Buono orders better fourth quarters

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

B.C. Lions are stunning starters. But they're finicky finishers.

Lions have dominated their opponents in the first 45 minutes of each game in 2006, much like they dominated their opponents for two-thirds of the entire 2005 season.

Problem is, they're having trouble sealing the deal.

"We've just got to finish like we start," said Lions' defensive back Barron Miles. "Start strong, finish strong; if we start weak, we've got to finish even stronger."

Lions (2-2) have outscored opponents 93-58 through three quarters, but are only 22-48 in the fourth.

They can fix that tonight at home against the 1-2 Saskatchewan Roughriders, the team that exposed the Lions' weakness in the June 16 home opener and exploited it when the teams met again June 25 in Regina.

Quarterback Kerry Joseph, in his home debut, engineered a 103-yard drive for a last-minute tie and Saskatchewan rookie Luca Congi's convert made it 25-24. Eddie Davis' interception returned for a touchdown put the game out of reach for the Lions.

Lions are still without the services of receivers Jason Clermont and Tony Simmons. Tough luck for the former NLFLer whose season ended in similar fashion last year.

Head coach Wally Buono is seeking a trade to restore the Lions' pass-catching depth. Until then, Dickenson will rely heavily on Geroy Simon.

Simon had his sixth touchdown of the season to help the Lions take an 11-7 lead against the Eskimos a week ago before torrential rains halted the game. Eskimos took advantage of the 28-minute rain delay when the game was resumed. The last six minutes of the second quarter were deferred to the second half.

The ejection of returning vet Joe Montford for rough play wasn't a factor in Edmonton's 27-20 win.


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