for this game

Eskimos freeze Calgary, maintain perfect start

Jul 24, 2011 - 3:16 AM Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Fred Stamps scored a pair of long touchdowns in the first half as he helped lead the Edmonton Eskimos to a 24-19 win over the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium.

Edmonton (4-0) quarterback Ricky Ray had a sub par effort, by his own standards, as he converted 12-of-27 passing for 229 yards and the two scores to Stamps. Ray also tossed his first interception of the season, the first since October of last year in fact, but still the Esks moved to a perfect start after four games for the first time in more than two decades.

The Stampeders (2-2) were paced by Henry Burris who connected on 28-of-46 passing for 372 yards and two TDs in the setback. It was the 58th 300-yard passing game for Burris, but still the Stampeders had a two-game win streak snapped as they bowed in the first installment of the ""Battle of Alberta".

Nik Lewis registered a game-high seven receptions, leading to 105 yards, as he extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 126.

Burris wasted little time in seeking out Lewis, hitting the receiver for a 16-yard gain on the first possession of the contest to extend his streak. Calgary had to punt the ball away after that, but on the team's second possession they capitalized with a 46-yard field goal by Rene Paredes to take an early lead.

On the ensuing possession for Edmonton, Stamps ran a post route and reeled in what turned into a 55-yard TD pass, pushing the Esks ahead by a 7-3 score.

With under two minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Stampeders cut into the deficit when Paredes logged a single on a missed field goal.

Moments into the second quarter Edmonton kicker Damon Duval connected on a 48- yard field goal to boost the team's advantage to 10-4.

Another single for Calgary, this time from Burke Dales on a 53-yard effort, was quickly answered by Ray and Stamps just moments later when the receiver pulled in a deep ball down the right sideline with his left hand, streaking into the end zone for the 65-yard major to make the score 17-5 after a successful PAT.

Edmonton put together a strong drive to begin the second half, moving the ball 67 yards on eight plays, but again the effort stalled and Duval was left to knock through a 20-yard field goal to make the score 20-5 for the visitors.

Six minutes later the Esks tacked on yet another single on a punt by Duval from 48 yards out.

Ray struggled in the third quarter, throwing for a mere 17 yards in the frame and also being picked off by Greg Fassitt eight minutes in.

The Stampeders finally found their way into the end zone when Burris delivered a bullet between two defenders to Romby Bryant from 17 yards away to cut the deficit to 21-11. Calgary opted to go for a two-point conversion, the first try being halted by a pass interference call. On the re-try the ball was placed at the one yard line and from there Burris short-armed a throw to Tim St. Pierre on the left side, leaving the hosts trailing by double-digits

In the fourth period a swing pass out to the right side by Burris landed in the hands of Jon Cornish who turned up the field and raced towards the goal line, leading for the end zone and having the ball pop loose when he hit the turf, but it was determined that he had tallied the major from 36 yards away to cap a quick four-play drive.

This time the Stampeders called on Paredes for the PAT and with the conversion Calgary drew to within three points at 21-18. A few minutes later, after another Calgary drive stalled, Paredes contributed another single on his second missed field goal to draw the Stampeders to within two points.

With two and a half minutes left the Eskimos benefited from a pair of penalties lodged against Calgary on the same play, allowing Edmonton to advance the ball deep in the Stampeders end of the field. From there Arkee Whitlock reached the four-yard line on an 18-yard run. Two plays later Whitlock had a chance to get the visitors back into the end zone but he failed to pull down a Ray pass and that brought on Duval for a successful 10-yard field goal.

Down by five points with 1:32 remaining, Calgary began at its own 12 yard line and picked up small chunks of yardage until Burris fired over the middle for Lewis who brought the ball down on Edmonton's side of the field.

On third down and needing a full 10 yards with 33 seconds left, Calgary failed to contain three pass rushers as Burris was hit behind the line and his pass attempt fell unanswered.

Game Notes

Ray started the game with 124 pass attempts without having suffered an interception, a run that stretched back to October 16 of last season...Ray's streak reached 141 attempts before the pick by Fassitt, the first of his CFL career...Whitlock faced his first action of the season after sitting out the first three games with a hamstring injury...Ray entered the week ranked 10th in CFL history with 36,939 passing yards, while Burris was one spot ahead on the list with 38,322 yards...Last season the Eskimos were outscored 108-20 in the two meetings between the teams at McMahon Stadium...Calgary entered today having won six in a row in the series.