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September 8, 2007

Stampeders 20, Eskimos 17

EDMONTON (CP) — Third quarter touchdowns by Ken-Yon Rambo and Jeremaine Copeland helped the Calgary Stampeders sweep the Edmonton Eskimos, winning both halves of the annual Labour Day week home-and-home series with a 20-17 victory on Friday night.

With the victory the Stamps improved to 5-4-1 and gave themselves a four point buffer in the CFL’s West Division over fourth place Edmonton. The Esks (3-6-1) have now lost five of their last six games.

The Eskimos almost had a perfect start to the game as Kamau Peterson took a pass 64 yards downfield on the Esks’ first play of the game before stumbling out of bounds on the Calgary 12.

However, Edmonton would be forced to settle for a Sean Fleming field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Edmonton was able to get the job done late in the first quarter, capping off a 54-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown pass from QB Ricky Ray to fullback Mathieu Bertrand to give the home side a 10 point advantage.

The Eskimos continued to build their lead early in the second as an interception by Jason Goss at mid-field would lead to a 23-yard Fleming field goal.

Calgary finally got on the board four minutes later when Sandro DeAngelis put a 25-yarder through the uprights.

The Stamps left some points of their own on the field late in the half. After recovering a fumble forced on a sack of Ray by Scott Coe deep in Edmonton territory, Calgary moved the ball to a first down situation on the Eskimo 4 but couldn’t convert, settling for another field goal to close the score to 13-6 at the mid-mark.

The Stampeders came thundering back to tie the game on their first possession of the second half, driving 78 yards before Calgary QB Henry Burris hit Rambo for a two-yard passing major, knotting the game 13-13.

After Edmonton went ahead by a single point after a missed field goal, Calgary continued to pick apart the Eskimo defence with another long third-quarter drive, as Burris found Copeland on a 12-yard TD passing play, giving the Stamps their first lead of the game, up 20-14 after the third frame.

The Eskimos chipped back into Calgary’s lead with an early fourth quarter field goal to make it 20-17 but couldn’t come any closer as the Stamps held their ground.

Edmonton plays host to Montreal next Friday while the Stamps return home to face Saskatchewan next Saturday.

Notes: The injury-riddled Eskimos finally had some good news on Friday as four players returned to the lineup. Receiver Jason Tucker, DB Omarr Morgan, DB Stanford Samuels and RB Tyler Ebell were all able to dress, however the Esks were still short eight other regulars…In the last 10 years Calgary had only previously managed to sweep the Labour Day Battle of Alberta double dip once, taking both games in 1998…Before Friday’s game on years when Edmonton had lost the Labour Day Classic in Calgary, as they did 35-24 on Monday, the Esks had managed to return home and win seven times versus just two losses…CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon was in attendance for the game.