This how we roll in BC in between training camp sessions. A little rib feast, some chicken too. Football is back!
Time for our weekly edition of Den Talk. A weekly round up of the new surrounding the BC Lions. The club played their first exhibition game of the 2009 season and many questions remain surrounding this years editions of the Lions.
As far as exhibition games went it sounded like a fairly entertaining contest after the slow first quarter. Neither team came out firing on all cylinders, and with Buck Pierce struggling to get a good drive going, he probably played longer than Wally Buono wanted him the lineup but he got the chains moving late in the first quarter and connected on a TD pass to Greg Hetherington to begin the second.
Jeremy Gibbs had a strong game on defense, swarming around the ball and recording 3 tackles and 1 sack on the night. His performance no doubt left him as the front runner to replace Tyrone Williams.
Emmanuel Arceneaux and Terence Scott and Hetherington were the best receivers on the night while all four quarterbacks had success. Travis Lulay almost rallied the team for the tying touchdown on the last drive of the game but ran out of time. This fresh crop of receivers are impressing enough that former Lion and Arena League standout Jerel Myers was released this week. It will be interesting to see who Wally chooses to remain on the roster after this final week.
The offensive line payed decent on the night, with players switching in and out and playing out of position at times for the benefit of the coaching staff. Jon Hameister-Reis looks to be laying claim to the left guard position thought to be Dean Valli’s to lose. A knee injury at camp has come at the worst time for Valli, but it didn’t keep him out of the game. Both Darren Marquez and Walter Stith looked good at the tackle spots.
The real concern coming out of the game, besides some missed tackles and big plays given up by a raw secondary, was the non-emergence of a presence at running back. Ian Smart continues to look like the best option, but the Lions return game looked inept for the most part without him. Somewhat to be expected trying new personnel perhaps but Buono said he won’t use his featured back as a returner. With Stefan Logan surviving Steeler mini-camp, he’ll now likely be gone until at least September if he comes back at all, so Roy Shivers will have to find some more options, or hope that one of the contenders or a kick returner shows something special on Tuesday.
The Lions rolled out their retro uniforms from the 1960’s era and I have to say, they look pretty sweet. The helmets, right down to the gray face masks are very slick and the simple white uniform with orange sleeves and back pants complete a very nice nice combination. You can check out Buck Pierce modeling the uniforms on BCLions.com.
Lowell Ullrich of the Province touches on the running back situation.
Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald speaks about Wally Buono’s pursuit of the CFL all-time coaching wins record.
2009-06-19: Deleted from roster: DB B.J. Tucker (I), DB Mil’von James (I), DL Rodney Allen (I).
2009-06-16: Deleted from roster: DB John Guice (I), WR Jerel Myers (I).
2009-06-12: Deleted from roster: DB Donald Brown (I), LB Marcus Richardson (I), OL Vaughn Lesuma (I). Added to roster: LB Courtney Smith (I). Removed from suspended list and added to roster: DB Trestin George (I).
Calgary, AB – The BC Lions finally got to hit someone in a different jersey Wednesday night when they visited the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium.
The Lions offense started out slowly going scoreless in the first have and not moving the ball. While the Stampeders didn’t exactly light up the field, they did end the first quarter with a 6-0 lead. Henry Burris finished the night 3-7 for 42 yards, 0 TD’s and 0 interceptions. Calgary scored on their continued possession to start the second half on a 12 yard scamper by QB Barrick Nealy thanks to a great ball fake and open-field deke, giving the home side a 13-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter.
With Wally Buono not satisfied with what he saw from Buck Pierce in the first quarter, he left his starter in the game and Pierce finally put together a nice drive featuring receiver Greg Hetherington who hauled in a 12 yard touchdown on a seam route to cut the lead to 13-7. Pierce left the game 7-10 for 77 yards,1 TD, 0 interceptions and one turnover (fumble).
The Lions chipped away a little bit more after they recovered a Barrick Nealy fumble on a botched hand-off at the Calgary 30 yard line. Sean Whyte kicked a 23 yard field goal to make the score 13-10.
Jarious Jackson went to work in the second half and put together a nice drive with passes to Terence Scott and Martell Malllet and appeared to score the go ahead touchdown on what looked to be a great catch by Otis Amey. But upon video review it was determined the catch was not made and the Lions had to settle for a 26 yard Whyte field goal and the game was tied 13-13. But a last minute drive by Calgary and a 28 yard pass from Drew Tate put the Stamps 1st and 10 on the Lions 9 yard line. They punched it in on a 4 yard reception by Jermane Jackson and the Stamps led 20-13 at halftime.
Jackson started the 2nd half but couldn’t muster any offense and he eventually gave way to Zac Champion. Jackson finished the game 6-14 for 77 yards, 0 TD’s and 0 interceptions.Calgary’s Drew Tate capped off a nice 66 yard drive which featured a 50 yard catch and run to Jermaine Jackson. Tate punched it in from the 1 yard line to give the home side a 27-13 lead. But Champion directed the Lions to a major after a 4 play 32 yard drive that ended with a 4 yard pass to Emmanuel Arceneaux, to bring the Lions within 7 at 27-20. After a 49 yard Sandro DeAngelis field goal made it 30-20 and the Lions replied with a 41 yard effort by Whyte, the Stamps struck again with a 2 play 99 yard drive which saw Matt D’Orazio connect with Jabari Arthur to put the Stamps up 37-23.
Travis Lulay entered the game with just over eight minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, and orchestrated a nice drive, which ended with a nice throw to new slot-back but long time veteran Lyle Green and the Lions were once again within 7 points.
With 42 seconds remaining the Lions got the ball back and Travis Lulay engineered a fantastic drive all the way down to the 14 yard with 5 seconds left but on the final playover threw his intended receiver and the Stamps held on for the win.
Standouts: WR Greg Hetherington: 4 catches for 54 yards and 1 touchdown. WR Terence Scott: 5 catches for 92 yards. DT Jeremy Gibbs 3 tackles, 1 sac. DE Ceasar Rayford: 3 tackles, 2 sacks and one fumble recovery. QB Travis Lulay: 8-13 106 yards and 1 touchdown.
Abbotsford BC – The BC Lions held their annual fan fest Sunday under sunny skies at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford, home of the team’s 2009 training camp. The event is somewhat of a pep rally for the team, where fans can mingle with their favourite players as well as get autographs and pictures. There are activities for children, a silent auction and a 50/50 draw to support high school football.
The players were brought in through a line of high school players from WJ Mouat Secondary and the sound of drums before dispersing to sign autographs and pose for photographs with fans.
The afternoon concluded with a team scrimmage that saw some nice plays by the likes of Andrew Harris, Geroy Simon, Buck Pierce, and Terence Scott among others.
Check out our Fan Fest 2009 photo gallery!
Here are some photos from the afternoon session of day 3: