the most complete team. Top of the league or very close to it in all facets of the game. That’s what makes them so good. And the depth. Huf is a master at finding guys to slot in.

  5. Rider rooter // September 5, 2017 at 11:59 am //

    Anyone have any comments about the play off structure. The one in place right now is not a fair and equatable. The east west formate is a antiquated.

    • white stallion in red // September 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm //

      I have always been a traditionalist and have supported west/east divisions. However it’s hard to justify right now with the misbalance. The though if a very mediocre RedBlacks team going to their 3Rd straight Greycup makes me ill

      • George Porge // September 5, 2017 at 1:02 pm //

        “The though if a very mediocre RedBlacks team going to their 3Rd straight Greycup makes me ill”

        And this is something people say each and every year. If you don’t want a mediocre Eastern team to make the GC Final, you’d better hope the crossover Western team makes it. That has yet to happen, and we’ve had plenty of examples of mediocre teams winning it all.

        • White Horse // September 5, 2017 at 3:49 pm //

          Agreed George…Us traditional fans have witnessed the east west format for many years. I still like it..but..I fail to understand why the east teams are simply not
          competetive. We have lots of other attractions to grab our sports dollars as well… I thought Eskimos would end up in Grey Cup for sure last year with the crossover.

    • George Porge // September 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm //

      Fair and equitable is good for the feels and may make it so that the best teams in the league get a home playoff game, but fair and equitable don’t sell tickets and they don’t boost TV ratings. Half the East would have checked-out by now if we had a single division. At least the current format makes for some interesting match-ups this side of the season.

      Right now, the current format means each and every team in the league has a chance (even if a remote chance, in Hamilton’s case) at a playoff spot. More importantly, every team in the league also has a chance to lose a playoff spot). Fans have hope, and that will keep them engaged.

      Yes, it looks like a Western team will miss the playoffs, while a weaker Eastern team will make the playoffs. And a stronger Western team will have to play on the road while a weaker Eastern team will play at home. But this gives every team something to play for right now. And it gives fans of every team something to cheer for.

      As I said before, there is an argument for going with a single division. That argument is nowhere near as strong as the argument for keeping the divisions as they are.

    • The issue is not the playoff format. The issue is the scheduling. There is no point in having divisions if the Eastern teams play more games against Western opponents than against divisional opponents.

      This issue began with the fully interlocking schedule in 1981, and has contributed to the decline in attendance and fan interest in the East ever since. In the late 70’s, the Argos drew over 40,000 per game, the Als had crowds of 45,000 to 60,000 in the Big O, and Ottawa could draw 30,000 for a playoff game.

      Changing the playoff format will likely result in some of the Eastern teams virtually eliminated by Labour Day. In turn, attendance in the East will further erode and the CFL will end up as a five or six team league. Before we change the playoff format, let’s fix the schedule first.

      • George Porge // September 5, 2017 at 1:42 pm //

        There are four teams in the East and five teams in the West. If you decided to even out all the inter-divisional games, you would wind up either having to give more bye weeks to Western teams, or you would have to give some teams more home games than others.

        We need another team in the league. Until/unless that happens, the perceived inequity in the schedule will have to remain as it is without throwing a worse perceived inequity into the mix.

        • I disagree.

          Currently, the schedule is as follows:

          East: 2 P.S. games vs the East
          10 R.S. games vs the West
          8 R.S games vs the East
          West: 2 P.S. games vs the West
          8 R.S. games vs the East
          10 R.S. games vs the West

          If we have teams play their preseason games against the other division, the schedule would be as follows:

          East: 2 P.S. games against the West
          8 R.S. games against the West
          10 R.S. games against the East
          West: 2 P.S. games against the East
          6 R.S. games against the East
          12 R.S. games against the West

          The one simple change of playing preseason games against the opposite division would require no additional byes and no additional home games for teams. All the teams would still play every other twice. Teams would have the exact same number of road trips, and would give the Lions and Alouettes the advantage of taking one long road trip during the Preseason when the games do not count.

  6. Labour Days game in Calgary vs the Eskimos almost cinched a 4th or 5th place Western Division finish for the Eskimos. The Eskimos have been outplayed 3 games straight. The Stamps will do it again on Saturday in Edmonton. The Eskimos just ” are not as good as they thought they were.”

    • George Porge // September 5, 2017 at 1:38 pm //

      Eskimos are four points ahead of fourth place and three points behind first place. You’re writing off their season a tad quickly there, Hootoil.

  7. white stallion in red // September 5, 2017 at 2:14 pm //

    You all know yet admit. Those are the coolest helmets in football. Innovative too. I tried to purchase one but didn’t want to pay the $1,000.00

    • Are you refering to the Stampeders half red / half black helmets? If so, the definition of “coolest” must have been changed to that of “clownish”, “garrish”, “ridiculous”, or “ostentatious” !!!!

      • George Porge // September 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm //

        Eye of the beholder, dude. Personally, I think the Als have the best looking home uniforms, but the Stamps’ helmet is a work of art. It’s pretty clear where the designers spent the bulk of their effort.

      • white stallion in red // September 5, 2017 at 4:12 pm //

        Lol oh Leo…jealously is most fashionable when worn on the sleeve!!!

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