Travis Lulay makes history as BC outlasts Toronto
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Travis Lulay threw for a season-high 390 yards and a pair of scores as the British Columbia Lions held on to defeat the Toronto Argonauts 28-23 at BC Place.
Lulay's performance for the Lions (8-3) had historical implications for the league as well. A 39-yard touchdown strike to Shawn Gore in the second quarter extended Lulay's streak of games with a touchdown pass to 22 games. It is now the second- longest such streak in CFL history.
Geroy Simon had a strong game in his return from a hamstring injury that kept him out last week. The Lions' receiver caught six passes for 117 yards.
British Columbia's 8-3 record this season is the best in the CFL and keeps them a game ahead of second place Calgary in the West Division.
Ricky Ray struggled to get into a rhythm for Toronto (6-5) completing only 19- of-38 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown. Chad Owens continued his impressive season with eight receptions for 114 yards and a score. Spencer Watt also had a good game catching the ball with 102 yards on just three receptions.
The Argonauts are now a half-game behind Montreal for the top spot in the East Division.
The Lions would open the scoring when they had to settle for a single after Paul McCallum missed a 39-yard field goal attempt on the games opening drive.
The first major of the day was scored by the Argonauts in less than traditional means. Lulay completed a short pass to Andrew Harris but Argonauts corner back Pacino Horne knocked the ball from Harris' hands after which it was recovered by Toronto's Kevin Huntley.
The defensive end then returned the ball to the British Columbia 10-yard line where he was stripped by Lions' receiver Marco Iannuzzi. The ball then rolled into the end zone where it was recovered by Toronto defensive back Matt Black for the score.
McCallum nailed his next attempt (32 yards) to pull the Lions within three, 7-4. The Lions would then take the lead 11-7 on the impressive touchdown reception by Gore from Lulay. Gore caught the pass across the middle, then sped down the sideline and dove to reach the ball over the goal line before being knocked out of bounds.
The Lions pushed it's lead to 18-7 just before the half when Arland Bruce made an acrobatic catch in the end zone with just five seconds left in the second quarter for a 20-yard major.
The first half was dominated by the Lions who had 293 total yards through the first two quarters to just 100 by the Argonauts.
Toronto, who struggled to sustain drives in the first two quarters, finally put together a successful march down the field to begin the second half. The Argonauts went 54 yards on eight plays in more than four minutes but had to settle for a 41-yard field goal from Swayze Waters. The Argonaut place kicker would connect on another field goal (37 yards) just before the end of the quarter to bring Toronto's deficit to 18-13.
Neither team scored the remainder of the quarter. McCallum got the first points of the second half for the Lions with a 43-yard field goal just over a minute into the final quarter.
Just two minutes later Waters scored yet again, connecting on a 37-yard field goal to edge the Argonauts to within five, 21-16.
Rolly Lumbala would then cap off an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown midway through the final period to give the Lions a 28-16 edge.
The Argonauts responded quickly with a 53-yard touchdown pass to Owens from Ray and after forcing a punt from the Lions, got the ball back with two minutes remaining and a chance to win the game.
Ray drove the Argonauts deep into British Columbia territory. Then on third down and 10 from the Lion's 20-yard line, Ray was stripped from behind and the ensuing recovery by British Columbia ended the Argonauts' comeback hopes.
McCallum's first quarter miss marked the third-straight game in which he has missed an attempt...Toronto running backChad Kackert was scratched due to a leg injury suffered last week...His replacement Gerald Riggs had 82 total yards in his CFL debut...British Columbia has won six of its last seven games.