Simon sets franchise record in Lions win
Geroy Simon hauled in his 66th touchdown reception in a B.C. uniform, a franchise record, and Paul McCallum kicked six field goals, in a 27-21 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday night.
B.C. (7-5) notched its third consecutive win, serving notice that the Lions are still contenders to win the CFL West despite a slow start.
"We feel we can beat anybody in this league. We feel we're the most talented team," said B.C. quarterback Buck Pierce, who completed 19 of 35 passes for 197 yards. "Saskatchewan's a good football team but they're not any better than us."
Simon passed Jim Young for the franchise record on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Pierce late in the first half. Simon passed Young in all-time B.C. reception yardage in June.
Saskatchewan (8-4) is now tied for first in the West with Calgary, which trounced Toronto earlier in the day.
"It's going to be a dogfight as we go down this last third of the season and I just have a lot of confidence in the men in our locker room," said Riders head coach Ken Miller. "I think their character will help us pull through."
Last Saturday in Vancouver, the ferocious Lions' pass rush devoured Saskatchewan's offensive line, sacking quarterback Michael Bishop six times in a 28-23 win.
The Roughriders nearly rallied from a 10-point deficit in the rematch in front of a raucous crowd at Mosaic Stadium, in a game which featured four quarterbacks.
Saskatchewan was stuffed on a third-down play near the B.C. goal line in the fourth quarter that would have put it ahead, and did not get another chance.
Quarterback Darian Durant replaced starter Bishop, who was pulled late in the first after throwing an interception to Barron Miles.
Should Durant get another start, it is thanks to running back Stu Foord, who replaced CFL leading rusher Wes Cates after he left with an apparent leg injury in the first.
Foord rushed for an 18-yard touchdown in the second and took a short Durant pass and juked out the B.C. offence en route to a 55-yard score late in the third.
"I had dream that I would score a touchdown the first time that I touched the ball," said Foord, a native of Regina. "I knew that I would be so jacked up that if anything was there, I was going to take it. I did that and now I can say my first touch was a touchdown."
Foord also bailed Durant out, recovering the ball when the quarterback fumbled on a sneak attempt near the Lions' goal line in the fourth.
Durant finished 6-of-15 passing for 105 yards, and also threw an interception to Miles.
The quarterback's line could have been worse, as B.C. defensive backs Ryan Phillips and Jerome Dennis each dropped what should have been interceptions.
Lions backup Jarious Jackson scrambled 25 yards to set up McCallum's final field goal late in the fourth.
Jackson came on earlier in the quarter after Pierce was walloped by linebacker Maurice Lloyd.
After conceding a safety, McCallum made three consecutive field goals for a 9-2 lead.
The inability to get into the end zone finally caught up to B.C., who botched a punt attempt on a ball that was recovered by Lyle Green.
Regina native Foord rumbled into the end zone for a 9-9 score, but the Lions responded on the next drive when Pierce found Simon.
McCallum added another field goal for a 19-9 lead in the third, but the Roughriders began to inch closer.
Instead of attempting a field goal of their own late in the game, Saskatchewan coach Ken Miller decided to go for it, but Foord didn't have a chance.
Earlier in the quarter, a missed face-mask penalty on a play that led to a Roughriders turnover led some in the Mosaic crowd to pelt the Lions sidelines with cans and debris, causing B.C. coach Wally Buono to move his team until tempers cooled.
Prior to the game, the Roughriders honoured the memory of CFL legend Ron Lancaster, who died Thursday of cancer at the age of 69. Lancaster spent 17 seasons in Saskatchewan, leading the franchise to its first Grey Cup in 1966.
He later coached the team.
Edmonton (7-4) can make it a three-way tie atop the CFL West with a win over Montreal.