Lions pay the price

The B.C. Lions were unable to make lightning strike twice at Commonwealth Stadium this month.

Despite a determined defensive effort, the Lions came up on the short end of a 28-25 score Friday night.

They missed a chance for a late field goal to tie the game when quarterback Travis Lulay was hit by Kenny Pettway and the fumble was recovered by Kai Ellis.

“That’s not my challenge and you’ve gotta trust it was the right call,” said Lions coach Wally Buono about the contentious play in which Lulay’s arm may have been moving forward.

“You look at it from the sideline, I don’t believe his hand came forward or the ball came forward. I’m not going to criticize the call.

I would have challenged the call, but only from the premise ... I don’t believe the ball came forward.”

The Lions defence stuffed Esks fullback Mathieu Bertrand and quarterback Ricky Ray on a goal-line stand late in the third quarter.

TD for Sanchez

Veteran cornerback Davis Sanchez scored a 54 yard TD on an interception.

And, Yonus Davis returned a kick after safety 88 yard seven minutes into the fourth quarter to give the Lions the lead.

“I appreciate that,” said Buono.

“Keeping it close is part of the game, but at the end when you have an opportunity to drive the football in field goal range, you’ve got to be smart. These are the things, I guess, you pay the price for inexperience.”

But, the defence left Esks receiver Andre Talbot alone behind coverage for the winning TD.

Still, it was the offence’s inability to come through when they had the chance that cost the team for the second week in a row.

“You have to not make mistakes,” said Buono.

“We keep making the same things over and over again, whether it’s a holding call, a missed audible, you hold onto the football too long. Eventually, these things catch up to you.”

Lulay, making just his second CFL start, may have avoided the fumble had he got rid of the ball sooner.

“Too many mistakes, didn’t play well enough when we had the lead in the fourth quarter,” said Lulay.

“Everything we felt we could have done earlier, we still had the lead in the fourth quarter and we didn’t put them away when we had the chance.

“I was trying to throw it away when I got hit, honestly. I’ve just got to throw it away sooner.

“The pocket was collapsing. I was just trying to get the ball out of my hands and the guy hit it before I was in the forward motion. That’s what I was trying to do.”

Fortunes turned

Lulay’s fortunes switched in the third quarter when his tipped pass was picked off by Esks corner Chris Thompson on B.C.’s 43-yard line.

That turnover allowed the Eskimos to score the go-ahead TD three plays later, when Edmonton’s Kelly Campbell hauled in a seven-yard TD pass.

Then, Thompson’s second interception of the night with 2:36 left sealed the deal.

The result did not sit well with veteran receiver Paris Jackson.

“It’s so frustrating,” said Jackson.

“It’s easy to say it’s just execution. The bottom line is we’re shooting ourselves in the (bad word) foot. Every single game. Everybody on this offence needs to make better plays.”

Both teams are now 1-4, but the Lions maintain a slim 50-38 advantage in the two games after scoring a 25-10 in the July 4 season opener at Commonwealth.

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos