Dickenson's show

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET

Giving Dave Dickenson a three-touchdown lead early is like letting sprinter Donovan Bailey have a three-second head start.

You can only keep up with the best when you start on an even playing field.

So after the Calgary Stampeders spotted Dickenson a 21-point lead, the veteran pivot easily led his B.C. Lions to a 39-31 victory last night in front of 31,847 fans at McMahon Stadium.

The Stampeders committed five turnovers, three by quarterback Henry Burris.

"It doesn't matter what quarterback, whether it's Dave or Tee Martin, you can't give any team a head start like that," Burris said. "It doesn't matter what team it was if you lose the turnover battle, nine times out of 10 you'll lose the game. This is one of those nine times."

The Stamps fall to 3-4 on the season and are still tied with the struggling Saskatchewan Roughriders for third in the West Division. B.C. remains undefeated at 7-0 and is riding a franchise-best 10-game regular-season winning streak while two games up on Edmonton for first in the West.

In the first half alone, Gerald Harris lost a fumble in his own zone, Burris coughed up the ball three times -- losing two of them -- and threw an interception to Ryan Phillips.

The Stamps all but handed the game to the Lions when Burris was driving the Stamps in the second quarter but tried to force a pass while being wrapped up. He dropped the ball and rookie defensive lineman Chris Wilson picked it up to rumble 61 yards for a score.

The Wilson touchdown came after Dickenson scored on a one-yard run and threw a one-yarder to running back Antonio Warren and the Lions led 21-3.

"We spotted them 21 points and you can't do that against any team in this league," said Burris, who played the majority of the game with a cut on his throwing hand.

The Stamps offence did find its form in the second quarter. Burris hit Nik Lewis with a 36-yard TD pass before halftime and later found part-time receiver MarTay Jenkins for a pair of 40-yard strikes.

In the final stats, Burris outthrew Dickenson 421 yards to 402 but the early lead was the difference for head coach Tom Higgins.

"What I'm happy about is we came in at halftime, made the adjustment and talked about winning the second half," Higgins said.

"That all of a sudden gave us a chance."

At the end of the first half, Dickenson led the Lions on an 11-play, 88-yard drive to kill the clock and set up a Warren one-yard TD run.

The drive was aided by a ill-timed penalty by linebacker Marc Calixte, who knocked Warren out of bounds but then made a kicking motion. The result was a objectionable conduct penalty for a Lions first down.

"Most football coaches believe six plays determine the outcome of a football game," Higgins said. "It hurts when you have mental lapses like that."

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B.C. LIONS: 39

CALGARY STAMPEDERS: 31


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