- With files from CFL.ca
CALGARY -- Glad to be healthy again, Joe West and Drew Tate finally got to see some action during the Stampeders' 38-11 clinic against the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Seeing his first live action since going down with a shoulder injury in Week 4 against the Montreal Alouettes, it didn’t take long for West to knock off the rust.
“We had fun out there tonight,” said the speedy receiver after the game. “It was great to be back.”
West finished the night with eight catches for 120 yards, often being an outlet for his quarterback when the Winnipeg defence applied pressure.
Showing the same speed and hands that made him a lethal threat at the beginning of the season, West made the Stamps offence as dynamic as it has been in a few weeks.
“Fresh legs, so to speak,” grinned Stampeders GM and head coach John Hufnagel. “We knew how excited he was getting back on the field and he made the most of his opportunities. He caught the ball and he ran very well after the catch.”
“Having Joe West healthy really helped us,” said Jon Cornish, the reigning top Canadian for the month of September. “(Winnipeg) couldn’t just stack the box when we have receiver sets like him and Mo (Maurice Price).”
Cornish ran 17 times for 208 yards, passing Kory Sheets in a bid to repeat as the league’s top rusher.
“To have Cornish in the backfield next to me is great,” said Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn who went 21 of 29 for 320 yards and two touchdowns.
“When you can start a drive backed up and, in two rushes, you’re down on their 30 or 20, it makes things so easy.”
With the game safely in control for the Red and White, Drew Tate — who’s had to endure a lengthy recovery from an injury to his throwing arm — was able to get some reps to knock off the rust himself.
“I was just excited to be going into the game,” said Tate. “I was hoping for an opportunity at some point in the game, luckily it came at the end.”
Tate’s return will give Calgary the luxury of three proven quarterbacks who are all healthy at the same time, something that hasn’t happened since Week 2 of the 2013 season.
“I thought Kevin was excellent,” said Hufnagel, “and I was glad to be able to get Drew into the game and get him some throws.”
With Saturday’s win, Calgary sits four points ahead of BC and Saskatchewan for first in the West Division.
Their next test comes against those same Leos next week on Oct. 11 at McMahon Stadium, with an opportunity to put more distance between the Stamps and the rest of the division.