Stampeders come up short
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
VANCOUVER - Battles for first place arenít supposed to be this sloppy.
Maybe the B.C. Lions and the Calgary Stampeders will be able to clean up their acts in the final month of the regular season.
In the first half alone Saturday night, the Lions were flagged 10 times for 96 yards, while the Stamps were not much better, drawing nine flags for 83 yards.
The Lions were constantly hurting themselves on plays when the Stamps took flags. JíMicheal Deane took a holding penalty, but Robert Jordan roughed up Kevin Glenn.
The Stamps were hit with contacting Paul McCallum on a punt, but no yards didnít even give the Lions a first down.
These two teams appear destined to meet in the playoffs for the first time since 2008, so there is a chance for a more disciplined game in the future.
The roof was open at B.C. Place Stadium, which was nice until about halftime when the temperature dropped. The Lions donít seem to mind. Since they opened the renovated stadium, they are 15-1 (not including Saturdayís game) at home, with the only defeat being a 27-14 setback against the Edmonton Eskimos in Week 4 Ö Jon Cornish managed to best his Week 5 total against the Lions with his first carry. Granted, getting more than minus-1 yard isnít much of an achievement, but Cornish showed he can at least run on this defence. The second Stamps possession was four Cornish rushing plays for 23 yards Ö The Lions were already without run-stuffer Khalif Mitchell and then they lost Eric Taylor less than two minutes into the game. Taylor was nursing an injury coming in, and then he was blocked hard to the ground by Obby Khan and had to be helped off Ö How rare is it to have two Canadians rushing for 1,000 yards in the CFL? Itís happened twice on record. Both times it was Gerry James and Normie Kwong doing it (1955 and í57). You will be able to add Cornish and Andrew Harris to that list soon.
Travis Lulay has thrown a TD pass in 25 straight games but it wouldnít be possible without his extraordinary scrambling ability. ďI feel
like Iím slippery back there,Ē Lulay said Friday. He showed it off a few times, and itís a big reason why the Lions had not allowed a sack in three games before Saturday, which is a team-record run. They bobbled a snap right before halftime and Lulay was dropped for a loss, but it wasnít considered a sack Ö The time was right but the kick wasnít in the first quarter. While the Lions were switching sides on a kickoff formation, the Stamps defence did the same, leaving one side of the field completely open. Veteran McCallum saw it, but his boot didnít go 10 yards. Ryan Phillips waited desperately for it to bounce forward but it didnít and Deron Mayo recovered Ö There might not be a more dangerous play than what Jason Arakgi did to Keon Raymond. On a kickoff return, Arakgi ripped Raymond back by his facemask.
Hello Newman!. Former Stamps OL Jesse Newman came in to replace Dean Valli during the first quarter, and he immediately took a procedure penalty. The Lions brought Newman back early from the nine-game injured list to play Saturday. That move wonít hurt them. They have no one else on the nine-game list to bring back Ö If they need an emergency receiver, maybe the Lions should look at Mike Benevides. On a second-quarter throw-away by Kevin Glenn, Benevides snagged the pass out of bounds, and he was announced as making the reception. On the next play, Dane Marsh picked off Glenn Ö With Larry Taylor and Marc Calixte both hurt, Stamps FB Rob Cote is serving as special teams captain Ö It was trivia time on the giant midfield screen. What minor football team does Geroy Simon coach for? Answer C was the Abbotsford Heat, which would make him a fellow Flames employee, just like the Stamps.