Hakunavanhu stamps makes a name

VANCOUVER – Dave Dickenson is nothing if he isn’t honest.

The Calgary Stampeders head coach admitted that during the first half of Saturday night’s game against the BC Lions, he yelled at his sidelines because no one had a chance. water on the ground during a downtime.

He later found out that you are not allowed to do this during a downtime.

Dickenson said the confusion stems from the absence of their longtime video operations director Ross Folan, who hit his head and was unable to travel with the team. With the absence of an integral person behind the scenes, things can get a little messy on the sidelines.

He laughed the whole scene thinking about it. The players were misaligned. There was confusion about where you can and cannot bring water. Then the field play was not performed correctly. Then TSN caught him asking everyone around him if anyone was working today.

“At the end of the day, I guess I’m just a hothead,” the coach joked.

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The Stamps survived that and went on to claim a 39-10 victory over the Lions. It was as complete a victory as one could hope for. Bo Levi Mitchell failed to throw an interception for the first time this season. Calgary’s o-line did not give up a sack and his d-line hit Michael Reilly three times, while the defense took away two interceptions (one for a touchdown), as he entered that game in n ‘by launching only one. year. Roc Thomas had a kickoff return touchdown.

Missing a number of his more familiar targets including Kamar Jorden (hamstring) and Josh Huff, who was hit at the last minute with food poisoning, Mitchell distributed the ball to a young receiving team. .

Spot Dickenson’s honesty.

“The best thing was it was a bunch of guys who nobody knows their name who are stepping up to make plays,” he said.

It won’t stay that way if these players keep doing this.

Rookie Luther Hakunavanhu could be near the top of that list of players currently on anonymity. The Stamps’ fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Hakunavanhu had three catches for 56 yards, the team’s first touchdown of the night and a recovery from a blocked punt. Saturday only scored his third game this season, having made his debut against Hamilton in Week 7 with four catches and 88 yards.

“You can all see me on the field,” Mitchell said, gesturing like he was pointing, “I’m pointing at Dave, like you, let him in.”

Hakunavanhu is six feet four inches tall and weighs 202 pounds. Against BC’s smaller defensive backs, Mitchell saw a gap the York University rookie could exploit.

A fifth-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft and a player who was originally on the regional combine roster, Hakunavanhu shows he belongs to the CFL (Paul Yates / BCLions.com)

“Their DBs are exceptional,” Mitchell said. “They’re probably there at the top of the league. My thing is, the only downside is their size. TJ (Lee), a hell of a DB, my college mate but him, Marcus Sayles, they’re not the biggest guys in the world and neither are their field guys. When you have the opportunity to have a guy who for me can go and play, let him do it.

“He did a hell of a job. He did a great job. He didn’t look tired at all. We are starting to realize that we have a lot of weapons and that we can use them in different ways. And I want to try to keep everyone involved. Luther’s play did not surprise me. The funny thing is he’s hungry for it. They are all hungry to get the ball back and I will continue to do my best to be that point guard and bring it to them.

Normally, a Canadian rookie receiver’s season is all about patience, especially when you’re a late draft pick. Hakunavanhu is all the more interesting since he came from the fringes of the draft. Although the CFL has not held any combines in person this year due to the pandemic, Hakunavanhu has been listed as a regional combine participant. Unable to understand him or see him face to face, the Stamps watched his film and made a decision.

“We saw talent,” Dickenson said.

“We saw a guy who could do plays but had a lot of drops in college and we were really trying to figure out without seeing him live what’s the problem there? Is it more of a technical thing that we think we can work on or is it his hands? His hands, but he’s been great from day one.

Hakunavanhu’s first words when asked about this season went to his receivers coach in York, former Edmonton Elk wide receiver Kamau Peterson, who he says prepared him for the CFL. .

“He’s always in my ear, someone I can talk to throughout the season to keep my head down, make sure I’m ready. That way I don’t have to prepare for situations like this, ”he said.

“That I’m on the PR, keep your head down, keep playing fast. My luck will come and so make sure you run when your opportunity is given. So it’s just the state of mind that I have and then continue from there.

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About Keith Johnson

Keith Johnson

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