Hank in the tank

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Call the mechanic, book an appointment and pull out the credit card.

Calgary's Horsepower is in need of a tuneup. And make it fast.

On a wet, sloppy night at McMahon Stadium, the Calgary Stampeders were messy bunch, losing their final pre-season contest 57-13 to the B.C. Lions and, worst of all, looked terrible doing it.

Fans who battled the cold rain couldn't have liked what they saw in the homeside's first-team offence.

It began on the first snap, as the centre-quarterback exchange between sophomore Godfrey Ellis and starter Henry Burris was again awkward.

Ellis bobbled about five snaps in the opening pre-season game in Vancouver but was quickly replaced last night by John Comiskey after two of them were mishandled in the opening minutes.

Ellis returned in the third quarter but wasn't sharp, while Comiskey did a solid job when given the chance.

But the offensive line wasn't giving Burris much of a chance to get a play off when he did get the ball into his hands.

He was sacked twice and threw two picks, both of which led to B.C. touchdowns, while only connecting for two nice plays in the first half.

Newcomer Scotty Anderson caught an over-the-shoulder bomb on Burris' best throw but it was the only major the team put up in the opening half.

At one point, following a pressure-induced fumble, Burris took his offence to the sidelines and held court for several minutes, trying to light a fire under his teammates.

The 'pep talk' did little to inspire confidence and more uneasiness continued.

Even the usually reliable Nik Lewis wasn't himself, dropping three passes, including a wide-open play in the endzone.

As awful as the Calgary offence was, B.C.'s starters were just the opposite.

Lions veteran quarterback Dave Dickenson started slowly, misfiring on his first six passes.

Once he found the handle on the slippery ball, he completed 16 of his next 18 passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns.

Most elements of the Lions offence looked great despite the play of the Stampeders defence.

Dickenson showed a deft touch, threading a corner route to impressive junior rookie Josh Boden on a five-yard touchdown and zipping the ball to Jason Clermont for a pair of scores.

The former Stampeders MVP could be blamed for taking risks by standing in the pocket to deliver perfect strikes.

That's the way Dickenson plays, even when it doesn't matter in the standings.

Burris could have looked across the sidelines and learned something about composure.

After a few bad passes, Burris tried even harder to right the ship, only to make it worse.

He hit 2005 CFL interceptions leader Korey Banks in the numbers for an easy pick for a touchdown.

The quarterback also took offence to some rough treatment later in the game when he was hauled down by Lions linebacker Jamal Johnson.

Suddenly, Burris isn't getting any respect from the rest of the league.

He might have to get used to it.


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