Lions set to star in first place battle

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:29 AM ET

VANCOUVER - It's not exactly a Hollywood story but the B.C. Lions' season thus far is one worth watching.

Just two months ago, the Lions were down in the dumps, fighting to keep from being the worst team in the CFL with an 0-5 record. Scrutiny and questions ensued. Enter a protagonist, receiver Arland Bruce, plus an improved overall squad, and just like that, the Lions turned their disastrous start into a feel-good tale.

On Saturday, that script reaches a critical moment as B.C. has a chance to claim first place in the West Division when they host the rival Calgary Stampeders at BC Place.

"It's a huge game," said slotback Geroy Simon. "This is one we've been shooting for for a while. It's the next step in the process of where we want to go to and that's first in the West."

The 7-6 Lions trail the 8-5 Stamps by two points and a win will move them into a tie in the standings. However, B.C. holds the tiebreaker – head-to-head matchups – since a victory would put them up 2-1 in the season series.

Last week's hero Andrew Harris, who caught two touchdown passes, is expecting an emotional game against the Stampeders.

"Everytime we play Calgary, there's always a rise in intensity in practice that you can just feel," the running back said. "Now playing for first place and having the opportunity to win the season series is huge for us."

Calgary is coming off a 40-3 rout over the Saskatchewan Roughriders while the Lions are on a six-game roll, including a win three weeks ago over the same Stampeders side. Confidence is not an issue.

"We believe we can (grab first place)," said quarterback Travis Lulay. "We understand where we came from, we know this is a critical game. Knowing the potential to put you in first place is always exciting."

Note: Rookie linebacker Adam Bighill was named the CFL's special teams player of the week after recording four special team tackles and one blocked punt against the Edmonton Eskimos.


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