Eyes on the prize

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- At either end of the B.C. Lions dressing room there is unfinished business.

For Dave Dickenson - who was nothing short of sensational in yesterday's West Final victory against Saskatchewan - he's never won the Grey Cup as a starting quarterback.

For Brent Johnson, there has yet to be a Grey Cup victory or even a single sack on his resume.

ONE APPEARANCE

For Geroy Simon - the soon to be announced CFL Most Outstanding Player - his eight-year CFL career is also missing a title. In fact, he has just three Grey Cup catches in one meagre appearance.

But when the Leos touch down in Winnipeg tomorrow, their sole purpose is fixing those glaring problems against the Montreal Alouettes.

"I just feel like this is our year," said Dickenson. "We have got the right guys."

In 2004, Wally Buono chose Dickenson over Casey Printers - the league's Most Outstanding Player - to start the Cup in Ottawa, but the move backfired as the Leos lost 27-19 to Toronto.

In 1999, Dickenson threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns for the Calgary Stampeders on championship Sunday but lost to the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

"It is going to be tough (this time)," he admitted late yesterday. "Montreal is a team that at any week can play as good as anybody."

But so far this year, Montreal has yet to beat B.C.

In back-to-back games in September, the Orange Crush crew easily defeated the Als by a combined score of 84-33.

In the second game of the series, Dickenson threw for 309 yards and found Simon for two touchdowns.

"This year is going to be our year," continued Simon.

"We are going to go to prepare to get a win and we are going to get that ring. We didn't get the job done (in 2004). We didn't finish.

"But this year is different - we have been saying it all year."

Ghost of Rider past ...

If Roy Shivers was indeed inside B.C. Place yesterday, he saw first-hand how big of a mistake he made in 2002.

As Rider general manager that year, Shivers couldn't select Regina product Jason Clermont in the CFL college draft because he had earlier dealt away the first overall pick for a broken down offensive lineman named Andrew Moore.

In the biggest game of his playoff career, Clermont led all receivers with nine catches yesterday for 98 yards.

"It's nice to be able to go home to (Regina now) and not have to explain how we lost to the Riders (this year)," he said with a smile last night. "It's definitely a tough loss for that team and those fans.

''It is just too bad we couldn't have had a Riders-B.C. Grey Cup."

Finish lines ...

One thing is guaranteed in Riderville: Luca Congi will not be the punter next year.

The worst punter in the league during the regular season, the raw rookie was brutal yesterday, shanking a 16-yard punt and ending the day with a 32-yard average ... Heart-breaking scene in the Rider dressing room: Defensive back Omarr Morgan with a black towel on his head facing the back of his stall while the media milled around.


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