Lions getting good kicks in 2006

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

What a difference a year makes.

B.C. Lions picked up free agent Paul McCallum, ex of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, to solve the club's kicking woes.

Entering the 17th game of the season, McCallum hasn't missed one of his 49 converts and is 36-for-42 on field goals.

He's third in the league behind Calgary's Sandro DeAngelis and Montreal's Damon Duval with 161 points.

That's in stark contrast to last season when Duncan O'Mahony was 26-for-42 and missed two of his 42 converts. Head coach Wally Buono finally buckled to pressure and made an emergency call to ex-Calgary Stampeder Mark McLoughlin. Buono convinced retired "Mc" to kick.

While he didn't miss a convert, he was nine-for-12 on field goals. Buono's emergency solution so late in the year nearly backfired when McLoughlin suffered a hamstring injury in the regular season finale on a 57-yard kickoff.

McCallum had early-season groin problems, which prompted Buono to scoop Roughrider training camp cut Rob Pikula.


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