Lions ready for a cat fight

DANIEL WILSON, 24 HOURS VANCOUVER

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

The B.C. Lions (7-5) look to extend their winning streak to four with a contest against the perennially basement-dwelling Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-10).

Hamilton enters the meeting with the CFL's worst record, having lost five in a row, while B.C. seems to have turned their fortunes around after a slow start to the 2008 campaign.

With a win against Hamilton Saturday, the Lions would run the gamut of September undefeated. To begin the month, they defeated the lowly Tiger-Cats and then took both contests of a back-to-back home-and-away series against the formerly league leading Saskatchewan Roughriders.

While the CFL's East Division is a complete mess, with three of four teams performing below .500, the West Division hosts four teams, all with winning records and all within one win of each other for top spot. B.C. enters Week 14 tied for third place with the Edmonton Eskimos, while Calgary and Saskatchewan are deadlocked for the division lead with six weeks left in the season.

Receiver Jason Clermont will return to the Lions lineup this week. Clermont dressed last week in Saskatchewan, but remained on the sidelines, still feeling the effects of an injury to his neck and shoulder that was causing problems with his nerve endings. Also back among the Lions receiving corps will be Clarence Coleman, who missed four weeks with a calf injury. Coleman steps into fellow rookie Rufus Skillern's spot on the roster.

Despite being knocked unconscious against Saskatchewan, Lions quarterback Buck Pierce will start for the Lions Saturday, insisting he has no lasting effects from having his bell rung.

Following the Tiger-Cats 35-12 loss to the Lions earlier this month, head coach Charlie Taaffe received his walking papers and was promptly replaced by interim head coach Marcel Bellefeuille. Bellefeuille hasn't faired well, though in his two games at the helm, losing close contests 38-33 and 25-23 to Edmonton and Winnipeg, respectively.

Another noticeable change for the Tiger-Cats since their last encounter with the Lions is at the pivot position. Familiar face Casey Printers is out and in his place is Quinton Porter, who has barely touched the field in a live CFL game.

Kenton Keith has finally found a new home in the CFL with Hamilton after being cut by the NFL's Indianapolis Colts out of training camp. If Keith doesn't make it into the Cats lineup for this weekend's tilt, it could still drive up the play of fellow running backs Jesse Lumsden and Terry Caulley, in an effort to avoid being the odd man out, once Keith does join the squad.

Lions kicker Paul McCallum was named the CFL's Special Teams Player of the Week, Wednesday, following a six field goal performance last week, accounting for 18 of B.C.'s 27 points that night. His longest on the night was a tricky 50-yard boot through the wind at Saskatchewan's Mosaic Stadium.

Troubled former Lions receiver Josh Boden - a Vancouver native - has landed on Hamilton's development roster. Boden was released by the Lions prior to the start of the 2008 season, after assault, theft and mischief charges, which he was eventually cleared of.

The game goes tomorrow night at B.C. Place, with kickoff at 7 p.m. It's available live on TSN (local blackout may be in effect) and on the Team 1040.


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