Clutch win for Lions in Regina
The B.C. Lions came to play in what was the most important game of the 2013 regular season.
It’s never easy to play in the Madhouse at Mosaic but take away your starting quarterback, a top receiver in Emmannuel Arcenaux and a few questionable calls and the Lions had every excuse in the book to fold their tent and give up.
But they didn’t.
A drive by Thomas DeMarco in the final minute of play set up a Paul McCallum field goal to win the game at the buzzer.
It was a well-deserved win for the Lions, who never gave up and now have a great chance to host a home playoff game or even win the West Division.
It was a win that basically turned the season around and could be the catalyst for a strong second half of the season for the Lions.
Offensive Game Ball – Thomas DeMarco
A number of Lions could vie for this honour – Nick Moore had a huge 43 yard touchdown, Shawn Gore had a good day both on the ground and in the air but the win was set in motion by one man – Thomas DeMarco.
Sure, his numbers weren’t spectacular but just like the late Al Davis said – just win baby! Demarco managed to put up over 200 yards passing but only completed 18 of 33 passes. Still, he stepped up when the Lions needed him to with the last minute drive to give them an opportunity to win.
As far as I’m concerned, Travis Lulay should sit back and take as long as he needs to completely recover from his shoulder injury.
DeMarco proved, on the toughest field in the CFL, that he can step up and with a little more time in the pocket he could be an elite quarterback. He reminded me so much of Dave Dickenson on Sunday and it was a lot of fun to watch.
Defensive Game Ball – Dante Marsh
Just like on offense, there were several Lions on the defensive side that helped lead the Lions to the big win. Adam Bighill was a presence as usual and Cord Parks was solid in the secondary. Josh Bell also had one of his better games of the year and seemed to be almost everywhere on the field. Bell helped out with the pass rush and had five tackles and one pass knocked down.
But it was Dante Marsh with a staggering 13 tackles who gets my game ball. Marsh’s 13 tackles tied a Lions club record and was the seventh highest total in a single game in CFL history. Sure, he may have missed a crucial tackle on the Roughriders go-ahead drive but Marsh was spectacular all game long.
Special Team Ball – Paul McCallum
Special Teams were truly the difference on Sunday against the Riders and again it was a team effort. I thought Marco Iannuzzi’s 28 yard kick return was huge and helped kick off the winning drive on the right foot.
Tim Brown was also strong for the entire game, averaging 20 yards per kickoff return and almost 10 yards per punt.
However, my game ball goes to the man who sealed the deal – Paul McCallum. You know he’s got to love sticking it to his former team on their field and Sunday was another feather in the cap for the hometown hero. McCallum was a perfect three for three in field goals and was money when it counted.
Up next for the Leos is a date with the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg on Friday night.
Winnipeg has been a gong show this year but it will be Buck Pierce’s homecoming and Akeem Foster will line up against his former mates.
I’m predicting a coming out party game for DeMarco, who should eat up the Bombers for some big yards. It all gets underway on Friday at 5 p.m. on TSN.