Unbeaten after six weeks, just the kind of statistic the BC Lions were hoping to have to show for themselves as the hot days of August arrive. Friday night's spectacular at BC Place had everything a football fan could ask for, loads of offence, stellar defensive plays and a surprise twist at starting QB.
The ongoing Quarterback situation in BC gained another chapter as Casey Printers took to the field for Dave Dickenson, Printers was forced into action as Dickenson's back began to suffer spasms early Friday morning. With barely any lead time, Printers took to the field and shook off the rust of inaction, finally getting into a groove about mid way through the second quarter.
The Lions rolled up a sizeable lead into the half time as the Eskimos seemed unable to change their game plane to account for a running QB as opposed to the drop back stylings of Dave Dickenson. Printers pushed his Leos to a 20 point lead at half time as the Eskimo squad neglected to show up for the first thirty minutes of football. Head coach Danny Maciocia was relieved at his teams re-appearance in the third quarter but cryptically referred observers to view some tape of the first half for answers to the Eskimo struggles, a not so subtle dig at CFL officiating one is to surmise.
But with a change of the defensive assignments in the third quarter the Eskimos began to climb back into the game, though a hole that size against an undefeated team is not going to be filled easily. By the end of the game it took a defensive play Dante Marsh in the last minute of play to salt away the victory as Ricky Ray launched a Hail Mary pass with time winding down, with Marsh taking the ball away the 25-19 victory was assured.
It was the most anticipated game of the young season as both the Lions and Esks had been playing fairly steady and winning ball prior to Friday. The largest crowd of the year in BC at over 35,000 were primed for the fireworks and despite the absence of Dickenson the game more than filled the bill, all be it broken up into two different games it seemed.
For Edmonton questions about composure will dog the bye week as the Esks ponder why their tempers get them into such penalty trouble. Over on the other side of the Rockies the Lions now once again have to talk about their QB situation as Wally Buono sits back to decide who should get the start on Friday against the Stamps at McMahon.
While the QB "controversy" is good for the Vancouver newspaper sports wars it's one of those problems many a coach wishes he had. Start the talented veteran or last years Player of the Year, you think Greg Marshall or Jim Daley wish they had that "problem" today?