A daunting defeat at the time, the 15-2-1 Stampeders didn’t lose again until four months later — an Oct. 30 throwaway game against the Alouettes, denying them a chance at history as the only Canadian Football League team to lose a single regular-season game.
Still, that Longest Yard. The Stampeders have worked assiduously on converting short-yardage situations into first downs and touchdowns because, for all the pyrotechnics provided by Mitchell — a lock to be named the league’s most outstanding player — the small details are absolutely necessary for championship football.
“Across the league, it’s been hard as heck getting the one yard this year,” Dickenson says. “Everyone’s bigger and stronger. People actually practise goal-line defence. It’s not an easy thing to get that yard. It’s been proven week in and week out this year.”
A year ago, Andrew Buckley, the Canadian college player of the year two years running, was quarterbacking the University of Calgary Dinos wholesale NFL jerseys in the Hardy Cup game against the UBC Thunderbirds. He threw for a CIS record 3,162 wholesale jerseys yards as the Dinos went 8-0 before losing in a playoff upset cheap NFL jerseys to the ‘Birds.
While he has thrown just two passes as cheap jerseys a CFL rookie, completing one, Buckley has provided a slight but vital edge as a Stampeder quarterback specialist. His job: scanning the opposition on short-yardage situations, figuring out if the defensive linemen are going to submarine or penetrate, then skittering through a rathole for a first down or touchdown. It’s tough to do, because everybody knows what’s coming.
Still, Buckley has scored eight rushing TDs this season, one fewer than Edmonton’s Mike Reilly, the CFL’s top rushing quarterback, and four more than Lions’ starter Jonathon Jennings.
“Andrew’s been one of the better guys in the league,” Dickenson says. “Pat DelMonaco (offensive line coach) does a lot of our short yardage package, to give our guys an idea where we’re going. Sometimes, it’s right over the nose (tackle). Sometimes, right, left. We have a different bunch of Kansas City Chiefs jerseys options.”
Buckley’s plan after CIS football was to go to med school, following the career path of his parents who are both physicians. But, for now, he is involved in the science of football, attending classes in a hothouse learning environment with Mitchell, Dickenson and president and general manager John Hufnagel as his tutors.
All are former college quarterbacks — at Penn State (Hufnagel), Montana (Dickenson) and Eastern Washington (Mitchell) — and current or former starters in the CFL.