October 4, 2012

Stephen: Stamps in control of their own destiny

The Calgary Stampeders may have lost five games to this point of the 2012 season, but it safe to say one loss stands out more than the others.  

That loss would be the July 28 home loss to the British Columbia Lions, a game in which the Stamps were thoroughly beaten in every area during that loss to their division rival.

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It was probably a fortunate circumstance that the Stamps went into a bye week following the game, as tension and frustration over the loss was evident everywhere.  

However, there may have been some good to come out of that loss.  Calgary running back Jon Cornish made some ill-timed post-game comments about his offensive line, but since that game has emerged as a dominant run threat in the Canadian Football League. 

Weeks later, it appears as though the Stamps have re-focused, winning six of their last eight outings as proof.
They have also watched QB Kevin Glenn emerge as a very effective game manager.  

Over that stretch, Glenn has tossed a dozen touchdown passes, but more importantly, has thrown just six interceptions while racking up a 66.4 per cent completion average.

All that strong play has given the Stampeders a chance to control their own destiny. They have already won the season series against division rivals Saskatchewan and Edmonton and also have two meetings remaining with the Lions, one of which arrives on Saturday night.

That ability to control their destiny is something that Cornish is well aware of.

“You don’t get too many chances to see teams in this situation at this time of year,” said Cornish, “I’m actually really excited about it.”

He is also aware the Stampeders need to redeem themselves from the earlier loss

“When you have an opportunity to right the wrongs, that I guess I committed and we didn’t have too good a game,” noted Cornish.

“I’m looking forward to going out there and facing a team that is one of the best in the CFL right now.”

Cornish is also downplaying playing against another successful Canadian running back in Andrew Harris of the Lions.

 “He’s (Harris) on offence, he has nothing to do with me.” said the Lower Mainland product Cornish.  
“He’s having a great year and I wish him well, but in the end he plays offence too. If our defence comes out,  who know how well he will do.  They’re probably saying the same thing about playing us.  But that’s one of the cool dynamics.  Either way you’re going to have a Canadian running back doing well.”

There is additional incentive for both teams.  Under the right scenario, a victory could put one team in the playoffs.  

Should Edmonton lose Friday night to Hamilton, the winner of Saturday’s game qualifies for the post-season.

If Calgary players needed any reminder that the stretch drive is underway, they received it during their first  practice of the week.  After months of well above average temperatures and brilliant sunshine, they were greeted with drizzle and single digit temperatures at their Tuesday workout.  

The jockeying for playoff spots hits high gear Saturday night in Vancouver.