HAMILTON – They are familiar foes in unfamiliar territory.
For years, quarterbacks Ricky Ray and Henry Burris have faced each other – usually for bragging rights in Alberta with Burris leading the Calgary Stampeders and Ray the Edmonton Eskimos.
They squared off again on Wednesday night as the CFL opened its pre-season schedule. Only this time it was a different provincial showdown, with Burris in Hamilton Tiger-Cat black and gold looking down the Ivor Wynne Stadium sideline at Ray, dressed in Toronto Argonaut blue.
“We’ve had a lot of battles over the years and it’s going to be no different this year,” said Ray, 32, who is in his 10th CFL season. “We’re both on different teams but it’s going to be the same old story, fighting with him for position in your division.”
» By The Numbers: Henry Burris – 7/15, 214 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT | Ricky Ray – 5/8, 72 YDS, 0 TD, 0 INT
Ray started the game for the Argonauts and led two scoring drives in a little more than one quarter of play as Toronto defeated the Tiger-Cats 29-24 in front of 27,585 at Ivor Wynne. He finished with five completions on eight pass attempts for 72 yards.
Burris entered the game for Hamilton in the second quarter and matched Ray with two TD drives. He scored one touchdown from a yard out, hit Chris Williams for a 75-yard score, was intercepted in the end zone and recorded one fumble. He completed seven of 15 pass attempts for 214 yards in one quarter’s work.
In all, eight quarterbacks saw action – four on each side.
“It was crazy because all the main quarterbacks tonight were pretty much in different clothes than they were last year,” said Burris, 37, who is playing in his 13th season. “ (Argo back-up) Jarious Jackson with B.C., Ricky Ray with Edmonton and me with Calgary. Now we all can’t get away from each other. But it was good to see those guys out there having a good time.
“That’s one of the things we all echo to each other. It’s good to be out here and having a good time, playing the game that we love and making our teams better and getting ready for the regular season.”
Burris and receivers Williams and Simon Charbonneau-Campeau each scored for the Ticats.
Ray has a career 66.8-per-cent completion rate for 40,529 career passing yards, 210 touchdowns and 130 interceptions. He was traded to Toronto in December for quarterback Steven Jyles, kicker Grant Shaw and a first draft pick.
Burris has a 60.3-per-cent completion rate with 41,234 career passing yards, 257 touchdowns and 154 interceptions. He was traded to Hamilton in January for quarterback Kevin Glenn, offensive lineman Mark Dewit and a conditional draft pick.