Toronto Argonauts defensive back Trumaine Washington (36) has words with BC Lions fullback Rolly Lumbala (46) during CFL football action in Vancouver on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. Lions face stiff test trying to hand Stampeders first home loss

B.C. (7-7) visits the Calgary Stampeders (12-2) on Saturday night.

The B.C. Lions’ playoff quest faces a stiff test this weekend.

B.C. (7-7) visits the Calgary Stampeders (12-2) on Saturday night. The Lions enter action tied with the Edmonton Eskimos for fourth in the West Division standings while the Stamps are first with the CFL’s best record.

But that’s not all. Calgary is a perfect 7-0 this season at McMahon Stadium while the Lions are a dismal 1-6 on the road.

Calgary has already clinched a home playoff game. But the defending West Division champion is looking to cement top spot and punch its ticket to the conference final once again.

B.C. has climbed back into playoff contention, winning four of its last five games, and is coming off a 26-23 home victory over the Toronto Argonauts. But the Lions will have a different quarterback under centre as veteran Travis Lulay returns to the starting lineup.

Lulay, 35, suffered a left shoulder injury in the Lions’ 32-14 home win over the Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 14. The Lions went 2-1 with backup Jonathon Jennings.

Jennings was just 14-of-24 passing for 199 yards and a TD versus Toronto but also added 47 yards rushing on three carries. Jeremiah Johnson was the Lions’ offensive stalwart, running for 118 yards on 19 carries while adding three catches for 22 yards.

Related: ‘It’s my life’s work’: B.C. Lions coach offers reward for missing items

Related: B.C. Lions keep CFL playoff hopes alive, dump Argos 26-23

But the Lions still needed six field goals from Ty Long to fend off a spirited comeback attempt from Argos backup James Franklin. Branden Burks, replacing the injured James Wilder Jr., ran for 92 yards on eight carries (11.5-yard average) also.

B.C.’s defence allowed 402 offensive yards and registered just one sack. But the unit also had four interceptions, including two by Davon Coleman.

Stout defence led Calgary to a 12-6 road win in Montreal last weekend as quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell earned his first victory at Molson Stadium. Mitchell finished 20-of-34 passing for 199 yards with three interceptions but the Stampeders’ defence had three sacks and three interceptions.

Calgary has outscored its opponents 204-116 at home and is 4-2 within the West Division. By comparison, B.C. has been outscored 216-149 on the road and has just two wins in six contests against Western rivals.

Prediction: Calgary.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats versus Toronto Argonauts (Friday night)

At Toronto, Franklin begins his second stint as the starter for the Argos (3-11). He was 1-3 earlier this year before losing the No. 1 job to McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The defending Grey Cup champions won’t be in the playoffs but Hamilton (7-7) comes off the bye just two points out of first place in the East Division having won the two previous meetings.

Prediction: Hamilton.

Saskatchewan Roughriders versus Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday afternoon)

At Winnipeg, the Bombers (8-7) have won three straight to move into third in the West Division standings. Matt Nichols threw three TD passes while Andrew Harris ran for 132 yards on 20 carries in last weekend’s 40-32 road win over Ottawa. Saskatchewan (10-5) has also won three consecutive games and six of its last eight.

Prediction: Winnipeg.

Ottawa Redblacks versus Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday night)

At Edmonton, these are troubled times for the Eskimos (7-8) who’ve dropped three straight and six of their last eight to stand last in the West Division standings. Ottawa (8-6) comes off a 40-32 home loss to Winnipeg as Trevor Harris threw for 349 yards and three TDs. Rookie Lewis Ward has made a CFL-record 40 straight field goals and 43-of-44 overall.

Prediction: Edmonton.

Last week: 3-1.

Overall: 42-23.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Three incumbent councillors re-elected in Houston

Houston mayor and director of Electoral Area G re-elected by acclamation

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Six cattle killed on Hungry Hill

After a brief closure Friday the highway is now open to traffic.

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read