CALGARY -- Jabari Arthur couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as the Stampeders receiver had a career game, helping put the Stamps back in the win column Saturday night in Guelph.
It was the first time in his CFL career the six-foot-four Montreal native had 100 yards in a game as well as two touchdowns in a 35-11 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“The last time I had a game like this one,” Arthur says, having to search way back in his memory, “was probably in college.
“I’m thankful to have an opportunity like tonight. I had a few opportunities to make some catches and I just tried to make the most with what I was given.”
Arthur finished the night off with four catches for 103 yards, including a 52-yard strike from Kevin Glenn that put the Stamps on the board early in the second quarter.
Arthur’s production has been a bright spot in the face of adversity when the Stamps lost all-star slotback Nik Lewis to a devastating leg injury.
Head coach John Hufnagel has come to depend on the shifty receiver as a go-to playmaker.
“Ever since he's had to fill in for Nik, he's been there, every game, every down, and doing a good job,” says Hufnagel.
While Arthur was basking in the glow of his best individual performance, another teammate was realizing his own milestone.
Jamar Wall was a thorn in the side of the Hamilton offence all night long, picking off two passes and chalking up six tackles, part of a clinic put on by the Calgary defence.
“I’ve never had a two-pick game before,” says Wall. “This was the first one and my first time ever getting the game ball. So, I think it was a good night.”
The defensive showcase also received high praise from coach Hufnagel as being a big reason for such a convincing win.
“Some (of Hamilton’s passes) were tipped balls and things like that but our secondary, I thought, played in good coverage and when they had an opportunity to make a play on the football, they came up with it,” says Hufnagel as his team improves to 10-3 on the season, good for top spot in the West Division and in the hunt for a first-round bye at season’s end.
The Stamps knew they needed a bounce-back performance after a heartbreaking loss to the Toronto Argonauts last week.
“It’s so important to get back in the win column,” says Wall.
“You want to avoid a losing slide because if you come out and lose, you can keep losing and losing. If you come out and get right back on the horse you were on, then you are right back to square one. It shows you how much of a good team you really are.”
“The coach often says ‘good teams respond well and don’t lose two in a row,’ ” adds Arthur. “We did exactly that. He challenged us this week and we came back and responded well.”
The Stamps will look to extend their winning ways as they face the 2-11 Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium on Oct. 5.