Toronto Argonauts defensive back Trumaine Washington (36) has words with BC Lions fullback Rolly Lumbala (46) during CFL football action in Vancouver on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. Lions face stiff test trying to hand Stampeders first home loss

B.C. (7-7) visits the Calgary Stampeders (12-2) on Saturday night.

The B.C. Lions’ playoff quest faces a stiff test this weekend.

B.C. (7-7) visits the Calgary Stampeders (12-2) on Saturday night. The Lions enter action tied with the Edmonton Eskimos for fourth in the West Division standings while the Stamps are first with the CFL’s best record.

But that’s not all. Calgary is a perfect 7-0 this season at McMahon Stadium while the Lions are a dismal 1-6 on the road.

Calgary has already clinched a home playoff game. But the defending West Division champion is looking to cement top spot and punch its ticket to the conference final once again.

B.C. has climbed back into playoff contention, winning four of its last five games, and is coming off a 26-23 home victory over the Toronto Argonauts. But the Lions will have a different quarterback under centre as veteran Travis Lulay returns to the starting lineup.

Lulay, 35, suffered a left shoulder injury in the Lions’ 32-14 home win over the Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 14. The Lions went 2-1 with backup Jonathon Jennings.

Jennings was just 14-of-24 passing for 199 yards and a TD versus Toronto but also added 47 yards rushing on three carries. Jeremiah Johnson was the Lions’ offensive stalwart, running for 118 yards on 19 carries while adding three catches for 22 yards.

Related: ‘It’s my life’s work’: B.C. Lions coach offers reward for missing items

Related: B.C. Lions keep CFL playoff hopes alive, dump Argos 26-23

But the Lions still needed six field goals from Ty Long to fend off a spirited comeback attempt from Argos backup James Franklin. Branden Burks, replacing the injured James Wilder Jr., ran for 92 yards on eight carries (11.5-yard average) also.

B.C.’s defence allowed 402 offensive yards and registered just one sack. But the unit also had four interceptions, including two by Davon Coleman.

Stout defence led Calgary to a 12-6 road win in Montreal last weekend as quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell earned his first victory at Molson Stadium. Mitchell finished 20-of-34 passing for 199 yards with three interceptions but the Stampeders’ defence had three sacks and three interceptions.

Calgary has outscored its opponents 204-116 at home and is 4-2 within the West Division. By comparison, B.C. has been outscored 216-149 on the road and has just two wins in six contests against Western rivals.

Prediction: Calgary.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats versus Toronto Argonauts (Friday night)

At Toronto, Franklin begins his second stint as the starter for the Argos (3-11). He was 1-3 earlier this year before losing the No. 1 job to McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The defending Grey Cup champions won’t be in the playoffs but Hamilton (7-7) comes off the bye just two points out of first place in the East Division having won the two previous meetings.

Prediction: Hamilton.

Saskatchewan Roughriders versus Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday afternoon)

At Winnipeg, the Bombers (8-7) have won three straight to move into third in the West Division standings. Matt Nichols threw three TD passes while Andrew Harris ran for 132 yards on 20 carries in last weekend’s 40-32 road win over Ottawa. Saskatchewan (10-5) has also won three consecutive games and six of its last eight.

Prediction: Winnipeg.

Ottawa Redblacks versus Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday night)

At Edmonton, these are troubled times for the Eskimos (7-8) who’ve dropped three straight and six of their last eight to stand last in the West Division standings. Ottawa (8-6) comes off a 40-32 home loss to Winnipeg as Trevor Harris threw for 349 yards and three TDs. Rookie Lewis Ward has made a CFL-record 40 straight field goals and 43-of-44 overall.

Prediction: Edmonton.

Last week: 3-1.

Overall: 42-23.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stettler Lightning defeats Coaldale Copperheads in nailbiter

Stettler scores in shootout, defeating Coaldale 3-2

Stettler Wildcats go entire season undefeated

Downs Drayton Valley Warriors 28 - 7 in last game of season

Producers losing money on every barrel sold

Price for Western Canadian Oilsands bitumen so low

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read