Small wonder

WES GILBERTSON

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

It's going to take a mighty wallop to knock Stefan Logan off his game.

Just ask Calgary Stampeders safety Milton Collins, who drilled the B.C. Lions running back in the regular-season finale two weeks ago, only to watch Logan pop right back up as if nothing had happened.

"He came up and made a nice lick, but I jumped back up and I just kept rolling," shrugged Logan, a shifty South Dakota grad who figures to be a big part of the Lions attack in today's West Division final against the host Stamps at McMahon Stadium (2:30 p.m., TSN).

"You just gotta get back up and let them know that them hits don't faze you. They sting a little bit, but you just gotta get back on your feet and get back to the huddle and get ready to go on the next play."

Logan, all 5-foot-6, 181-lb. of him, has been a big hit on the West Coast, elbowing his way into the Lions starting lineup and then piling up 1,770 all-purpose yards -- including 889 on the ground -- and three TDs, all through the air.

Perhaps his most impressive performance came during B.C.'s most recent visit to McMahon Stadium Nov. 1, when he had a career-best 226 yards from scrimmage and one major.

The scary part for the Stamps is even that wasn't enough to satisfy the shifty running back, the Lions' nominee for top rookie honours.

"I didn't sleep well that night because I felt like I didn't put it all out there on the field," Logan said. "We didn't win, so you don't get no sleep after that. I ran the ball well, but it wasn't enough. We still didn't win, so in my eyes, how I feel, it wasn't enough, and I gotta improve and I gotta work harder."

If anything kept Logan from getting his eight hours of shut-eye last night, it might've been the thought of another run-in -- literally -- with Collins.

With the Stamps defence erasing his pocket in the regular-season finale, Lions starting quarterback Buck Pierce dumped a short pass to Logan, who turned upfield just in time to see red.

Reminded of the hit after a practice earlier this week, Collins couldn't hide his smile.

"I kept seeing it on the TV, so it felt good for me," said the Stampeders' rookie safety. "Stefan Logan, he's a great back -- everybody knows he's a great scatback -- but I caught him, and I had to hit him. That was a big hit.

"The next play he came to me and told me, 'Good hit.' He said he needed a lick like that, hadn't had one in a good, long time."

It's true the Lions' leading rusher doesn't get caught with his head down very often. Calgary-born fullback Rolly Lumbala, a former St. Francis Brown in his first CFL campaign, admitted even Logan's teammates are sometimes amazed by his ability to make would-be tacklers look silly.

"He's such a versatile back -- he can run, he can catch the ball and, like you saw, he's got a lot of moves," Lumbala said. "His feet move so quick. It's definitely a treat to watch him play."

It's a treat CFL fans -- football fans everywhere, in fact -- nearly missed out on. After high school, Logan hung up his cleats and stayed away from the sport for three years before the coaching staff at South Dakota saw something they liked on his dated highlight tape.

Logan repaid them by breaking 17 school records, becoming the Coyotes' all-time leading rusher and the only athlete in North Central Conference history to reel off four straight 1,000-yard campaigns.

After spending some time on the Miami Dolphins practice roster, his main goal right now is adding a Grey Cup ring to his resume.

"It's been a long ride, but I'm having a lot of fun," he said. "And as long as we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to win and take it all the way to Montreal."


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