Stamps close campaign in clash with Lions
Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams finish the regular season just as they began back in late June, as the Calgary Stampeders meet up with the British Columbia Lions in a West Division showdown, this time at BC Place on Friday night.
While this is still a heated rivalry, regardless of the outcome the teams already know what stands before them as far as the postseason is concerned. As the division champions, Calgary will have extra time to prepare for their division finals outing on Nov. 17, and will face the winner of the BC/Saskatchewan matchup which takes place at Mosaic Stadium on Nov. 10.
Last weekend, the Stampeders put an end to the race for first in the West Division as they slipped by Saskatchewan, 29-25, at home to mark the team's fifth straight victory and the ninth in the last 10 outings overall.
In what was being billed as a battle between the top running backs in the league, Calgary's Jon Cornish and Kory Sheets of Saskatchewan, it was the former who came out on top in both personal stats and the win column, forcing the latter to eat his words after claiming he was superior to Cornish.
Named the top Canadian for yet another week, Cornish registered his fifth straight 100-yard game, finishing with 109 yards and a score on 20 carries, none of them being more important than the one that he used to bull his way into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Quarterbacks Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn combined to convert 22-of-33 passes for 301 yards, with Glenn tossing a touchdown and an interception while being sacked three times. Calgary generated 426 yards in the meeting, compared to only 256 yards for the Roughriders, but the Stamps put themselves in a precarious position by fumbling the ball away four times and committing eight penalties for a loss of 79 yards.
However, the Stampeders were bolstered by the play of Charleston Hughes who was named the CFL Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season. Hughes registered three sacks in the meeting with Calgary, coming up with five stops overall as he helped limit Sheets to only 42 yards on 11 carries. For the season, Hughes paces the rest of the league with 18 sacks and is one sack away from tying Harold Hallman's team record of 19. The six-year defensive end has six multi-sack games this season.
Last Friday night, with Thomas DeMarco starting at quarterback, the Lions fell behind 10-1 in the first quarter, prompting a move to Buck Pierce who went on to have a hand in four touchdowns over the final three quarters to get BC over the top in a 43-29 final at home.
Pierce, who was acquired in a trade with Winnipeg early last month, stepped in and converted 11-of-14 passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns, adding another on the ground as well in the comeback victory. Running back Stefan Logan registered a 54-yard TD run in the second quarter as he finished with a game-high 121 yards on 10 carries, his yardage total more than double what Edmonton was able to produce as a unit.
Andrew Harris and Emmanuel Arceneaux combined for a modest seven receptions, yet four of those ended up in the end zone for the Lions.
Somewhat surprisingly, the BC defense allowed more yards (448) than the Lions were able to produce themselves (421), but that stat did not matter much after factoring in the nine penalties for 95 yards assessed to the Eskimos.
From an offensive standpoint, specifically in the passing department, the Lions are somewhat lucky to be where they are when you consider they rank second-to-last with only 4,217 yards through the air. Then again, the squad has had a series of different players stationing themselves as quarterback, so it is understandable to find that there have been some struggles in that area.
With respect to the series between these two clubs, one that recognizes only regular-season matchups going back to 1954, the Stampeders own a 97-78-5 advantage. Calgary won the most recent encounter less than a month ago, 40-26, at home which means the Stamps have now taken three of the last four matchups.
British Columbia, which is trying to even the 2013 regular-season series at two games apiece, posted a 26-22 victory back in the middle of August.
10/30 10:52:00 ET