Lions ready to rumble

BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS VANCOUVER

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

The B.C. Lions visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Taylor Field at Mosaic Stadium for the CFL's West division semifinal tomorrow (1:30 p.m. Team 1040/TSN HD). On the line is a trip to Calgary to meet the first-place Stampeders in the Nov. 15 West final.

The Roughiders were West final winners last year en route to their Grey Cup win. A year earlier the Lions beat Saskatchewan to win the West final and then the Grey Cup.

The Lions sandwiched a 5-0 mid-season run between a 4-5 start and 2-2 finish for a grand total of 11-7. Records are re-set to zero, but can the Lions forget about last Saturday's 41-30 loss in Calgary that relegated them to third place? The Riders, who are defending Grey Cup champions, were second place in the West at 12-6 and are on a 3-0 roll.

"This team has the ability to be resilient and play well when their back is against the wall," said Lions' head coach and general manager Wally Buono. "The fans are the winners, hopefully it's a game that everybody will be proud of."

Good news for the B.C. Lions. It'll be sunnier in Regina than in Vancouver tomorrow. Bad news? The forecast high is 0 Celsius and the low is minus 13.

Quarterback Michael Bishop had an unremarkable year being dealt from the Toronto Argonauts. The Riders also have Darien Durant, Steven Jyles and veteran Marcus Crandell. B.C. will go with Buck Pierce, but don't be surprised to see Buono start the second half with Jarious Jackson if Pierce isn't up to snuff.

Leos' wide receiver Paris Jackson is the Canadian of the month for October and Aaron Hunt is the defensive player of the month. Hunt had three sacks, 10 tackles and a forced fumble that led to a Cameron Wake touchdown. Wake was the runner-up. Jackson had three touchdowns and 376 yards on 24 catches in the last five games.

Saskatoon-born Gene Makowsky's job is simple: To help keep the Lions' powerhouse defensive line from ruining the day for whichever Saskatchewan pivot is handling the ball. Good luck! Makowsky is the West finalist for offensive player of the year.

Roughriders' rookie Weston Dressler will get special attention from the B.C. secondary. The West nominee for rookie of the year caught 56 times for 1,128 yards and six touchdowns.


Videos

Photos