Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stampeders See Several Familiar Faces on Expansion Ottawa Redblacks

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stampeders See Several Familiar Faces on Expansion Ottawa Redblacks

Article excerpt

Stampeders see familiar faces on Redblacks


CALGARY - Keon Raymond scored the first touchdown of his life off an interception at the age of nine. That set the tone for his football career.

The Calgary linebacker is one away from becoming the franchise leader in defensive touchdowns as the Stampeders (4-1) face the expansion Ottawa Redblacks (1-4) for the first time Saturday at McMahon Stadium.

Raymond tied Frank Andruski's club record last weekend when he intercepted former teammate Kevin Glenn and went 63 yards for the TD in Calgary's 25-24 loss to the B.C. Lions.

"It would be a blessing if I was able to get another one," Raymond said Friday. "I don't worry about it.

"If the opportunity presents itself, I want to take full advantage of it."

The 31-year-old is in his seventh season wearing Calgary's galloping horse logo. Raymond signed a contract extension with the club in January.

"It was one of the things I said when I signed back here is 'I want to be able to have my name on the side of this stadium one day,' " Raymond said. "That's one of the things that continues to fuel me."

Raymond's pick-six against B.C. was his fourth. The other two TDs have come on fumble recoveries.

He dabbled on offence as a receiver and running back in high school but said nothing beats the feeling of scoring off the opposing offence's mistakes.

"It sucks the life out of them and I don't mind being a vampire," he said.

A staunch Calgary defence allowing a league-low 15.1 points per game has been a huge difference for Calgary this season. The club's offence is the least productive in the West Division, averaging 24.6 points per game.

However, B.C. became the first CFL team this season to surpass the 100-yard rushing plateau against Calgary.

"Our biggest thing is to make sure we're in position to win the game at all times," Raymond said. "We did that.

"We just didn't close out defensively, so we want to make sure we're able to bounce back and continue to play defence the way we've been playing."

A former Stampeder quarterback returns to McMahon a second consecutive week although Ottawa's Henry Burris spent two seasons as Hamilton's starter following his seven-year stint in Calgary. However, Raymond's familiarity with Burris will certainly help him anticipate his one-time teammate's moves.

And in 2012, Raymond returned a Burris interception 100 yards for a touchdown but he says he won't shirk his defensive responsibilities for a shot returning a second Burris pick for the team record.

"I played with Hank for about five years and understand how he throws, what his looks are and what his main targets are," Raymond said. "It gives me a little bit of a bead on him, but I still have to make sure I'm doing my part, covering guys and in the right position."

Ottawa is coming off a 38-14 home loss to Saskatchewan and is averaging just 18. …

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