Just Like Old Times Geroy
Turns out, the game has more serious implications than just the return of Superman.
After getting out to a blistering hot start, the Roughriders have been in a late season tailspin where they have slipped from first to third in the ultra-competitive CFL West Division. The Riders could seal a place in the post season with a victory over the Lions but more importantly the locale of the West semi-final is still up for grabs.
Each of these two teams is vying for home field advantage.
With QB Travis Lulay further sidelined with his shoulder injury, the BC Lions Offense will once again be in the hands of Thomas DeMarco. Coming off back to back victories, including a win in Regina, DeMarco will once again be looking to outshine the Green Riders, but in order to do so he must start producing more significant numbers passing.
It’s no shock that the Lions Defence, led by reigning CFL Defensive player of the month LB Adam Bighill, has carried the club the past two weeks and they will need to shine again as Sasky will no doubt be looking to extract revenge.
For the Defense, the game plan is simple: get to the Quarterback. Attacking Darian Durant and putting him into uncomfortable throwing positions will limit the effectiveness of his dynamic receivers. Led by Keron Williams and Eric Taylor, the D-Line must provide pressure straight up the middle of the field.
But with all the attention on those three, it was Tal Smith who exploded for 10 catches and over 100 yards in the previous contest.
The defensive backs have been feasting on turnovers the last few weeks and will need to provide the same spark and energy for the home crowd.
But the major “X” factor in the re-match will be Saskatchewan RB Kory Sheets, who didn’t play in round one of this series. Sheets may be the most electric running back in the league and still tops the standings in rushing yards, even after missing the past few games.
Look for Bighill and LB partner Solomon Elimimian to play spy games on the elusive Sheets.
Offensively, the Lions will still roll out a simple ball control style game plan. Even as DeMarco becomes more familiar with running the offense I still suspect he won’t have all the pages in the play book open to him.
Like last week, I envision an addition to the workload of Andrew Harris.
Churning the clock and limiting the Time of Possession for the Riders.
That doesn’t mean the Lions O will be stagnant however, we have seen that DeMarco has a big accurate arm and should look to find WR’s Courtney Taylor and Nick Moore in one on one situations with the Riders’ shorter DB’s.
One thing is for sure though, no matter of the outcome, the hero and the star of this game will be Number 81.
The long-time Leo, BC community activist, and the greatest receiver in the history of the CFL.
And I’m not afraid to admit it; I hope he takes a TD pass into Geroy’s Corner, for old time’s sake, I’d like to see the iconic pose.
Cheers, The Bartender