Put in place

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:35 PM ET

In the high-priced world of Vancouver real estate, they're always droning on about the beautiful views.

The Calgary Stampeders got their first peek Friday night at the CFL West Division's ritzy neighbourhood and they didn't like everything they saw.

Calgary's 40-27 loss to the undefeated B.C. Lions provided a glimpse of where the Stampeders hope to be heading this season but there remains plenty of work before the 2-3 club will be ready to move up into the league's elite district.

As of today, the Stampeders are still a fixer-upper.

Across the field in orange and white, the Stampeders saw an experienced club stage an almost flawless performance with Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson providing another passing clinic.

While Stampeders pivot Henry Burris and the offence was solid, the defence allowed 585 yards of total offence, a growing trouble spot, while a concern for Tom Higgins was a series of costly penalties.

Of the 131 yards dished out to the Stampeders, a few were particularly troublesome to the head coach.

There was Joey Boese's objectionable conduct call in the fourth quarter, followed shortly by Nik Lewis's ill-timed penalty for taunting an opponent after making a 17-yard catch.

"Any time you have calls, they're going to hurt your football team," Higgins fumed afterward.

"The calls we can control where there's a lack of discipline because you're talking is inexcusable and has to be taken care of if we expect to (beat) good football teams like the B.C. Lions."

It was a sentiment seconded by Burris. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 309 yards -- his second-straight 300-plus yard game. Lewis's 129-yard night led the Stampeders receiving corps while Jeremaine Copeland also eclipsed 100 yards on just three catches.

Running backs Joffrey Reynolds and Ronnie Jenkins combined for 118 yards but only touched the ball 12 times, a strange anomaly considering their success.

The offence's greatest concern was just getting back onto the field in the second half as Dickenson took control of the contest.

"We made plays but in the fourth quarter we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We have to learn from that and get ready for Winnipeg," said Burris, whose Stampeders host the last-place Blue Bombers on Saturday.

"We played a good three quarters and if we came out (in the fourth) and did the same things we did for the first three quarters, there's no telling how the game would have ended ... we had costly penalties and did some things to ourselves that we didn't do early on and in the last game (against Saskatchewan).

"You can't do those things and beat a good B.C. team."

The Stampeders left B.C. Place Stadium with a fresh picture of what the division's best club can do. They'll get back to the practice field this week with a fresh picture of how the league's elite club performs, providing a template for how the Stampeders want to play as the season progresses.

"(The Lions) are an experienced team and we thought we were going to get up on 'em ... they're an experienced group, they've been there and won a lot of games and they showed the reason why they're 5-0," said Burris.

And also the why the Stampeders are below .500 despite steady signs of improvement.


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