There were some very promising signs in the BC Lions final home game this season at BC Place. Fans certainly left the building feeling pretty good about the Lions as they head to Regina. Here’s I saw Friday’s regular season finale from the stands.
Friday’s game gave the Lions exactly what they needed to see at the quarterback position. Buck Pierce and Travis Lulay both moved the offence and engineered scoring drives for the club before giving way to Thomas DeMarco in the second half, and now the questions will begin as to which one should start in Regina next week.
Lulay didn’t seem to incur any adverse effects from his two series and the Lions offensive line did an outstanding job protecting both he and Pierce. Lulay tested his arm on a 36 yard strike to Nick Moore and then tested his confidence on an option from the shotgun, running in for a score.
The Lions certainly have to feel more confident about the QB situation then they did a week ago. Do they go with Travis Lulay who has two series under his belt in the last month and a half, or go with Buck Pierce who has a little more than that? To me it all depends on Lulay’s shoulder this week and whether or not increased work this week gives him a setback. Lulay never took a hit in the game so there is that to factor in as well.
If Lulay comes through the next week fine, I believe he will and should start the game and the Lions will have Pierce waiting if needed. I feel Pierce would be the more effective option coming off the bench than Lulay would.
Welcome back Andrew Harris
Andrew Harris seems to have his confidence back and that can only bode well for the playoffs. The addition of Stefan Logan has been a huge boost for the offence and Harris has been the main benefactor. All year the long the struggles of the offence could be pinned on a poor ground game and we’ve seen that proven in the last two weeks as the offence has started to move the ball more consistently.
The defence didn’t see much of Jon Cornish in the game but put in a very strong effort holding the Stampeders offence out of the endzone and to just seven points on the night. Eric Taylor led the way with a strong game, racking up with five tackles.
I know he’s in tough to win the awards he’s nominated, but at the risk of sounding biased Adam Bighill should be the league’s top defensive player. No he doesn’t have the sexy sack stats that are popular with voters, nor does he lead the league in tackles. What he does do well is everything, and that’s something I’m not sure the other candidates bring to the table. He is the heart and soul of the Lions defence, and I hope that voters look at the whole picture when casting their votes.
The Stamps had nothing to really play for in the game and rested several key players as the game went on. But they lost two starters off their defensive line and one of their best receivers on Marquay McDaniel. Early reports say that none of the three are expected to be ready for the West Division final on Nov. 17.
Drew Tate took over for Kevin Glenn, didn’t have much success and seemed to be frustrated at everyone but himself for the lack of production at times. Kevin Glenn deserves to start for the Stamps in the Western Final and we’ll see if John Hufnagel agrees, but in my opinion leaders don’t lead by shaking their head and throwing their arms up in disgust at teammates.
While the Lions used their final game to get tuned up for the playoffs, the Riders chose to rest key players on their season ending loss to the Eskimos. I left the building Friday feeling a lot more confident about the Lions chances than I did a week ago. The offence is coming around, the Lions are relatively healthy and it seemingly confident with their new-found success.
Will it continue against a pumped up Riders team on the road? The Lions’ recent success has come against the Eskimos and an uninterested Stampeders club but the real test will come next week at Mosaic in Regina.
They have certainly given the Riders lots to think about this week. Who will start at QB for the Lions? How will Logan and Harris be utilized? I have a good feeling about next week and all the pressure is on the Riders. The Lions would love nothing better to spoil the party on the prairies.
One of my favourite nights of the year is the annual salute to our veterans that the Lions do each year. They always do a great job of the halftime show on this night, reminding us all to be thankful what these men and women have done for us and the sacrifices they have made in their lives.
What were your thoughts on the regular season finale? Are you more confident with the Lions heading into Regina next week? Leave a comment here, or talk football with me on Twitter, @BCLionsDen and watch for our playoff preview “Pawdcast” this week on BCLionsDen.ca