VANCOUVER -- Maybe the Buck doesn't stop here after all.
B.C. Lions quarterback Buck Pierce, wearing the pressure of starting in the biggest game of the CFL season, couldn't be stopped last night as the Leos trashed the visiting Calgary Stampeders 39-13 at B.C. Place Stadium.
If there was any question which team is the best in the West, we now know the answer.
The Stamps, on the other hand, walked off the field looking puzzled and frustrated.
"We had no answers for the B.C. Lions tonight," said head coach Tom Higgins.
"They controlled the line of scrimmage, on offence and defence."
Pierce, a second-year Lion, started in place of No. 1 pivot Dave Dickenson, out indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome. The Stamps thought they could beat the Lions without Dickenson.
In just his second CFL season, it was Pierce who looked like the cool veteran instead of Stamps counterpart Henry Burris.
"That was an old-fashioned butt-whooping in all three phases," Burris said.
"We couldn't pass the ball, we couldn't run the ball, we couldn't do anything."
Pierce, on the other hand, was so good it could have been Dickenson, the Stamps' nemesis the last four times the teams met, who had slipped into Pierce's No. 16 for the occasion.
After having his first pass of the game nearly intercepted by Stamps linebacker John Grace, Pierce completed 14 consecutive passes while piling up 21 points on the scoreboard. He finished the night completing 25 of 31 passes for 297 yards, one TD and one interception.
Burris, meanwhile, completed just six-of-11 first-half passes for 81 yards and one interception.
In all he completed just eight of 21 passes for 129 yards while serving up three interceptions.
His second pick went to Javier Glatt in the fourth quarter trailing 26-6. Ryan Phillips converted a third interception into a 23-yard touchdown. Burris eventually gave way to backup QB Danny McManus, who put together a late TD drive capped by a one-yard Joffrey Reynolds run.
Reynolds had just 30 yards on 10 carries, his worst game of the season.
The entire Stampeders team fielded its poorest effort of the 2006 CFL campaign when they could have put themselves in position to claim first place in the West.
With its win, B.C. (11-4) clinches a home playoff game. Should Saskatchewan lose or tie Monday at Montreal, the Lions would also claim first place in the CFL West Division and the right to host the West final.
The 9-7 Stamps still have to fend off the third-place Roughriders (7-7) to secure second place and a home playoff date.
Geroy Simon, who had engaged Stampeders receivers Nik Lewis and Jeremaine Copeland in trash talk most of the week, caught six passes for 90 yards in the opening 30 minutes.
Lewis and Copeland, meanwhile, combined for two catches for 49 yards.
DeAngelis kicked field goals from 25 and 45 yards.