Pierce has Bucked up regardless of punishment he's absorbed

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

Buck Pierce has dealt with a number of injuries during his time as a CFL pivot.

But one play during his college career illustrates just how high his pain threshold is.

When the B.C. Lions starting quarterback was a sophomore at New Mexico State, his fibula was broken on a bootleg.

Without getting tackled, Pierce decided to keep running, dragging his leg behind him for a 45-yard touchdown run.

"I broke it on both sides," said the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder. "It was already down, so I thought I might as well keep going. They were gaining on me pretty fast but I managed to get into the endzone. It ended my season, but we won by two that game, so it was worth it."

That, in a nutshell, sums up Buck Pierce's competitive nature.

In his time in the CFL, he's had various shoulder, ankle and rib injuries, but he has never complained.

His teammates respect the fact he will take a hit to deliver a pass, even as they cringe watching him do it.

But Pierce never stays down, no matter who is driving him into the turf.

"What helps me be a good player is my competitiveness," Pierce said. "It's the way I approach each game and each snap.

"I love this game and I love competing. When I'm not competing, I just don't feel right.

"Injuries are going to happen and they have happened in the past to me, which is unfortunate. You can only play this game so long, so I'm going to enjoy it."

For as long as Pierce has been in the CFL, he has been compared to another quarterback who used to play for the Lions.

Dave Dickenson was the prototype for staying in the pocket to get the perfect pass off, but now the Stampeders backup is going to retire at season's end due to concussion issues.

Although Pierce and Dickenson are good friends, don't expect the former to tone down his aggressive style to play longer.

"Dave has had his injuries in the past but he always stuck his nose in there, would take the shot and pop back up," Pierce said.

"That's why people really respected him."

McMahon Stadium hasn't been kind to Pierce in the past, so there's no reason to suspect it will be any differen today in the West final (2:30 p.m., TSN).

Last year, Pierce was tripped up and separated his throwing shoulder when he landed awkwardly on the turf.

In the season-opener this year, he didn't finish after getting roughed up and suffering from more shoulder issues.

But he came back to throw passes in 15 games.

"You have to take more hits here, even more than the NFL because we throw the ball so much," Pierce said.

"The quarterback is a huge part of the offence running the ball and throwing it.

"It's a situation where I've learned over the past couple of seasons how to avoid some of the big hits."


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