Canadian Football League

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Battle for top spot in Canadian Football League West still not done

The great collapse continued for the B.C. Lions when they lost 13-12 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday night, the sixth loss in seven games since an 11-0 start to the Canadian Football League schedule.
Saskatchewan managed its only lead when Nealon Greene threw 13 yards to Jason French for a touchdown at 13:21 of the fourth quarter. The two-point convert attempt came up short.
The Lions, 12-6, can still finish first in the West Division, but need the Calgary Stampeders to beat the Edmonton Eskimos on Sunday in Calgary. Edmonton has an 11-6 record and beat B.C. in two of three games this season.
Saskatchewan, 9-9, finishes fourth in the West, but gets a playoff game on the cross-over in the East Division against the second-place Montreal Alouettes on Nov. 13.

The Lions held the lead at halftime with Casey Printers at quarterback. He was replaced by Dave Dickenson in the third quarter and the rusty Dickenson was sacked four times.
Printers returned in the fourth, but couldn't produce a final scoring drive needed to clinch the division title and home field in the West final on Nov. 20.
The Roughriders trailed 12-3 after three quarters, but got a field goal and single before Greene put together a 10-play, 60-yard drive for the win.
The first half bogged down into a series of field goal attempts. Mark McLoughlin hit on all three of his attempts for the Lions, while Paul McCallum was good on his lone try as B.C. led 11-3 by intermission.
Printers started for the Lions, although Dickenson was declared healthy earlier in the week. He suffered a concussion the last time the teams met Oct. 1.
The Lions scored first following a 39-yard punt return by Aaron Lockett. Printers took B.C. to the Saskatchewan five before the drive stalled and McLoughlin kicked at 16 yard field goal at 4:42 of the first quarter.
McCallum conceded a safety on the next series when the snap in punt formation was high, with McCallum retreating into the end zone at 6:34.
Another 39-yard punt return by Lockett allowed McLoughlin to boot a 45-yard field goal at 11:01 and B.C. led 8-0.
Greene got the start for the first time since Aug. 27. He combined with Corey Holmes for a 26-yard pass and run that set up a 33-yard field goal by McCallum at 13:38, cutting the B.C. lead to five points.
McLoughlin kicked a 42-yard field goal at 1:16 of the second quarter to give the Lions an 11-3 lead they nursed to halftime.
Rontarious Robinson intercepted Printers late in the half at the Saskatchewan 18 when Printers tried to throw deep to Geroy Simon.
B.C. defensive end Brent Johnson had three quarterback sacks in the opening half and another early in the second to run his production to a league high 16. Johnson also recovered a Greene fumble in the third quarter.
The Lions added another point in the third on a single by McLoughlin when he was wide with a field goal attempt from the 41 at 7:38.
Saskatchewan was without No. 1 middle linebacker Trevis Smith. He was placed on the disabled list after charged with aggravated sexual in Surrey, B.C., last week.
Non-import Mike McCullough replaced Smith in the middle of the Saskatchewan defence without any evidence of a drop-off.


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