Lions ready to lick Stamps

BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS VANCOUVER

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

The B.C. Lions were 0-3 against the Calgary Stampeders in the regular season, but they are hoping to break their nemesis in tomorrow's CFL West final and earn a trip to the 96th Grey Cup in Montreal (1:30 p.m. 1410 CFUN/TSN HD).

The Leos and Stamps meet at McMahon Stadium in Calgary where the kickoff weather conditions will be drier and warmer than in Vancouver: The forecast is for sunny skies and a high of 13 C. The thermometer could drop in the fourth quarter as sunset approaches. The forecast low is -1 C.

The Lions were 28-18 losers to the Stampeders in Calgary in the second game of the CFL schedule on opening day, June 19. Calgary also beat B.C. 36-29 on Aug. 29 in Vancouver and the teams ended the CFL regular season with a 41-30 Stamps' win on Nov. 1.

The Stampeders enjoyed the bye they earned for finishing first while the Lions eliminated the defending Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina.

The last time Calgary hosted a West final was 2000 when the Lions upset the Stamps and returned a week later to beat the Montreal Alouettes in the Grey Cup.

Is concussion-prone, ex-B.C. Lions' quarterback Dave Dickenson the X-factor? Sept. 1 may have been his last career game, but his knowledge of the Lions' offence and especially what makes his buddy and former understudy Buck Pierce tick could be invaluable for head coach John Hufnagel.

Slotback Geroy Simon and lineman Jason Jimenez were named CFL offensive all-stars. Linemen Cam Wake, Brent Johnson and Aaron Hunt, along with secondary standouts Barron Miles and Dante Marsh, earned defensive honours.

To win, the Lions simply need a better defensive showing in Calgary tomorrow. In the regular season finale, Hufnagel opted to rest Henry Burris in the second half and replace him with Barrick Nealy. Nealy was just one-for-two in the air for nine yards, but rushed for three touchdowns. B.C. needs to shut down running back Joffrey Reynolds and receiver Ken-Yon Rambo. The Lions also need to cash in their turnovers. The defence did its job last week, but the B.C. offence was severely lacking in a sluggish start. The Leos converted a whopping four Roughriders' first quarter turnovers into just seven points.

If the Leos' front four can get to Burris and stop the Reynolds rush, it'll be B.C. by two. If not, it could be another Stamps' blowout.


Videos

Photos