How the West was lost?

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

A true test of coaching experience are the decisions made when you are losing. So credit Wally Buono and the B.C. Lions for what they've done.

When the Lions left Edmonton after a loss to the Eskimos July 30 and both teams had just one win, only one of them started making rash moves.

Buono didn't panic. The winningest coach in CFL history wouldn't allow his club to fire coaches, release starters or get down on themselves despite dropping to 1-7.

The Esks managed to win a game after firing GM Danny Maciocia, losing two coaches and jettisoning their starting right tackle, but now they have completely unravelled.

The Lions have won two straight by sticking to the gameplan and adding veteran CFLers that were on the market -- lineman Joe McGrath and defensive tackle Jonathan Brown being just two.

The Esks, meanwhile, cut their starting left tackle, Calvin Armstrong, and are hoping to finalize a deal to bring in Eric Tillman as their new GM.

If Tillman were to get hired right now, chances are there will be more changes, and it might be too late.

OPENING DRIVE

Never count Geroy Simon out. Three weeks ago, some might have, but the veteran Lions receiver has yardage totals of 81, 75 and 133 since then. He quietly moved past Ray Elgaard for fifth on the league's all-time list and is now third in CFL receiving yards this season ... Montreal Alouettes SB Ben Cahoon now needs just nine catches for 1,000 in his career, and he should pass Terry Vaughn (1,006) for the all-time lead in a few weeks ... Hamilton Tiger- Cats QB Kevin Glenn wasn't pleased about being pulled for Quinton Porter with two minutes left in the third quarter against the Als. "I didn't agree with it, and that's pretty much it, but he makes the decisions," Glenn said about Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille ... It took a long time, but the Saskatchewan Roughr iders may have finally realized Dominique Dorsey isn't the answer at returner. Dorsey looked lost on a kickoff and let a punt bounce of his shoulder pads before being replaced by Weston Dressler in Sunday's Banjo Bowl. "It was my worst game ever," Dorsey said. He might not get a chance again with the Riders, who have the versatile Hugh Charles on the reserve list ... Poor Ronald Flemons. Now that he bobbled a would-be TD, he won't be known as just the guy who was traded for Kerry Joseph ... How does TSN's Milt Stegall's prediction the Stamps would miss the playoffs look now that they can clinch a spot in Week 12? To be fair, this page didn't pick the Stamps to be in the Grey Cup.

ENDZONE TOSS

Amazing turnaround for Als QB Adrian McPherson. Coming off knee surgery, he is the first Als pivot to rush for more than 100 yards. His poise also helped the Als win for the fourth time since 2000 when Anthony Calvillo didn't start ... Speaking of comebacks, Stamps DB Brandon Smith is having an impressive one. With four picks in two games, he's showing what could have been had he not lost a season due to a torn ACL ... Despite not playing in the past four games, Esks WR Fred Stamps is still 10th in CFL receiving yards ...The two points allowed is the lowest by the Bombers since they shut out the hapless Ticats 29-0 way back on July 28, 2006. The two points is the fewest the Riders scored since Aug. 21, 1997, which was a 27-1 loss in Toronto ... The Bombers have improved their record to 31-12 since 1985 when Canad Inns Stadium has more than 29,000 fans in announced attendance.

EXTRA POINTS

Stamps QB Henry Burris moved past Doug Flutie for most rushing TDs by a pivot in club history ... The Argos have not scored a fourth-quarter point in the past three games ... Riders SB Andy Fantuz hasn't scored a TD in seven-plus games ... Three Ticats are on pace for 1,000 yards this season, which has never happened in franchise history. It hasn't happened for the Riders since 1993, but they could have four if Chris Getzlaf and Rob Bagg pick it up ... Lions QB Casey Printers had his first 300-yard game this season ... With all the kickers struggling, consider Justin Palardy was available to anyone a month ago. He is 5-of-6 since joining the Bombers.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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