Lions beat Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place
BC Place was packed with 50,000-plus cheering Lions fans on Friday. The Lions team were coming in with a winning streak of five games straight and looking for number six against the Edmonton Eskimos. And they edged past the Eskimos with a 33-25 Lions win, setting the tone for what is going to be a great race for number one in the west.
Despite the additional 30 minute delay to kick-off because of broadcasting requirements, the unveiling of the new BC Place and the opening of the roof for the first time went off big with the fans in attendance. The same can’t be said for the players, who understandably were itching to get the game underway after such a long delay.
It was the Eskimos that took the early initiative on a Lions squad that hadn’t found their stride yet.
Eskimos Damon Duval and Lions Paul McCallum exchanged early field goals, with McCallum extending his streak to 27 straight field goals without a miss.
It was a second quarter drive of the Eskimos quarterback Joseph, who had taken over for Ray that got the Eskimos rolling. Joseph, the Esks’ back up quarterback marched the team down the field with Messam capping of the drive with a one yard touchdown run.
It was now a 13-5 Eskimos lead, and it looked as though the Eskimos had come to ruin the party and stop both the winning streak and the festivities in the newly renovated BC Place.
Now slow starts are nothing new for the Lions as their record at empire will attest too at 1-6. But just like empire, this too would end, with Lulay taking control and constructing an 80 yard drive in under 2 minutes, resulting in a Harris 22 yard reception for a touchdown.
The Lions had worked themselves back to only trail the Esks' 13-12 at half time and seemed to be taking over the momentum in the game.
This would ultimately prove to be the case as Lulay began and ended a 44- yard Lions march down the field with a four-yard run for the touchdown.
From there, the Lions never really looked back. Lulay continued to drive the Lions and score, with a 63 yard pass and run touch down to Andrew Harris and then a short 3 yard pass to an open Geroy Simon to put the Lions in the lead 33-15.
The Lions' defence was solid and just got better as the game went on. They came up with some defensive gems and stopped the Esks when it really mattered.
The Eskimos did attempt to make a game out of it with a late 60-yard completion to Jason Barnes for a touchdown. Edmonton continued to put the pressure on the Lions and came within mere yards of another touchdown before the Lions defence stopped them.
The Lions now sit a 7-6 and tied with the Calgary and Edmonton for first place in the West, but Calgary has one game remaining to make up on the Lions and Eskimos.