Lions ready for Stamping

BOB MACKIN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

Pivot Buck Pierce will start when the 1-2 B.C. Lions aim to reach .500 tonight against the 1-2 Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders at B.C. Place Stadium.

Stamps' quarterback Henry Burris led Calgary to a trio of wins over the Lions i-2008, including the West final. "Smilin' Hank," the 2008 Grey Cup MVP, has more touchdow-passes (121) tha-any other CFL quarterback since 2005 and is 17 completions shy of 2,000 i-his career.

Calgary head coach John Hufnagel won a Grey Cup in his rookie season. CFL coaching turnover means he is the longest-serving sideline general after B.C. boss Wally Buono.

Rookie kicker Sean Whyte will make his home debut for the Lions in place of injured veteran Paul McCallum (knee and wrist).

"I was never really backed up into my own end, I could give the ball a little touch into the corners," Whyte said of his CFL debut in Edmonton. "It made me realize it's the same thing as practice; if I'm the same time in a practice, I'm the same time in a game."

Dave Dickenson, who quarterbacked the Leos in their 2006 Grey Cup triumph, retired in 2008 with Calgary and is now the red and white's offensive assistant coach.

The Lions' wall of fame grows by three at halftime when late, great president Bob Ackles and offensive linemen Ian Sinclair and Gerald Roper will be honoured. Ackles, the waterboy who became president and saved the Lions, died July 6, 2008 at age 69. Sinclair was an 11-season centre and 1985 and 1994 Grey Cup-winner. Roper started three Grey Cups for B.C. as an offensive guard.

Last week's Lions' win over the Eskimos was Wally Buono's 75th as B.C. head coach and 228th in his 20-year sideline career. He needs just four more to eclipse Don Matthews' league-record of 231.

Italy-born, Montreal-raised Buono, who spent 10 years as a linebacker and punter with the Montreal Alouettes, doesn't remember his first win at the helm of the Stampeders. He does have vivid memories of his first game: a 38-38 tie at B.C. Place with the Doug Flutie-quarterbacked Lions on July 13, 1990.

"Flutie magic, the last play of the game," Buono said. "A Hail Mary (pass) got the touchdown, went into overtime and it ended up being a tie. I remember the first point, I don't remember the first win."


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