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October 25, 2018

PREVIEW: CGY @ WPG

It’s time to bounce back.

The Stampeders look to end their two game losing skid this Saturday, as they hit the road to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Investors Group Field Friday night.

Once again, a first place finish in the West is on the line for the Red & White, who are coming off of a 29-24 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders Oct. 20.

“We need to work, we need to get better,” said head coach Dave Dickenson at practice this week. “But win or lose I’m not going to change what we tell our guys. We know it’s towards the end of the year, so let’s make sure we’re out there with a purpose, cover everything we can, put in the extra time, the extra work and go out there and play.”

The Bombers on the other hand will be well-rested as they come off a bye-week. They most recently shut-out the Riders 31-0 on Oct. 13 to earn their fourth straight victory.

And with Winnipeg averaging 33 points per game over their last four, the Stampeders defence will need to shut things down early.

“I think mentally if you’re locked in you should be tackling,” Dickenson said. “I think (last game) was a tell-tale sign maybe defensively that we weren’t there, we weren’t locked in as we needed to be and it can’t happen again.”

Especially not when they’re taking on Winnipeg’s star running back Andrew Harris.

“They have a lot of weapons in the receiving corps, they can do a lot of things,” Dickenson explained. “Andrew is one of their best players and if you’re going to have success against their offence you’ve got to be able to try to limit his YAC. He catches a lot of balls, he runs, so you’re not just trying to stop the run, but you’re trying to make sure he doesn’t get a lot of yards after touching it.”

It’ll be a test for Stamps newcomer DaShaun Amos, who will likely take over Tre Roberson’s cornerback position after the talented first-year Stamp suffered an injury.

“Tre is going to have trouble getting in there,” Dickenson said. “He’s hurting so we’re definitely giving Amos of the reps; he certainly looks the part so hopefully he’ll hold up against a great receiving corps.

“When he came up we weren’t sure he was going to play but he’s just fit in and done the right things. We do feel like he gives us not only good depth, but some good fresh legs out there.”

And after a few slow performances, there’s no question the crew is ready to get back to their dominating defensive presence in the CFL.

“The key is to just make tackles,” said linebacker Alex Singleton. “The last few weeks the reason teams have been moving the ball is just because we haven’t tackled as well as we usually do. That’s what I think separated us earlier in the season.

“I think it’s the mindset, just getting back to doing what we were doing, staying aggressive staying on each other and just communicate.”

As for the offence, like last week, the Stamps are keeping their options open as three running backs have been practicing – Romar Morris, Terry Williams and Don Jackson.

“We’ve got keep guys ready,” Dickenson said. “I think they’re all good players, and I think they add different things to the offence and special teams. We’re going to pick the best two and move forward form there.”

Also similar to last week, the receiving corps and Bo Levi Mitchell are continuing to experiment.

“You’ve got to find out what they do well,” Dickenson said. “You’re trying to move them around to get them in spots where they do well. But then that’s a lot more learning…the more you move them around the harder it is because you get busts. But you also have to find out what they do well and take advantage of that.”

With another difficult contest ahead of them, the Stampeders are trying to keep the same winning mindset that has them sitting atop the league at 12-4.

“We have to not think about the losses, it happens, its football,” said receiver Lemar Durant. “We’re just so used to winning that when we lose it kind of seems like everything is going south. Those were tough games, we didn’t play our best.

“We just have to come out and play the way we know how to play, and clinch the West.”

The additions to this week’s 46-man roster are LB Maleki Harris, DB DaShaun Amos, DL Folarin Orimolade, and DL Ese Mrabure. The subtractions are DB Tre Roberson, LB Jameer Thurman, DL Derek Wiggan, and DL James Vaughters.