Canadian Football League
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PLAYOFFS
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         === The best in the west square off, as Lions visit Stamps ===
 
 Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - The top two teams in the Western Division get
 together once again this week, as the Calgary Stampeders clash with the
 British Columbia Lions at McMahon Stadium on Friday night.
 
 The Lions, the defending Grey Cup Champions, are sitting pretty right now with
 12 wins in 16 opportunities, their 24 total points leading the entire league.
 Already having sewn up the regular-season title in the West, BC is assured of
 hosting the division finals on Nov. 18.
 
 While Calgary has had to bounce back from a disappointing 2-3 start to the
 campaign, the team has also wrapped up a spot in the postseason and is due to
 host an as-yet-unknown opponent on Nov. 11 in the Western Division Semifinals
 as well.
 
 Last week, the Stamps posted their second straight win and the third in the
 last four outings with a narrow 34-32 decision over Hamilton at home. Calgary
 actually went scoreless through the first period of play and then turned up
 the heat from the second quarter on, beginning with a 100-yard interception
 return for a touchdown by Keon Raymond.
 
 Running back Jon Cornish was limited to just 27 rushing yards on 13 carries,
 his longest single run clocking in at 14 yards, but he did score once on the
 ground and was a critical piece in the aerial game as he caught seven passes
 for 108 yards and a touchdown as he was named the CFL's Canadian of the
 Week.
 
 Quarterback Kevin Glenn had TD passes of seven and 56 yards to Cornish and
 Maurice Price, respectively, while backup signal-caller Bo Levi Mitchell
 recorded a one-yard scoring run of his own to help the cause. Unfortunately
 for Glenn, he allowed the Tiger-Cats to hang around and make things
 interesting due to his four interceptions on the day.
 
 While Calgary was holding on for dear life in order to pull off the win
 against the 'Cats, British Columbia had no such worries as the team throttled
 visiting Edmonton in a 39-19 final last Friday night. Perhaps most surprising
 about the lopsided win for the Lions was that Travis Lulay was nowhere to be
 found as he rested an ailing back instead of putting himself in the cross-
 hairs.
 
 Stepping in for Lulay was backup Mike Reilly who, in anticipation of Lulay's
 potential absence, took snaps with the first team during practice and the
 extra work proved beneficial as he converted 19-of-28 passes for 276 yards and
 two touchdowns, against just one interception. Reilly, who is again ready to
 go if Lulay opts to rest his ailing body once more, was sacked four times in
 the meeting yet still added to the team's overall rushing attack with his 43
 yards on just four carries.
 
 Continuing to show just how valuable he is for the Lions, kicker Paul McCallum
 was at it again last week with six field goals in as many tries, finishing
 with 21 points which means he now has an astounding 173 points in 16 games.
 
 On the defensive side of the ball, BC produced seven sacks of Edmonton starter
 Kerry Joseph and eight sacks overall as they assumed the top spot in the
 league in that department with 41. Adam Bighill and Brandon Jordan both
 registered a couple of sacks, but it is defensive end Keron Williams who still
 paces the league with his 11 quarterback takedowns.
 
 Even though the BC defense tends to hit anything that moves, it should be
 noted that because the offense has taken such great care of the ball through
 16 games, the Lions currently lead the league with a plus-10 in the turnover
 department. The league record for the fewest turnovers in a single season
 stands at 28 recorded by Ottawa in 1967 and this same BC club just six years
 ago. Unless something dramatic takes place in the coming weeks, these Lions
 should blow that number away.
 
 At the other end of the spectrum, the Stamps have the same number of takeaways
 as BC (29), but are still sixth in the league overall with a minus-seven in
 total turnovers.
 
 In terms of the all-time, regular-season series between these two clubs,
 Calgary owns a 94-77-5 advantage over the Lions, but it was BC that posted a
 27-22 victory in the most recent meeting earlier this month in Vancouver. With
 the victory British Columbia has now taken four in a row and six of the last
 seven in the series, one that dates back to 1954.
 
 
 
 10/24 11:36:00 ET

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