STREAMING PPV: Calgary Stampeders @ BC Lions, Nov. 13, 04:30 (4:30 am, 9:30 pm Nov. 12 ET)

VANCOUVER — Looking to stay alive in the race to the playoffs, the BC Lions welcome the Calgary Stampeders to BC Place on Friday night.

Through their last stretch of games, the Lions and Stampeders have been on different trajectories. In their past six contests, the Stamps have gone 4-2, highlighted by back-to-back wins against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Weeks 9 and 10. The Lions, on the other hand, are looking to snap a six-game losing streak.

History does not bode well for the Lions in their quest, however. Their past 11 meetings with the Stamps have not gone in the Lions favour after going 2-9 over that time span. That being said, both teams have found a way to win against each other on the road this year. For BC, it was in Week 2 where Bo Levi Mitchell was picked off four times in a 15-9 win. The Stampeders responded in Week 11 with a victory of their own to the tune of 39-10.

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Offensively, things were different for the Lions in that Week 11 matchup as they were without Lucky Whitehead who, until his injury, was one of the most explosive players in the league. Having to game plan for his abilities along with Bryan Burnham’s, head coach Dave Dickenson knows his secondary is in for a challenge.

“I really think every team in the CFL has pretty good receivers,” said Dickenson. “Lucky has got a speed factor that you don’t see and Bryan has just been doing it year after year. (They’re a) big challenge for us, speed, size, physicality, great hands, that’s what their group brings.”

As for the Stamps’ receivers, they bolstered their roster of pass-catchers with a familiar face as Reggie Begelton returns to Calgary.

Begelton, 28, is back in Stampeders colours after spending time with the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers. Prior to his time in Titletown, Begelton played in 33 games over three seasons for the Red and White. During that time, he recorded 2,236 yards and 12 touchdowns on 149 receptions, earning a CFL All-Star nod and was the Stamps’ nomination for Most Outstanding Player.

With Begelton back in the saddle again for the Stamps, Kamar Jorden believes that his addition is going to take the Stamps over the top.

“It’s definitely going to add another element to our offence,” said Jorden. “It kind of gets us where we want to get to as far as getting some more explosive plays, making better plays with the ball in our hands as well. I think Reggie adds to that.”

Mitchell issued much of the same excitement as Jorden did on the arrival of his newest weapon, especially with the post-season on the horizon.

“Reggie is an amazing receiver that when he was here, was a YAC machine, a guy that was very very troublesome for a lot of people to cover and was one of the better receivers in the league and he also does a lot in the blocking game,” said Mitchell. “Having him back, to me, going into the playoffs is big. Being able to sign him and Tre (Roberson), coming in I think they’re two pieces that can carry us to the end.”

As for the Lions, they hope to keep their playoff aspirations alive this week in a must-win situation.

For the Lions to extend their season past Week 16, they will need to defeat the Stamps to take the season series 2-1, defeat the Edmonton Elks at home and then have the Stamps lose at home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“I think our guys understand we still have an opportunity,” said Michael Reilly on the Lions’ playoff hopes. “We got to get a little help from Winnipeg but the only way that even matters is if we take care of business in our two games. We have to treat them like playoff games because that’s what they are at this point. We want to get to the playoffs and we have to win two playoff games just to get to the playoffs.”

Having played the Stampeders just a few weeks ago, the loss is still fresh in Rick Campbell’s mind and is using that past outcome to play the Red and White differently this week.

“They made some really key plays in the game,” said Campbell. “Coming out of the half and they run a kick back for a touchdown, those types of things are major momentum swings in the game and we need to be the guys making some of those plays like we were earlier in the year.”

Of those that can make the big plays is Whitehead. Since his return to the lineup in Week 13, Whitehead has been ramping up to his pre-injury form. Having hauled in just two receptions on six targets for 20 yards against the Argos, Whitehead had his fifth-most receiving yards on the season against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with 98.

Ahead of Friday’s game, Campbell’s message to the team has been much of what his veteran quarterback has preached: they’re still in it.

“I don’t have to be a car salesman in this one, I can tell them the truth,” said Campbell. “The truth is that if we beat Calgary Friday night, we hold the tiebreaker and then it comes down to the last week of the season. It’s not fully in our control but we can put ourselves in the best situation we can and then make them earn it.”

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2021 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here. Calgary Stampeders @ BC Lions, Nov. 13, 04:30 (4:30 am, 9:30 pm Nov. 12 ET)

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