Sunday, June 26, 2005

Lions begin their quest with a win over Grey Cup champs

The reunion of 2004 Grey Cup finalists went nicely for the boys in White and Orange. Having to sit through a banner unveiling, a Grey Cup Ring presentation and a smoke and laser show just gave BC time to focus on the pictures of Argo greats in the upper decks and on job at hand on the field. That of sending a message to the Argonauts, that the road to a Grey Cup repeat will be through their house at BC Place.

Dave Dickenson guided his offense successfully down the field to finish the game with a 27-20 victory over the defending champions. But this was no easy romp down the field. Dickenson was sacked and pressured all night long as the Lions offensive line seemed to take advice from that of Ottawa's and let the Argos roam the Lions backfield at will. If Jacques Chapdelaine doesn't get his O line on the same page as his receivers and running backs then Casey Printers may get his wish to be a starting QB. Dickenson is not mobile enough to face the onslaught of defenders night after night, he had a decent night of avoidance on Saturday but eventually those odds get shorter and shorter.

The game was an entertaining affair and delivered as promised as a rematch between division champs should provide. The Lions seemed to be in control at the half as they took an 18-6 lead, but the Argos did not back down and fought their way back into the contest, taking the lead half way through the fourth quarter at 20-19. However, Dickenson went to work marching the Lions downfield 89 yards before handing the ball off to Antonio Warren to score a major with just over a minute to go. A two point conversion added to the score and handed the game over to the Leo's defence to keep the Argos in check.

Damon Allen almost pulled one off again as time dwindled in the fourth taking the Argos down to the Lions 17, a toss to Arland Bruce III just slipped through is fingers in the deep endzone and that in the end would be the closest the Argos came to sending the game into OT. On the very next play Allen fumbled the ball after a hit by Chris Wilson, recovered by the Lions the offence took to the field and closed the game off on two plays.

The largest opening day crowd since 1992 went home disappointed no doubt, but a lack of entertainment is not something they could complain about. BC gets the bye for Canada Day weekend while the Argos head west and celebrate the nation's birthday with the folks at McMahon stadium. Their mood won't be very celebratory however, having let a home opener slip away they may wish to ruin Calgary's Canada celebration!

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