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Red-hot Stampeders hit road to take on Lions
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - With three teams separated by just two points at the top of the West Division standings, the Calgary Stampeders try to keep the good times rolling on Saturday night as they tangle with the British Columbia Lions for the second time this season, this time at BC Place.
Since losing to Saskatchewan (36-21), the last of the undefeated teams in the league until last week, the Stampeders have hit a hot streak of their own with four straight wins. The latest victory came against those same Roughriders on August 9 at home in a 42-27 decision, tying the squads for first place in the division at 5-1.
The star of the game for Calgary was running back Jon Cornish, who powered his way to 175 yards and a staggering four touchdowns. Now second in the league in rushing yards (676) and yards from scrimmage (833), Cornish's yardage total from last week was the third-highest in his career, while the four majors were not only a personal best, they also marked the first time since Earl Lunsford in 1962 that a Stampeder registered at least a quartet of TDs on the ground.
First in the league with seven rushing scores and an average of 7.3 yards per carry, Cornish was not only named the top Canadian of the week, he was also named the CFL Offensive Player of the Week as well, the latter accolade marking the first time since 2010 that a native had captured the honor.
Managing the game for Saskatchewan was Kerry Glenn, as the quarterback hit on 21-of-28 passing for 218 yards and a touchdown. Nik Lewis, recipient of a 25- yard TD pass in the fourth quarter, caught seven balls for 96 yards, both game highs.
Lewis now has 31 catches for 381 yards and three TDs this season. With his most recent effort, Lewis moved past Tom Scott (10,837 yards) for 12th place on the CFL's all-time list for receiving yards.
Taking a back seat to the exploits of Cornish, kicker Rene Paredes continued to build upon his CFL record streak of consecutive field goals made, converting a pair to run the number to 36 in a row.
Ironically, the streak by Paredes snapped the previous record set by Paul McCallum a few years ago with British Columbia and during Week 6 action against Winnipeg, McCallum missed a lengthy field goal in the third quarter, snapping his consecutive streak of made field goals at 23 in a row, but still the Lions picked up the 27-20 home win versus the Blue Bombers.
Now 3-0 at home on the season, the Lions were led by Travis Lulay who converted 28-of-39 passing for 268 yards and three touchdowns, one each to Shawn Gore, Korey Williams, and Courtney Taylor. Also finding creases in the Winnipeg defense was wideout Emmanuel Arceneaux, who caught seven passes for a game-high 72 yards.
The BC defense was also at the top of its game as it limited the visitors to a paltry 227 yards of total offense.
There is no team better in the CFL right now in slowing down the competition than the Lions, as they yield just 282.0 ypg.
British Columbia's pass defense has been particularly aggressive, allowing only seven touchdowns through the air and an average of 192.8 ypg, both of which lead the league.
But as well as the Lions might play on that side of the ball, they also have to keep in mind that Calgary is the second-highest scoring team heading into this meeting, averaging 34.0 ppg, which is just a single point behind Saskatchewan.
In the season opener at McMahon Stadium, Drew Tate threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns for the Stamps, while Cornish carved up the BC defense for 172 yards and two majors on 24 carries as well.
Not to be overlooked, Lulay countered for the Lions with 283 yards and three touchdowns through the air, but he was also picked off once and sacked three times. Unfortunately, the Lions didn't do themselves any favors on the road, being flagged eight times for a collective 106 yards, almost twice as many yards as the hosts (54 yards).
In terms of the all-time series between the clubs, with respect to only regular season matchups going back to 1954, the Stampeders now own a 96-77-5 advantage over BC, thanks in part to back-to-back victories in the series. The last win for the Lions was a 27-22 home decision last October.
The squads are scheduled to meet two more times during the 2013 regular season, the next contest taking place in Calgary on Oct. 11, the other being the season finale on Nov. 1 back here in British Columbia.
08/14 10:12:11 ET