B.C. Lions quarterback Travis Lulay tosses the ball to teammate Emmanuel Arceneaux during first half CFL football action against the Edmonton Eskimos, in Vancouver on Thursday, August 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Lions rally for 31-23 comeback win over Eskimos

QB Lulay surpasses 20,000-yard mark for CFL career

VANCOUVER — Travon Van’s eight-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter staked the B.C. Lions to a comeback 31-23 win over the Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday night.

The Lions (3-4) ended their losing skid at two games while handing the Eskimos (5-3) their first loss in four outings.

Van made his first start at running back in place of the injured Jeremiah Johnson. His touchdown gave the Lions an insurmountable 27-20 lead.

It came came one play after defensive lineman Otha Foster forced Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly to fumble and then recovered the ball himself.

B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay surpassed 20,000 passing yards for his career as he completed 16 of 29 passes, including one for an eight-yard touchdown toss to Kevin Elliott.

The Lions’ other points came on Chris Rainey’s 79-yard punt return and three field goals, including a career-best 51-yarder, two converts and two punt singles from Long.

Reilly threw two touchdown passes and ran for one score himself.

Nate Behar and Derrel Walker caught Reilly’s touchdown passes. Edmonton’s other points came from kicker Sean Whyte.

The Eskimos started by moving up the field with ease, following Jamill Smith’s opening kick-off return to the B.C. 39-yard line. Reilly opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Behar before the game was four and half minutes old.

The Lions got on the scoreboard with 51 seconds left in the first quarter as Long booted a 25-yard field goal. The three-pointer came shortly after Emmanuel Arceneaux caught a shovel pass from Lulay on a reverse play and picked up 39 yards. With the catch, Arceneaux extended his reception streak to 109 games.

Edmonton’s successful fake field-goal attempt led to a Reilly one-yard touchdown plunge early in the second quarter. The TD came four plays after backup quarterback Danny O’Brien passed to Almondo Sewell, usually a lineman, for a 16-yard gain off the fake field goal. Whyte’s 32-yard convert gave the Eskimos a 14-3 lead.

But a little while later, Rainey returned a punt 79 yards for a B.C. touchdown. After scoring, Rainey climbed some stairs to the stands and presented the ball to his wife Jenn Hillenburg, who had their young children Makari and Makynli in tow. Long’s single-point conversion reduced Edmonton’s lead to 14-10.

It looked like the Lions were going to take the lead when Lulay threw a 14-yard touchdown strike to Bryan Burnham. But the TD was nullified by a holding penalty.

On the next play, Korey Jones intercepted a Lulay pass and took the ball 70 yards the other way. Lulay prevented a touchdown with a desperate diving tackle, but his heroics were short-lived. Reilly threw a 15-yard TD pass to Walker on the very next play, and Whyte’s missed convert left the Eskimos with a 20-10 half-time lead.

RELATED: Lulay named starting QB for Lions

EDMONTON (5-3) at B.C. (3-4)

Thursday, B.C. Place Stadium

RARE LEAD: The Eskimos ended their recent habit of trailing after the first quarter. They had trailed in four straight games without enjoying a lead after the first quarter.

NOTABLE PASSES – Reilly now has a league-leading 16 touchdown passes on the season. Lulay surpassed the 20,000-yard passing mark for his career late in the third quarter.

HOME HEARTBREAK ENDS – The Lions posted their first home win over the Eskimos since October 22, 2016. Prior to Thursday, the Eskimos had won five straight games at B.C. Place.

RAINEY RETURNS – Rainey returned to the B.C. lineup after missing last weekend’s game in Calgary with an undisclosed injury. It ended his consecutive-games-played streak at 41. He has now suited up for 51 of B.C.’s last 53 games.

RECEPTION STREAKS: B.C. receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux extended his reception streak to 109 games, teammate Bryan Burnham has now caught at least one pass in 52 consecutive contests.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly passes during first half CFL football action against the B.C. Lions, in Vancouver on Thursday, August 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Just Posted

Central Okanagan firefighters are battling wildfires across B.C.

Lake Country, Kelowna and Peachland crews are assisting the BC Wildfire Service

Long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna just weeks away from completion

Ministry of Transportation says it plans to have the road open before the start of the school year

Updated: RCMP no longer suspect death of Vernon woman is suspicious

West Kelowna RCMP continue to investigate the woman’s sudden death

Man who stole hundreds of golf balls in Kelowna identified

The individual has since come forward to the RCMP

Urgent need for Kelowna, Vernon blood donors

Okanagan blood shortfall part of nation-wide challenge

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Man found not guilty in 2011 drug-related shooting in Shuswap

Judge rules Jeremy Davis couldn’t foresee his companion would kill 24-year-old Nick Larsen.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Parks Canada has ‘general concept’ in mind for South Okanagan-Similkameen

Minister Catherine McKenna will be providing a further update to representatives in Penticton Friday, August 17

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Most Read