Punter absent from practice

Punter absent from practice
B.C. Lions wondering what happened to Duncan O'Mahony

Mike Beamish
Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Duncan O'Mahony, if you're reading this, please call the office.

The B.C. Lions punter, better known more for his capricious field goal attempts than his wayward attendance record, was AWL from practice Tuesday. If he doesn't show up by Saturday night, when the Lions play the Saskatchewan Roughriders at B.C. Place . . . well, get ready for the bomber punt formation.

Kicker Mark McLoughlin would line up as if to kick a field goal, only he'd be aiming for the sidelines instead of the goal posts.

"It's something we used in the late '90s," McLoughlin said, referring to his time with the Calgary Stampeders. "You line up in a field goal formation, and kick the ball out of bounds, 40 yards downfield."

McLoughlin, who was a mentor to O'Mahony when they played together in Calgary, took some turns as a punter Tuesday, and had no clue why the regular guy was a no-show at practice.

Perhaps his GPS system was malfunctioning and O'Mahony simply got lost. The Lions worked out at Mercer Stadium in New Westminster for the first time this season.

"I can't remember," McLoughlin said, when asked when he had last punted in a CFL game. "You'd have to go back and look in the archives for that one. I have no idea."

Head coach Wally Buono had no idea either, regarding O'Mahony's whereabouts.

"Today, I don't know," Buono confessed.

"Any time I don't know something, it concerns me, right? Part of my job is to know everything."

O'Mahony began the season as the Lions' punter and field goal kicker, but his struggles to put the ball through the uprights forced Buono to go on a hurried talent search for a replacement. The Lions thought import Clinton Greathouse might be the answer, but he bombed out in a head-to-head competition with O'Mahony in practice.

McLoughlin, a 17-year veteran with the Stampeders who retired before the start of the 2004 season, later joined the Lions when O'Mahony continued to kick doughnuts in game situations. After going two-for-four in his first two games as a Lion, McLoughlin was spot-on last Friday in a 22-19 loss to Edmonton, making every one of his four field goal attempts, including long-range efforts from 44 and 47 yards.

Special teams players Kelly Lochbaum (family funeral) and Chris Hoople (court-related matter) also were missing from practice Tuesday, with the coach's knowledge and permission.

Just maybe Mark McLoughlin asked to be president of the Lions ha ha ha. What is with him every where he goes problems follow?

Then I guess the punt returner did not practice much either, did he?