The Lions overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to stun the Edmonton Eskimos 26-23 in BC Place Stadium on Thursday night. The win brought BC within one game of Edmonton for the top spot in the West.
BC got on the board first on a 46-yard touchdown pass from Travis Lulay to Emmanuel Arceneaux in the first quarter before the Eskimos got going behind the leg of Grant Shaw and the arm of Matt Nichols. Edmonton scored 23 of the next 26 points, starting with a pair of field goals from Shaw to cut the Lions lead to one.
The Eskimos got the ball back just one play later when they intercepted Lulay and returned for 15 yards into BC territory. They were back on the board two plays later as they took their first lead of the evening on a 49-yard touchdown pass from Nichols to Chad Simpson.
The Lions put together an impressive drive as they tried to answer, but Jonathon Jennings was stuffed at the Edmonton four-yard line on third-and-one. Edmonton gave the ball right back as Nichols was intercepted, but the Lions couldn’t go anywhere and had to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Richie Leone to cut the lead to 13-10.
The BC offense sputtered the rest of the half and Edmonton took advantage. Another field goal from Shaw pushed the Eskimos’ lead to six before Nichols found Kenny Stafford from 25 yards out to extend the margin to 23-10.
The Lions dominated the second half, thanks to the play of the defense that didn’t allow Edmonton past the BC 40-yard line the last two quarters.
Running back Andrew Harris did the damage on the other side of the ball as he scored both Lions touchdowns to give them the lead. The first came on a one-yard run early in the third quarter. The last score gave the Lions the lead on 31-yard touchdown pass from Lulay late in the fourth quarter.
Harris led the way for BC with 118 yards and a touchdown on the ground to go along with 57 yards and a touchdown on four catches. Lulay finished the night completing 16-of-31 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Simpson led the offensive attack for the Eskimos with 96 yards rushing as well as four catches for 56 yards and a score. Stafford added eight catches for 71 yards and a touchdown while Nichols completed 26-of-42 passes for 262 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Austin Collie finished the night with three catches for 18 yards in the win. He had a three-yard reception in the second quarter that led to a Leone field goal. His last two grabs came on back-to-back plays in the fourth as the Lions tried to catch the Eskimos. The first was a catch for six yards that gave the Lions a first down. He followed that up with a nine-yard reception to move the ball into Edmonton territory.
For the season, he has 22 receptions for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Up next is a trip to Hamilton to face off against the Tiger-Cats on Saturday.