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Western Final: Lions up against Stampeders juggernaut with trip to Grey Cup on the line

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Trevor Knapp Nov 18, 2016 8:53 am 254

The BC Lions are one win away from reaching the Grey Cup for the first time since 2011. Standing in their way are CFL’s royalty: the Calgary Stampeders.

Finishing with a remarkable 15-2-1 regular season record, the Stamps are again clear favourites to win the Grey Cup.

See also

Dave Dickenson’s squad won two out of the three matches against BC in the regular season. After BC won at home in Week 1, Calgary staged a 15-point comeback with under three minutes to go at McMahon Stadium in Week 6, and stomped the Leos at BC Place in Week 9.

Matchup

BC Lions vs Calgary Stampeders

Venue: McMahon Stadium, Calgary

Date/Time: Sunday, November 13 at 1:30 pm PT

TV: TSN

Radio: TSN 1410

What you need to know

1. Player Updates

Shawn Gore is cleared to go after missing the last two games with a concussion. While Stephen Adekolu provided good play as a replacement at the wide receiver position, the return of Gore could do plenty for the Lions’ offence.

Gore was in the midst of a career year before his late-season head injury. His speed provides a valuable third option in the offence for Jonathon Jennings.

Suffering a terrible hit to the head in the third quarter of last weekend’s Western semi-final, Manny Arceneaux has participated at practice with the first-team starters this week. He should play, but there’s still a chance he could be pulled from the lineup.

2. Don’t let Messam enter beast mode

Stamps running back Jerome Messam led the league in rushing yards to cap off the 2016 regular season with 1,198.

Messam, built like former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, rumbled for an average of 5.8 yards a carry. That is just disgustingly good.

Fortunately for the Lions, they have had decent success against Messam this year, limiting him under 100 yards in all three contests.

Once again, they must do so to upset the Stamps at McMahon.

3. Jennings vs Mitchell

All signs point to this one being yet another high-scoring affair between these two teams, again in part thanks to the two strongest throwing arms in the CFL.

Bo-Levi Mitchell is the runaway choice for the Most Outstanding Player this year, while Jonathon Jennings has really come into his own in his first full season as the Lions starting pivot.

Expect both gunslingers to easily toss for over 300+ yards. Watch out for redzone efficiency and turnovers to be the deciding factor in this one as well.

4. Weather report

Anytime you’re playing football in Calgary in November, it makes sense to check the forecast.

No, there won’t be snow like the epic Western Final between these two teams in 1994. The weather report is calling for no precipitation and a high of 4° Celsius.

Prediction

37-34 BC

The Stampeders come into this game as seven-point favourites, which shows absolutely no respect towards BC. The Lions are a different team this year, and are coming off one of the most emotional comeback victories that I have ever witnessed in this league.

The Lions win a thriller in Cow-town, and book their ticket to Toronto to play in the 104th Grey Cup.


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Trevor Knapp
Daily Hive Vancouver sports writer

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