Reserve quarterback Mkike Reilly stars as Lions thump Eskimos
Vancouver, BC, Canada (4E Sports) – Mike Reilly was a revelation in his first CFL career start, throwing two touchdown passes to lead BC Lions to a 39-19 thumping of the Edmonton Eskimos Friday at BC Place Stadium.
The win vaulted the Lions to solo first place in the West Division with a 12-4 record while the Eskimos slipped to 7-9.
Starting in place of injured Travis Lulay, Reilly completed 19 of 28 passes for 276 yards while running back Andrew Harris ran for 42 yards on 12 carries to surpass 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career.
“We got the win — and that’s the biggest thing,” said Reilly. “To have that first-round bye and to be able to come back and play at home in front our crowd, and only have to win one game to get into the Grey Cup, that’s huge.
Kicker Paul McCallum connected on all six field attempts, with the longest from 48 yards to help the Lions pull away in the fourth period with 20 points.
Things did not start well for Reilly as his second pass of the game was picked by Eskimos linebacker JC Sherritt and returned it for 27 yards to the Lions’17-yard line.
The Lions defense bailed Reilly out of trouble as Adam Bighill hauled down Edmonton quarterback Kerry Joseph for a 10-yard sack, forcing the Eskimos to settle for a 34-yard field goal by Grant Shaw.
Reilly immediately bounced back with a nine-play, 83-yard drive capped with an 11-yard touchdown strike to receiver Courtney Taylor.
The Eskimos later tied the count at seven apiece behind Shaw’s punt single and a 24-yard field goal.
Kickers take centerstage in the second period with McCallum and Shaw exchanging field goals for a 10-all deadlock.
McCallum had the last laugh, however, when he connected back-to-back field goals from 11 and 48 yards to give the Lions a 16-10 lead at the break.
The Lions padded their lead to nine after a 44-yard boot by McCallum but the Eskimos tied the game at 19 with a touchdown pass by Joseph to wide receiver Cary Koch.
The Lions answered with a 40-yard field goal by McCallum to take the lead back before Reilly threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Nick Moore.
After Ryan Phillips intercepted Joseph’s pass, McCallum registered his sixth field goal of the game from 42 yards and running back Tim Brown iced the game with a 23-yard run for the final score.
Joseph connected on just six of 24 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown before being benched late in the game.
“They outplayed us tonight, and they deserved to win,” said Joseph, who was sacked eight times. “They beat us in all phases of the game tonight.”