Stamps ready to take on Riders at rowdy Mosaic Field
After a bumpy regular season that started slow but ended with a late surge, the Stampeders are set to turn their attention to the post-season.
After a 2-5 start, it didn't look like there would be any post season at all in 2021, but the Stamps finished 8-6, good enough for third place in the west and a Sunday date in the semi-final against the Roughriders at rowdy Mosaic Field in Regina.
Sunday it's a new season, says Stampeder linebacker Darnell Sankey.
"Playoffs is a completely different game," Sankey said. "It's just magnified. You've got to cut down on the mistakes. Everyone is like that bit more serious and as a team, you have a bit more oomph in you."
The Stamps took two of three games from Regina during the season, but still finished behind them in the standings.
Wide out Kamar Jorden said the team feels confident of its chances.
"We've got a good game plan," he said. "We kind of understand what they want to do and how we want to attack them, so I would hope that they're confident – but we're also confident in this game, so I think, get it going."
Weather can always be a factor in November on the prairies, but the forecast for Sunday is for six degrees.
Punter Cody Grace says the team will be ready no matter what.
"Practice has been pretty cold with wind and stuff," he said. "So I've been trying to pick up tips and tricks from everyone who's played in the cold before…so yeah, we'll see how it goes.
"Fingers crossed it doesn't get that much colder."
And if the weather doesn't play much of a role in deciding the outcome, the 34,000 fans at Mosaic will do their best to tilt the field a little.
For Sankey, the boisterous Rider fans are something to look forward to.
"It's definitely one of the most hostile fields I've been in since I've been in the CFL," Sankey said. "I love that. I love going into an opponent's ring and you know I’m playing. The crowd is obviously going to be there and they're going to be all in green and white, and screaming and hollering – and that's what football is about."
Sankey, Jorden and Grace all got named west division all stars Wednesday, part of a seven player Stampeder contingent that also included running back Ka'deem Carey, offensive lineman Sean McEwen, defensive lineman Mike Rose and placekicker Rene Parades.