VANCOUVER – The Lions scored four touchdowns through the air as they took the second half of a back-to-back with the Montreal Alouettes 43-10 at BC Place Stadium on Saturday.
The two teams were meeting for the second time in eight days following a thrilling 30-25 win by the hometown Alouettes the week before in a game that needed all 60 minutes to be decided.
The contest began as most expected with the offences picking up where they left off the week before.
The Lions opened the scoring on their first drive when Paul McCallum hit a 43-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. It was a personal milestone for the veteran placekicker as it marked the 600th field goal of his 19-year career.
The Als took the field for their first possession looking to get off to a good start after having some games to forget at BC Place. Anthony Calvillo and the Alouettes have had well-documented challenges in Vancouver over the years and generated only a single point in their last visit in November of 2011 in a 43-1 loss.
Calvillo did just that, leading an impressive 5-play, 78-yard drive finished off by a 19-yard touchdown strike to WR Jamel Richardson. It was Richardson’s first reception since returning to the lineup after missing three games with an injury.
The Als took a 10-3 lead but it wouldn’t last long. Travis Lulay and the BC offence answered right back with a touchdown drive of their own when the pivot found Canadian wideout Shawn Gore with a 3-yard touchdown pass to take a 10-7 lead.
The drive was sparked by a 54-yard kickoff return by speedster Tim Brown who recorded his third 50-yard-plus return in the two-game series between the clubs. After McCallum reached his milestone, so to did Lulay who recorded his 21st consecutive game with a touchdown pass, tying Calvillo and Doug Flutie for the CFL’s all-time mark.
Lulay was working without the services of the league’s all-time leading pass-catcher, Geroy Simon, who was a scratch do to a hamstring injury sustained last week in Montreal.
The Als answered back with a 31-yard Sean Whyte field goal on their next possession to notch the game at 10 but the drive featured a bizarre play.
With the Als in a third down situation, they lined up to attempt a 50-yard field goal. Whyte booted it off the tee over to the visitor sideline and the ball was recovered by DB Kyries Hebert. It was ruled a missed field goal but helped keep the ball in Montreal’s possession. It was a calculated move by head coach Marc Trestman that aided in Montreal keeping pace with the Leos in the first quarter.
Two of the league’s most aggressive defences started to tighten up in the second quarter with the first score coming with just over seven minutes remaining when McCallum hit another field goal to give BC a 13-10 lead.
The Lions would add one more score before the half when WR Marco Iannuzzi hauled in a 5-yard touchdown strike from Lulay to complete an 11-play, 75-yard drive to open up a 10-point advantage.
The Leos were poised to add to their lead when McCallum set up for a 42-yard attempt with 12 seconds left in the half but sailed it wide left. The Lions headed into the locker room with a 20-10 lead.
Lulay spreads the ball around
Travis Lulay didn’t miss a beat with his main target out of the lineup, hitting four different receivers with touchdown passes Saturday. He finished the night with 262 yards and 4 touchdowns on 23 of 31 passing. Read more.
Lulay finished the first half with 140 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 of 21 passing.
The defences once again tightened up to open up the second half but Lulay and the Lions finally got on track near the end of the third quarter, engineering a 4:58 drive, covering 81 yards and ending with a 5-yard Nick Moore touchdown reception to put give the Lions a comfortable 27-10 lead.
The Lions defence was frustrating Calvillo all day, causing him to force the ball in tight spaces and throw it away when no receivers were open. After the Leos forced a quick two-and-out, they went right back to work and effectively put the game away when Lulay matched a career-high regular season total four touchdown passes. He found WR Ernest Jackson for a 43-yard major down the sidelines to take a commanding 34-10 lead.
With the game all but decided, both teams turned to their backup quarterbacks with Mike Reilly entering for the Lions and Adrian McPherson for the Alouettes.
Lulay finished the night with 262 yards and 4 touchdowns on 23 of 31 passing while Calvillo finished 16 of 26 for 152 yards and 1 touchdown.
Running back Andrew Harris would add a one-yard touchdown with under two minutes remaining to give the Lions a 43-10 lead.
The Lions defence won on the strength of a defence that held Calvillo off the board in the second half.
Next Week for BC: The Argos travel to BC for a duel with former defensive back Byron Parker and a stingy Lions defence. BUY TICKETS.
Next Week for Montreal: The Als head to Regina to take on Darian Durant and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic. BUY TICKETS.