BALLANTINE: Stamps big bet on Ja’Gared Davis pays off

Ja’Gared Davis was a force to be reckoned with in the West Final against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers vaunted offensive line, coming away with two sacks and several tackles.

It was part of a defensive effort that saw the Bombers never get closer to the end-zone than the Calgary 29 yard line.

Davis was quick to pass off the credit on Wednesday when I told him the performance reminded me of Mike Labinjo’s turn in the 2008 West Final.

“My DB’s on the back end were covering their asses off the whole game against one of the most potent offensive schemes in the whole CFL. The things that they did just opened things up up front for us and the linebackers.”

The journey for Davis started last offseason when the Stampeders decided to bet on the young defensive end and traded perennial all-star Charleston Hughes to Hamilton (he eventually landed in Saskatchewan.).

“It made me feel grateful that they would choose me over a future Hall-of-Famer like Charelston,” he said.  “He still has so much left in the tank. I can still see another 15 or 16 sack performance out of Charleston for the next three or four years.”

But for the Stamps, Davis rewarded their faith by providing seven sacks and 59 tackles this season.

Teammate Micah Johnson credits some of his own success this season to Davis.

“He’s a great teammate, I know that playing beside him inside makes things easier on me. We bank on JG making a lot of big plays, and usually he finds a way to come up with them,” he said.

Alex Singleton says his impact goes beyond the field as well.

“We expect it of him, because he does it all the time. It helps a lot; picks up the momentum, especially at home with the crowd,” Singleton said. “Whatever makes Micah’s job easier, makes my job easier.”

Look for very few if any defensive changes this week as the Stamps await the Redblacks in the Grey Cup.

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