Quarterback quandary

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

It's going to be a real puzzle of the pivots tomorrow at B.C. Place Stadium when the 7-4 Montreal Alouettes visit the 8-3 B.C. Lions.

Lions are winners of six consecutive games, but are only two points ahead of the Calgary Stampeders in the West Division standings.

After their second bye of the season, they're poised to make it a seventh. But it might hinge on quarterback Dave Dickenson's right ankle. He sprained it Aug. 4 in a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos and again Sept. 1 in Montreal when the Lions handed the Alouettes their fourth consecutive loss.

"We're in a great groove right now," Dickenson said. Dickenson has a 68.6 per cent completion rate with 17 touchdowns and is wearing an ankle brace, but insists he'll be ready. The league's most resilient quarterback isn't called Super Dave by teammates for nothing.

Buck Pierce earned himself offensive player of the week honours after beating Montreal when he threw a trio of touchdowns in relief and will be at the ready if Dickenson can't start or finish.

With every game the 24-year-old plays, Lions' fans are learning to let go of Casey Printers. Jarious Jackson, the 29-year-old Notre Dame Fighting Irish alumnus, waits in the wings after ineffective early-season appearances and is restricted to short-yardage situations.

Toronto Argonauts share the East Division lead with the Als, but Montreal has a game in hand. That's the only solace for veteran Anthony Calvillo who is under fire as the club's hot start has turned into an icy slide.

After guiding the 2005 Grey Cup losers to a 7-0 record, the 33-year-old has thrown some embarrassing interceptions during the quartet of losses.

Als' head coach Don Matthews, in the worst slump of his five years in Montreal, has former Saskatchewan Roughrider Nealon Greene and ex-Tiger-Cat Marcus Brady ready to pick up the pieces if Calvillo falters.


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