Last year at this time he had just been named the Lions undisputed number one quarterback heading into training camp. But after another season with injury troubles to both his shoulder and head (concussions), Pierce became a victim of the business side of football. There was no way the Lions could carry him and his $300,000 contract this season. He was due a bonus payment on March 15th. Pierce was released just a day after the Lions announced a contract extension for Casey Printers.
The Lions had this release on their website:
The BC Lions Football Club announced today that quarterback Buck Pierce has been released.
“Buck has been a consummate professional during his time with our organization and in addition to thanking him for his efforts over the past five seasons we also wish him the very best in the future,” said Lions GM and head coach Wally Buono.
Originally joining the club as a free agent in 2005, Piercewent on to start 34 of his 86 career games in the CFL, compiling a mark of 21-12-1. He leaves the Leos ranked seventh on the club’s all-time passing list with 8,734 yards and sixth all-time with 692 completions. His career passing efficiency rating of 93.6 is third-best among all Lions quarterbacks behind only Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers.
In 2009, he appeared in 12 of 18 games for the club including the first seven of the season and five consecutive games from September 19th to October 18th. Buck led the club in passing yards with 2,272 and 10 TD passes including three, 300-yard passing games in 2009, giving him eight for his five-year career.
Pierce is truly one of the good guys. He always had time to chat with kids or fans at practice and training camp and he made many community appearances. I had the pleasure of meeting his parents at a tailgate party one year and it was clear to see where he got his values and demeanour. As a player, Pierce was as tough as they come. Often playing hurt, Pierce gave his all to the Lions and was a valuable asset both as a starter and a backup during his time with the team.
On behalf of BCLionsDen.ca and all our members, I would like to thank Buck Pierce for his contributions to the team and our community, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
Bombs over BC? Fans of the BC Lions fans will hope so after the club announced a contract extension for quarterback Casey Printers Sunday evening. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“Casey has demonstrated that he’s not only a gifted and exciting quarterback, but that he is capable of being one of our core leaders moving forward into next season,” said Lions GM and head coach Wally Buono.
Printers rejoined the Lions during the 2009 season, and finished the year as the club’s starter after both Jackson and Pierce were lost to injury. He finished the season completing 43 of 68 passing attempts for 686 yards and three TD’s, showing flashes of the 2004 Printers that won the league’s most outstanding player award.
Despite terms of the deal not being released, it can be assumed that Printers will be paid in line with other CFL starting quarterbacks, meaning the club will likely making another announcement in the near future regarding the release or trade of one it’s QB’s. It’s an almost certainty that one of Jarious Jackson or Buck Pierce will likely be gone come training camp. With Pierce’s history of shoulder problems and concussions, he may be the one on the move, but there is no way the Lions can carry three pivots at the dollars they are making.
Printers is happy to be staying with the Lions. “As excited as I was to return last season, I am even more ecstatic to be signing this extension and getting an opportunity to contribute to the Lions in any way I can,” said Printers. “We have an outstanding group of players on both offense and defense that will make us very difficult to play against in 2010.”
The BC Lions came back from an early 14-0 deficit to eke out a 24-21 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The victory lifts the Lions record to 8-7, and has them only a single point behind the 8-6-1 Rough Riders and Stampeders for first place in the West after the conclusion of Week 16.
It was Travis Lulay, on in relief of the injured Buck Pierce, who saved a game marred with turnovers and penalties to lift the Lions over the Bombers. Lulay’s thirty yard connection with recently activated running back A.J. Harris with about thirteen minutes left would cap the scoring for British Columbia.
Pierce may be done for the season according to Vancouver Sun reporter Ian Walker, who was covering the game from Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg. Pierce was knocked out of the game with what is reported to be a shoulder injury before the end of the first quarter after failing to complete a pass to one of his Lion teammates on two attempts. Pierce’s first attempt, on BC’s third play from scrimmage was picked off by Jovon Johnson, who returned it thirty-two yards to the BC 31 to set up the Winnipeg offense with good field position. The Bombers were unable to move the ball, though, and settled for a single to make the score 8-0 at that point after an Alexis Serna miss wide-right from thirty-nine yards.
The Lions would start to move the ball on the ground with Pierce and Harris before Pierce’s injury. Adding to the indignity, Pierce would also lose the ball on a fumble, giving the ball back to the Winnipeggers on their own 44 yard-line. Fred Reid would rip off a fourteen yard run before the Lions defence would stiffen and force another Serna field goal attempt, this one good from thirty-nine yards out.
The turnovers kept mounting, as Ryan Grice-Mullen coughed the ball up three plays into the ensuing possession, leading to yet another Serna attempt, this one good from thirty yards to push the score to 14-0 in favour of the home side, where it would stay to close out the first quarter.
The Lions would start to play the field-position game to their advantage early in the second when an illegal block penalty on Winnipeg’s Lenny Walls after a forty-seven yard punt from Paul McCallum pinned the Bombers on their own seven. After Anton McKenzie stuffed Fred Reid for a loss on first-down, the Bombers’ erratic Michael Bishop started the comeback for the Lions, throwing a pass directly to the Lions’ Dante Marsh, who scampered eighteen yards for the touchdown to cut the margin to seven.
After a two-and-out from the Bombers, the Lions’ offense would start moving the ball, Lulay running for thirty yards on a second-and-ten to key the drive resulting in a thirteen-yard field goal from Paul McCallum narrowing the gap to four. Another two-and-out, with Bishop missing Otis Amey twice and a poor Serna punt of only twenty-eight yards gave the ball back to BC. The Lions mustered only one first down before stalling, but ended up adding a single to the tally when a booming McCallum punt rolled out of the back of the end zone to make it 14-11 in favour of the Bombers.
Korey Banks would come up with a sack and forced fumble recovered by Aaron Hunt which led to another field goal from McCallum to knot the score, this one from thirty-seven yards.
Bishop would manage to connect on a long throw to Terrance Edwards on the next possession for the Bombers to move the ball to the BC 33. An eighteen-yard penalty against Stephen Williams- which also resulted in Williams’ being sent off- moved the ball down to the BC 15 and Fred Reid would carry for eleven more down to the four before the Lions’ defence shut the Bombers down and forced the Serna field goal to put the home side up by three with under half a minute remaining in the half.
A good return from Harris and a pair of completions from Lulay to O’Neil Wilson would set up a forty-seven yard McCallum field goal to end the half with the score deadlocked at seventeen.
Both teams would duel in the middle of the field for the majority of the third quarter, with the only real sustained drive resulting in yet another chip-shot field goal from Winnipeg’s Serna, this one from seventeen yards to break the tie.
The Lions would go from their 31 to the Winnipeg 20, only to come away empty-handed when Lulay was intercepted by Jonathan Hefney. Michael Bishop answered with an interception toss of his own, hitting the Lions ‘ Barron Miles who had dropped into double coverage, and who returned the pick to the Winnipeg 28. Two plays later, it was Lulay to A.J. Harris for thirty yards and six points, Harris’ first touchdown in the CFL and as a BC Lion. The McCallum conversion made it 24-20 in favour of the Lions with just under thirteen minutes in the game.
Winnipeg would add another single on a Serna miss wide left from forty-seven yards out to close to within three. The Bombers’ offense would be largely stuck in neutral for the remainder of the game with Bishop returning to his erratic form. By the time Bishop threw his second interception to a wide-open Barron Miles, the Lions’ chances of victory seemed greatly enhanced, and the team held on to run out the clock and seal the win.
There will be words in both locker rooms and for the Lions on their flight back to Vancouver about turnovers and discipline, as both teams combined to turn the ball over nine times. Penalties were also a factor in the game, with the home-standing Bombers being penalized nine times for a total of eighty-six yards and the Lions flagged seven times for eighty-six, with each team having a penalty declined.
A big tip of the hat to Andrew Bucholtz of Sporting Madness for keeping this reporter both entertained and informed during today’s game despite the lack of a viable TSN web feed for the game. Andrew, you’re a gentleman and a scholar as well as fine company with which to cover a game.
In a stunning last-minute pair of game-shifts, the Lions gave up the lead, reclaimed it with less than twenty seconds left to play on a 62-yard touchdown by Geroy Simon, and went on to defeat the Edmonton Eskimos 34-31.
It was a rough opening quarter in chilly Edmonton for the host Eskimos, and not merely on the thermometer. As cold as it was on the field, to open the game, the Esks were colder, as the BC Lions defence kept Edmonton from registering a single first down in the first quarter.
The Lions’ offense wasn’t much warmer, but still generated a Paul McCallum field goal in the quarter. After what appeared to be another botched short yardage attempt by the Lions on 2nd and short was aided by a face masking penalty by Maurice Lloyd Pierce connected on a 39-yard strike to Geroy Simon on the second play of the second quarter, putting the Lions u 10-1.
Continuing in the second, things looked to be heating up for the Lions, who capitalized with a ten-yard run by Martell Mallett after a James Yurichek interception of a third-down pass attempt/fake punt by Edmonton kicker Noel Prefontaine. The “Hammer’s” touchdown made the score 17-1 in favour of the visitors from British Columbia.
The Eskimos’ offense finally started to thaw, with a seven play, eighty yards drive, capped off with a forty-yard touchdown reception by the Esk’s Fred Stamps. The teams would trade field goals to head into the locker room with the Lions up by 9, 20-11.
To open the third quarter, the Lions offense would roar once again, with Pierce throwing to Ryan Grice-Mullen for the major, giving the Lions what looked to be a reasonably comfortable 27-11 lead.
From there it was all Eskimos, with the confines of Commonwealth Stadium finally warming to the hosts. Edmonton clawed back into the game with a touchdown and two Prefontaine field goals to pull within a field goal at 27-24. The Lions struggled on offense and couldn’t get valuable first downs. The field position started to shift in Edmonton’s favour. After another sloppy series, a shanked 20 yard Paul McCallum punt left the Eskimos with the ball on the Lions 28 yard line. They would drive the ball down to the one and Ricky Ray plunged in from the there to give the Eskimos a four point lead with just under a minute to play. It was starting to look as if the Lions may end up snake-bitten in spite of what had been a fairly solid effort on both sides of the ball.
With just fifty-seven seconds remaining in the game, the Lions got the ball back seventy-five yards from pay-dirt and trailing by four. Short completions from Pierce to O’Neil Wilson and Simon netted the Lions thirteen yards, but at the cost of about a third of their remaining time.
A Pierce incompletion intended for Wilson would stop the clock with just twenty-two ticks remaining, and then the Lions caught lightning in a bottle. Pierce found a seam in the Eskimos’ secondary and despite double coverage connected with Geroy Simon on a 62-yard touchdown to pull out the victory.
The Lions’ defence managed to keep Edmonton QB Ricky Ray from getting comfortable in the pocket, registering four sacks, with Anton McKenzie, Jeremy Gibbs, Korey Banks and Ricky Foley each collecting one. Banks and McKenzie’s both came at crucial junctures when it seemed that Ray had finally uncovered something in the BC secondary, helping to keep the Esks out of the red zone and forcing them to settle for the second of Prefontaine’s field goals in the fourth quarter.
Special teams play definitely noted the absence of Sean Whyte, as McCallum’s eight punts on the night only averaged thirty-two and a half yards- likely due in part to the cold temperatures- but with the last two of the evening traveling only thirty-one and twenty yards, each with double-digit yard returns, the stage was set for the Eskimos offense with a short field.
Tonight belonged to the receivers, though, even in the absence of the injured Paris Jackson. Geroy Simon led the way with nine catches for 170 yards and the two long touchdowns. Emmanuel Arceneaux also had a solid performance, reeling in seven balls for eighty-eight yards before leaving the game with a hand injury.
The win lifts the Lions to 7-7 on the season, only two points back of division-leading Calgary and tied for second with Saskatchewan. The Riders host Toronto tomorrow, while Calgary faces off with Montreal at Percival Molson Stadium in the opener of the Thanksgiving Day doubleheader.
On a personal note, to my friends back in the Home and Native Land, happy Thanksgiving on Monday. May you enjoy the holiday with friends and family and really appreciate all that you have; and keep warm thoughts for the man and women of the Canadian Forces in their peacekeeping roles around the world who may be spending the time far away from their loved ones.
Down here in the States, my family will join with you, even in absentia, probably in the company of another expat family.
Until next Sunday, when the Lions tangle with the Blue Bombers, I wish you well!
The BC Lions needed a win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday night to keep with the pack in the tight CFL Western Division. They got that won, but made it a lot harder on themselves than it should have been, squeaking out a 19-16 victory before over 31,000 fans at BC Place stadium.
Fresh off the opening kickoff, things looked good for the BC Lions. Nine plays, starting from the 41-yard-line, and the Lions had the ball at the Saskatchewan one. Unfortunately, the Green Riders stood tall with their backs to their own end-zone, stuffing Martell Mallett on third-and-goal. The Riders strung together a ten play drive of their own to answer, but kicked the ball back to the Lions, who started moving it again, only to have a second drive result in no points when Sean Whyte’s 31-yard attempt caught nothing but upright.
The first quarter would close with the Lion defense starting to assert itself, and opening the second, Rickey Foley tallied the first sack of the evening, bring down Darian Durant for a loss of seven, and forcing another Jason Boreham punt.
Again, the Lions would drive. Ryan Grice-Mullen opened the possession with a twenty-four yard scamper, followed by Martell Mallett rushes for nine and thirteen yards. A Buck Pierce toss to Geroy Simon fell to the carpet along with a penalty flag as Omarr Morgan ran Simon over in the end zone, resulting in a first-and-goal for the Lions from the Saskatchewan one. But yet again, the goal line offense would sputter, settling for a nine-yard field goal from Whyte as a disappointing cap to the seven play, sixty-six yard drive. What could have been a 17-0 BC lead was only 3-0.
The defense would continue to perform solidly, holding the Riders to another two-and-out, giving the Lions the ball back in Saskatchewan territory after a no-yards penalty. A twenty-one yard completion from Pierce to Paris Jackson set the stage for another Whyte field goal, this one from 43 yards out.
Ryan Phillips would pick off a Durant pass on the Riders’ next play from scrimmage, but the ensuing drive would fizzle on a Whyte miss wide left from forty-five yards out, and Lions’ fans couldn’t help but wonder if the missed opportunities would come back to haunt them.
A pair of ineffective possessions would give Saskatchewan the ball back in the closing seconds of the half, and Luca Congi put the visitors on the scoreboard with a forty-nine yard boot, making the score 6-3. The half ended with a Pierce throw intended for Geroy Simon, rather than electing a fifty-yard attempt from Whyte to close the half, which had the potential to be yet another uncapitalized chance. Pierce at this point had been knocked down on eight attempts and hurried on seven more, knocking Buck Pierce to the turf repeatedly. Pierce would sustain an injury- losing the nail from the ring finger of his throwing hand, but pushed on past pain. Fans at BC Place had to be wondering which hit would be the one to send Pierce to the sidelines for Travis Lulay.
Pierce hung tough, though, playing for his career after recent criticism of his performance, and had the Lions on the march again to open the third quarter. But it was Travis Lulay, coming in on second-and short from the Riders’ thirty-eight who orchestrated a brilliant play-action fake, completing a pass to Paris Jackson for the touchdown to put the Lions ahead 13-3.
The Riders started to shift the field position in their favour, starting when Jamie Boreham successfully kicked to the coffin corner, rolling a punt across the sideline at the BC four. Pierce would take another hit and have the ball knocked loose by Stevie Baggs, but Damane Duckett came up with the recovery. An illegal contact flag would move the ball out to the BC fourteen, but only for two plays, as Baggs would register a sack on Pierce for an eight yard loss. The Lions elected to concede the safety, making the score 13-5.
On the ensuing drive, the Riders would get another Luca Congi field goal, this time from forty-seven yards out to bring the visitors to within five, and it would stay that way until about halfway through the fourth quarter, when the Lions started moving again, only to have Grice-Mullen lose the ball to Saskatchewan’s Donovan Alexander, who returned it twenty-five yards to give the Riders’ the ball in BC territory. Barron Miles would step up to thwart the threat on the next play, picking off Durant’s pass intended for Andy Fantuz and returning it seven yards to the Lions’ thirty-six. It looked as if the Lions would be able to run a little time off the clock, but after runs of twenty-one and five yards from Mallett and a Pierce keeper for another twenty, two incompletions forced the Lions to stretch the lead to eight on a twenty-five yard kick from Whyte to make the lead eight.
The Lion defence would show their only real vulnerability, as the Durant went three-for-four of his next attempts, culminating in a twenty-four yard throw Fantuz had to stretch to reel in for the touchdown to close the gap to two with under three minutes to play. On the two-point conversion attempt, sheer athleticism allowed Durant to elude the BC pass rush and connect with Gerran Walker to knot the score at sixteen with 2:33 remaining on the clock and the stage was set for the Riders to steal a game they really had no business being in.
But the Lions buckled down, clawing down the field. The game winning drive featured some hard running from Mallett, and a key shoestring catch by Geroy Simon to keep the drive alive. A gutsy run by Buck Pierce got the Lions down close to set the stage for Sean Whyte to win the game with a thirty-three yard field goal with five seconds left on the clock. The Riders attempted some trickery on the ensuing kick off, but an attempted on side punt down field was blocked and recovered by former Rider Anton McKenzie to seal the win for BC.
The win combined with Edmonton’s loss to Winnipeg earlier in the evening lifted the Lions to 6-7 and into a tie with the Eskimos for third place in the Western Conference, two points behind the Riders and Calgary. The effort was a gutsy one, particularly by Pierce, but fans have to wonder about the potential quarterback situation with Jarious Jackson still recovering from a shoulder injury and Casey Printers tucked away on the practice roster; especially should Pierce have to endure another pounding like the one he withstood tonight.
- The club honoured Wally Buono before the game with a video tribute, a game ball and a portrait to mark his CFL coaching record.
- Rider fans pushed attendance to over 31,000 for the game.
- Paris Jackson left the game with what was reported to be a knee injury and did not return.
- Jackson and Geroy Simon both went over 100 yards receiving, netting 114 and 134 respectively.
Well, anyone who thinks the Lions get special favours from the officials in the league can look at Friday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders to see that just isn’t the case.
As is so often the case in sports, you get breaks and you have them go against you as well. On Friday night a critical 3rd quarter play that went against the Lions changed the course of the game, and set the Stampeders up for a 27-18 victory at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
With the score tied at 17-17 the Stamps had the ball and quarterback Henry Burris launched a pass that was “caught” by Nik Lewis. The ball popped out when Lewis made contact with ground. CFL rules say the receiver must survive contact with the ground for a pass to be complete. The ball popped out on contact with the ground and was snatched out of the air by Barron Miles and the ruling on the field was an interception. The Stamps challenged the play and the league officials ruled Lewis made the catch and was down by contact. The Stamps scored the go ahead touchdown on the following play and the Lions never recovered.
Bad penalties, missed receivers, and continually finding themselves in 2nd and long did the Lions in in the second half, wasting what was looking to be their best effort of the season.
Both Martell Mallett and Joffrey Reynolds had big nights on the ground, but it was the Stamps defense that buckled down in the second half. A 4th quarter Buck Pierce interception pretty much sealed the deal.
Reynolds finished the night with 157 yards rushing, once again exposing the Lions weak run stopping defense, which has been an issue all season. The Lions special teams also failed them once again. After opening the scoring on an impressive drive early in the second quarter on a Martell Mallett 25 yard touchdown run the Lions surrendered a 75 yard return on the kickoff, transferring whatever momentum they had built up back to the Stamps, who would score four plays later on a seven yard Henry Burris run.
“Demetris Summers’ kickoff return gave us some momentum,” Stampeders coach John Hufnagel said. “We scored some points on that. Then when B.C. scored we were able to answer. Every time they scored, we answered.”
Buck Pierce had a decent night for the Lions, but the crucial interception in the fourth sealed the Lions fate. Then with the Lions driving and needing four yards to keep the drive alive late in the game, Pierce through a ball in the dirt to Martell Mallett with Paris Jackson wide open on a deeper route.
The loss dropped the Lions to 5-7 on the season, and any hopes of challenging for the division are starting to fade. They’ll need help from other teams for that to happen, and they’ll have to help themselves starting next week when the Saskatchewan Roughriders pay a visit to BC Place. The Lions are looking more and more like they’ll be slotting into a cross over spot in the east if they hope to get to Calgary in November.
- Martell Mallett: 15 carries, 136 yards and 1 TD
- Buck Pierce: 17 for 27 236 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
- The Stampeders honoured Wally Buono before the game.
- Nose Tackle Steve Williams made his Lions debut and was quickly dubbed “Little T” by those of us watching the game, because of his last name and his resemblance of former Lions great Tyrone Williams.
The BC Lions didn’t win tonight’s game at BC Place as much as the Toronto Argonauts lost it. Toronto’s offensive line was simply inept in protecting quarterback Cody Pickett, yielding six sacks and allowing the BC pass rush to hurry Pickett all night, contributing to a pair of interceptions as the Lions prevailed, 23-17.
It was often ugly, but how they won won’t be remembered a week from tonight. No, the story from Vancouver is all about the coach with the most wins in Canadian Football League history, as the Lions lifted Wally Buono past the legendary Don Matthews in giving him win number 232 for his career.
The night started on a positive note for Coach Buono’s boys. The defence backed Toronto up on their opening possession with a sack by Rickey Foley and then a Jason Arakgi recovery of a botched Jason Medlock punt gave the Lions the ball at the Toronto eight-yard-line.
The offense, with Buck Pierce back under centre, was held motionless, forcing the Lions to settle on a Sean Whyte field goal to draw first blood.
It looked as if it might be another long night for the Boatmen when Pickett threw his first interception of the night to Korey Banks on the ensuing possession. Five plays later, the CFL’s leading rusher Martell “The Hammer” Mallett cashed the turnover in for six points and the ensuing conversion by Whyte staked the Lions to a 10-0 bulge.
The defence took the ball back again, stuffing the CFL’s second leading rusher- Jamal Robertson- for a loss of four yards and sacking Pickett for another four, but the Lions were unable to capitalize again to put the game seemingly out of reach, and settled for a single to lead by eleven.
After the first quarter, it seemed Toronto was stuck in reverse, marshalling a total offense amounting to a loss of nine yards; while the Lions were sputtering along, failing to sustain a drive of more than five plays yet still emerging with the lead. It would turn out that they’d need it.
After an exchange of field goals, the Toronto D would come up big, blocking a Sean Whyte punt and capitalizing on it as Jordan Younger scooped the ball up and scored the touchdown to close the gap to 14-10. The teams would return to the locker rooms at the half with the score unchanged.
The Argos would take the lead on their first possession of the second half, keyed by a sixty-two yard strike from Pickett to Chad Lucas. Four Jamal Robertson rushes and one by Kerry Joseph moved the ball to the BC one, and Robertson took it in for the score to make it 17-14 in favour of the visitors.
The Lions would tie the game again on the ensuing possession, culminating in a 41-yard field goal from Whyte, and took the lead two possessions later on another field goal, this one from thirty-two yards. From there, it was simply a matter of holding on.
Sean Whyte would kick another in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to provide the final margin, but by and large, there wasn’t much to celebrate from the offense in this one- provident, because there really aren’t any storylines to distract from the Buono milestone.
Buck Pierce was decent in his first game back starting, going twenty-for-twenty-eight for 171 yards while throwing no interceptions, and spreading the wealth to seven different recievers. Mallett had a relatively lackluster evening, marshaling only fifty-five yards on eighteen attempts. The defense was led by Ricky Foley, who had a monster of a game with seven tackles and three sacks; and JoJuan Armour with four tackles.
Wally’s in the record books in time to return to Calgary next week as the Lions look to even their record at 6-6 against the Stampeders.
- According to Lowell Ullrich of the Vancouver Province, the Lions have initiated talks with quarterback Casey Printers about a possible practice roster position. Printers has retained agent Gil Scott to participate in the discussions, but Buono is making it clear that if Printers wants anything more than a practice roster deal, the discussion will be a short one.
- Don Matthews was in attendance to witness Buono’s record setting win.
- The Lions will have to contend with a revamped Calgary receiving core Friday. Ryan Thelwell ruptured his Achilles tendon in Calgary’s game against Hamilton Friday, and has been lost for the season. The Stamps wasted little time replacing Thelwell, who was having a stellar season, acquiring import receiver Romby Bryant and non-import Arjei Franklin from Winnipeg following another loss for the Bombers Sunday in Montreal. Winnipeg receives receiver Jabari Arthur, returner Titus Ryan and defensive lineman Odell Willis plus two draft picks.
(Compiled by Brian Wawryshyn)
Radio station CKNW is reporting that quarterback Jarious Jackson could be done for the season with what is speculated to be a torn rotator cuff on his throwing shoulder.
The Lions have neither confirmed or denied the report, saying only that Jackson had underwent an MRI Thursday. Jackson has missed the last two days of practice and Buck Pierce will get the start Saturday against Toronto.
Pierce’s injury woes are well known and he’s coming off a break after suffering his second concussion of the year before the bye week.
Jackson’s injury means Zac Champion will likely be added to the active roster, and speculation will now begin if a phone call could be made to former Lion Casey Printers, who has yet to find a new home after being released by the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Buono has never ruled out bringing Printers back to the club where he had his most success, winning the leagues most outstanding player award in 2004.
Tonight at BC Place Stadium, Jarious Jackson will start another game for the BC Lions. It won’t be the first time, he has done so, but it could well be the most important start of his career if he hopes to regain the starters role.
There is no doubt Jackson has been one of the best back up QB’s in the league for a few years now. But as a starter he starts slowly and has often struggled. Getting pulled to start the 3rd quarter last week in Toronto irked Jackson, who returned to the game to lead the Lions to the win. One would have to think Jackson’s chances of securing starter status here are running out. With talk of Buck Pierce being re-evaluated after the bye week, Jackson must impress this week to have the club consider him as the number one QB, coming out of the break.
There is no doubt that Jackson posesses superior arm strength. An article in today’s Vancouver Province talks about the need for Jackson to develop and add a softer touch to his arsenal, to go along with his ability to get the ball to a receiver with zip, or go deep.
Friday is a big night for Jarious.
What are your thoughts? Let us know below, or in our forums!
It’s the week of dramatic finales in the CFL. After the Edmonton Eskimos stunned the Calgary Stampeders with an improbable touchdown strike in the waning seconds on Thursday, tonight the BC Lions rallied for a victory on the road in Hogtown.
After all but being left for dead at the half, down 19-7 and having nothing positive to show offensively other than a single 33-yard drive culminating in a Rolly Lumbala touchdown, the BC Lions stormed back to capsize the Toronto Argonauts and their hopes of capturing a victory at home walking away with a 36-28 victory.
The Toronto hopes looked good, with the Boatmen holding an eight point edge with just over six minutes to play, but Jarious Jackson seemed to have found a gap in the Argos’ defensive scheme in the second half- a susceptibility to long throws down the middle of the field.
Head Coach Wally Buono decided at the half to try to do something to shake the Lions’ offense up, electing to put third-stringer Travis Lulay behind centre to open the third quarter, to no avail, as the Lions sandwiched a pair of two-and-outs around an 11-play, 84-yard Toronto drive culminating in one of Justin Medlock’s seven field goals of the night.
The Lions defence continued what seemed to be a policy of “bend but don’t break” in holding Toronto out of the end zone for most of the game, yielding only a single major, but came up with a game-changing two-and-out stop of the Argos which seemed to spark the rally.
Lulay only played two more snaps before being the second BC quarterback knocked out of the game. Jarious Jackson returned to the game and proceeded to take the team in for six on a 35-yard strike to Paris Jackson on a post pattern to make it 22-14.
After a bad penalty call against Barron Miles looked to have the Argos seriously threatening on the ensuing possession, Ricky Foley shut the door and forced Toronto to settle for a 52-yard field goal from Medlock to close the third quarter.
The Jackson to Jackson connexion struck again under a minute into the fourth, with Paris reeling in a pass for a 57 yard gain, setting up another Jackson to Jackson pass two plays later to close the gap to 25-21, and suddenly rather than being the one-sided affair it looked like at the half, the Lions were in striking distance.
The mental lapses which plagued the first few games of the season almost struck again on the conversion attempt, with the interception by Jason Shivers returned 51 yards. Fortunately, Shivers was brought down by Jarious Jackson, back-checking to make amends for his error.
Ten Argo plays and seventy-six yards later, the Lions forced Toronto to settle for yet another field goal to set the gap at seven points with 6:33 left in the fourth quarter.
A pair of pass interference flags against the Argos paved the way for another Jackson touchdown toss, this one to Emmanuel Arcineaux, and even after the two-point conversion failed, the gap was down to just a single point at 28-27.
The Lions’ defence roared again on the ensuing possession, forcing Argos’ quarterback Cody Pickett to take a loss of eight yards at the three-minute warning and holding Toronto to another key two-and-out capped by the only mistake Medlock would make all night- under-kicking his coverage resulting in a no-yards fifteen yard penalty on the punt, giving the Lions the ball back at midfield with 2:32 left on the clock.
Seven plays and two minutes and twenty-four seconds later, the Lions took the lead on a chip-shot field goal from Sean Whyte, making it 31-28 Lions with eight ticks later.
Not to be outdone in the heroics, the special teams unit put the exclamation mark on the game with Ryan Phillips walking into the end-zone after intercepting a lateral attempt from Reggie McNeal intended for Jamal Robertson, leaving just a Whyte conversion to register the final margin at 36-28.
This is still a Lions’ team with a lot of work to do as they host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers a week from today before heading into their bye week, but it’s a team which has now gotten up off the mat to string together a pair of victories. The offense can’t rely solely on the deep ball to get them through the season, but is going to have to find a way to fire on all cylinders getting the attack balanced although they did a good job identifying the gap in the Argos’ secondary and effectively exploiting it. The offensive line seemed to rally from a shaky start, but with Jarious Jackson at the helm the coverage isn’t quite as essential as with the less-mobile Buck Pierce.
The defence performed well in keeping Toronto out of the red zone for much of the game, but it would be nice to see them yield fewer yards against.
Three weeks ago, this game would have had a different outcome. Tonight, it probably should have, but Lion fans should take heart in the victory and in the fact that their team hung tough and refused to fold.