BC Lions Tickets Continued
The BC Lions' 2006 season saw Casey Printers go off to the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, however a new quarterback controversy of sorts threatened to develop. During the off-season 2005's third stringer, Buck Pierce won the back-up role and early season injuries to Dave Dickenson forced him into action. Pierce's best game as the starter was on October 6 against the Calgary Stampeders, where he threw 25 for 31 for 297 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He began the game with one incomplete pass, and then hit his next 14. The BC Lions in the off-season also acquired former Saskatchewan Roughrider Paul McCallum to stabilize the kicking game which had not recovered from Lui Passaglia's retirement in 2000.
After a sluggish 2-3 start in 2006, Coach Buono signalled that no starting job was safe by releasing runningback Antonio Warren and defensive back Sam Young. The team responded by winning the next six games. New running back Joe Smith ran for over 100 yards in his first game. Brent Johnson, Barron Miles, and Mark Washington led a dominant defence, which itself saw 10 different defenders score touchdowns on turnovers. They also held opposition offences to 17 points or less on 6 occasions. Receiver Geroy Simon dominated opposing defensive backs not seen since Mervyn Fernandez in the 1980s. The Lions clinched first place on October 6, earning a third straight bye into the Western Final at home, and tied a team record with a 13-5 mark for the season. 50,084 (league best for 2006) saw BC crush the Roughriders 45-18 in the West final. Looking fully recovered from earlier concussions, Dickenson went 27 for 37 with 3 TDs and no INTs. Paris Jackson made two circus catches for TDs, Jason Claremont bulled his way to 98 yards on 6 catches, Joe Smith scored twice and ran for 116 yards, McCallum was 5 for 5 in field goals, and the BC defence dominated Saskatchewan all afternoon.
On November 19th, the BC Lions captured their first Grey Cup Championship since 2000 by defeating the Montreal Alouettes 25-14 at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg. Dave Dickenson was named the Most Valuable Player of the game, while Ryan Sullivan was named the Most Valuable Canadian. In the post-game exuberence, the team snapped the Grey Cup off the lower base with the engraved names. The game is noted for kicker Paul McCallum going 6 for 6 in field goals, making him a perfect 11 for 11 in post season. Coach Buono also platooned the three quarterbacks: Dickenson, Pierce and third-string Jarious Jackson.