McCallum comes up clutch to kick Lions past Eskimos
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Paul McCallum booted a 46-yard field goal with just over a minute remaining to lift the British Columbia Lions to a 19-18 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos in a back and forth battle at Commonwealth Stadium.
McCallum scored 13 points in the contest to help the Lions (9-3) survive despite struggling to score touchdowns. Travis Lulay completed 26-of-39 passes for 260 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Harris had 181 yards from scrimmage and Geroy Simon caught his 100th career touchdown pass to help BC win its third game in a row. Kierre Johnson contributed 78 receiving yards on five catches while Adam Bighill recorded two sacks and an interception to lead the defense.
"We have to be a little bit better early in the football game," Lulay admitted. "To our credit, we battled through some adversity and put just enough points up to win."
Steven Jyles came out of the gate hot for Edmonton (5-7) and completed 9- of-10 passes in the opening quarter. Jyles went 8-of-17 the rest of the way to finish with 222 yards, a touchdown, and interception. His favorite target, Cary Koch, came up with big plays and managed to grab four passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. T.J. Hill finished with a team-best 10 stops.
"It started off as a good performance early on," Jyles said. "Second half we started struggling a little bit, I started to struggle. We had a chance at the end and that's all I can ask for."
Edmonton took an early lead with a single after a punt of 74 yards by Grant Shaw.
The Eskimos added on to their lead in the second period as Jyles found Koch after he snuck behind the defense in the end zone.
McCallum put BC on the board with 12:40 remaining in the opening period with a 37-yard field goal which made it 8-3.
Edmonton answered as Hugh Charles rushed four yards for a score to cap off a five-play, 75-yard drive. Shaw converted the extra point to make it 15-3.
The Lions threatened on their ensuing drive, but Edmonton held them out of the end zone and BC settled for a 35-yard field goal by McCallum to make it 15-6 with 3:09 left in the second quarter.
BC managed to come within one score by driving 66 yards on nine plays to put McCallum in position for a 28-yard chip shot just before halftime to make it 15-9 at the break.
After halftime, McCallum missed a 39-yard field goal but registered a single to make it 15-10 with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth frame, the Lions appeared to be ready to take their first lead of the contest. However, Weldon Brown stripped Johnson as he was tackling him and the ball popped right into Brown's arms. BC contested the ruling on the field, but the challenge failed.
The Lions rebounded from the turnover by forcing Edmonton off the field without a first down quickly. BC then put together a seven-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a six-yard touchdown pass from Lulay to Simon. The milestone major by Simon gave BC a 16-15 advantage with 9:12 left to play.
The Eskimos turned to Koch once again and he reeled in a 47-yard reception which set up Shaw for a go-ahead field goal. Shaw's 40-yard field goal gave Edmonton an 18-16 lead with three minutes left in the contest.
BC managed to answer as McCallum drilled a 46-yard field goal with 1:20 remaining to put the Lions back up.
The Eskimos turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession as Jyles's pass sailed out of the reach of his intended receiver on third down.
BC improves to 3-2 versus West Division teams...Edmonton falls to 2-4 in divisional play...The loss was the fourth in a row for Edmonton, which fell into last place in the West Division standings...Lulay has thrown a touchdown pass in 23 straight games...Simon has 171 straight games with a reception and recorded his first score of the year.