Stamps look to keep rolling against Argos

CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders will put a pair of winning streaks on the line when they host the Toronto Argonauts at McMahon Stadium on Saturday.

Although the Stampeders (6-1-1) only eked out a 21-17 road win over the B.C. Lions last week, it was good enough to run their winning streak to four consecutive games.

“We need to be tighter on our details and do what has provided us with winning football for many, many years, which is take care of the football, protect the quarterback and keep the penalties down,” said Calgary coach Dave Dickenson, who was disappointed with his team’s lack of execution, mental errors and penalties against the Lions. “If we do those things, I like our chances.”

The Stamps have also won 13 in a row in the friendly confines of McMahon Stadium, which is something that isn’t lost on Toronto quarterback Ricky Ray.

“It’s tough to play these guys regardless,” said Ray, who led the Argos (4-5) to a 38-6 thumping of the Montreal Alouettes last Saturday at Toronto’s BMO Field. “They’ve won a ton of games over the last little while. They’re just a solid team.

“They play great defence, great offence, great special teams. You’ve got to play your best if you want to beat these guys. It’s no different whether you’re here in Calgary or at home. We’ve got to bring our best game.”

Ray completed 35 of 43 passes for 377 yards against the Alouettes to go with four touchdown tosses and one interception.

“We look at it as a glimpse of a team we want to become,” Argos coach Marc Trestman said of his team’s impressive win over Montreal. “We’re going to try to build on what we did last week.

“If we continue to play hard and continue to play smart, we’ve got a chance to be in every game and that’s what it’s going to take (Saturday) night against an obviously very good football team in all three phases.”

Calgary linebacker Alex Singleton, who had eight tackles and one interception against the Lions, said the Stamps have to do whatever they can to disturb Ray’s timing and get him off his game.

“He’s got a rhythm, he’s got a routine and he gets into it, so you’ve got to do anything to break that,” said Singleton. “You’ve got to have a good pass rush and you’ve got to be in the right spots. You’ve got to know what they’re going to run, get in the way and hopefully make big plays against them.”

While the Stamps will play without defensive lineman Charleston Hughes and offensive lineman Dan Federkeil because of nagging ailments, they’ll welcome back defensive back Josh Bell and linebacker Deron Mayo from extended injury absences.

“The guys that are going to step in will be ready,” said Singleton, who hasn’t lost a game at home since joining the Stamps as a rookie last season. “The older guys, they’ve obviously figured out the secret. I just have to join along. It starts with the crowd. We feed off of that energy and it just flows through. It’s been a good time so far, so we’ve just got to keep it up.”

The Argos’ win over the Als wasn’t all good news for Toronto. They lost slotback Anthony Coombs (shoulder) and cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (leg) to injuries that will sideline them Saturday.

On a positive note, receiver DeVier Posey will make his return to Toronto’s lineup after missing the past six games with a leg injury.

“I’ve been eager and anxious to get back out there,” said Posey, who had 19 catches for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Toronto’s first three games. “Saturday can’t come soon enough.”

Argos’ rookie receiver Jimmy Ralph of Raymond, Alta., hopes to make the most of his opportunity playing in his home province for the first time.

“I’m going in and starting at home,” said Ralph, who estimated that he’ll have 40 family members in attendance. “It’s cool how it worked out but I’m excited. I’m excited for the opportunity to be able to do it at home in front of my family. That obviously makes it more fun.”

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