Passing the ball to Buck

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

The 9-0 B.C. Lions return this afternoon to Ottawa's Frank Clair Stadium, the place where they last tasted defeat.

The bitter meal was a 27-19 loss served last Nov. 21 by the Toronto Argonauts in 2004's Grey Cup in the national capital.

It's a different season (late summer), a different opponent (the 5-5 Renegades) and the Lions will perhaps field a different quarterback as they aim to extend their winning streak to double digits.

No. 1 pivot Dave Dickenson, on the mend from a separated shoulder suffered Aug. 19 versus Hamilton, will be a game-time decision.

"It's been two weeks off and I feel kind of rusty," Dickenson said after practice at the team's Whalley field.

If he's not fit to go, rookie Buck Pierce will make his first start after engineering a 19-15 comeback win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Aug. 27.

His mission is simple.

"Take care of the ball, that's something the starter has to do," said Pierce, who was 9-for-12 with 131 yards in Regina. "Not turn the ball over early and get yourself in a hole."

Pierce has done the job so far, going three-for-three with a touchdown in his debut against Hamilton and then reigniting the Lions after Casey Printers' shoulder was reinjured at Taylor Field. Jarious Jackson will dress as the Lions' No. 3 QB because Printers is on the injured list. Printers' MRI scan last Friday found no new damage.

Some circumstances of today's matchup remain the same as the teams' previous 2005 meeting. That was on July 8 in the wake of the Lions' first bye week and the Renegades first meeting with the Montreal Alouettes.

Ottawa came to B.C. Place riding the wave of the 39-36 overtime upset of the Alouettes on Canada Day in Ottawa. This time, Ottawa is recovering from a 41-18 drubbing in Montreal on Sept. 2.

Lions trailed at halftime but beat the Renegades 37-29 in Vancouver. Ex-Renegade Aaron Lockett ran 75 yards on a punt return for a Lions' touchdown in the third quarter to give B.C. the lead. Ottawa quarterback Kerry Joseph added a late touchdown.

The story of the game, however, was Anthony Collier's record five sacks on Dickenson - including three in the first quarter.

"Maybe we'll block him a little bit better this time," said head coach and general manager Wally Buono.

Renegades Cam Legault and D'Wayne Taylor combined for another sack, while Matt Kellett turned a pair of B.C. fumbles into field goals.

"They're not the same team they were when they came in and played us," said B.C. defensive end Brent Johnson. "They've got a lot of confidence and some great players."

Joseph, the league's offensive player of the week twice this season, completed 26 of his 43 passes for 333 yards in a losing cause against Montreal. He was intercepted twice.


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