Lions turn into pussycats

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:57 AM ET

EDMONTON - That would be the 0-3 B.C. Lions.

Just when Lotus Land fans figured the Lions couldn’t get much worse, the struggling team turned it down yet another notch.

Slow starts are becoming something of an art form for the Lions, who did it again in a 33-17 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Lions could sustain little pressure on Edmonton’s Ricky Ray-led offence. They waited until there was 2:15 left in the first half to get a first down and had a punt partially blocked for bad measure.

“It wasn’t a good game,” said Lions head coach Wally Buono. “Offensively, we couldn’t get a first down. Defensively, Ricky Ray was good and he made us pay for it — especially in the first half.

“Hopefully, this is rock-bottom for all of us. For me, for the coaches, for the players. We were outplayed, outcoached. They’re a better team than we are at this point.”

B.C.’s passing game was totally ineffective early on.

Quarterback Travis Lulay completed just one of his first six pass attempts, and his first three completions went for a grand total of 12 yards.

The Eskimos had a net offence of 295 first-half yards, 253 in the air, compared to a 103-yard total for B.C.

Add it all up and it’s surprising the Lions were down only 22-10 after 30 minutes.

“It’s one of several fixes we need on offence,” said Lulay. “There’s gonna be some good things on the film, but still too many bad things. Too many mistakes. I made a couple of critical mistakes and stopped a couple of drives with bad throws. Those are things we can’t have if we want to be more consistent on offence.

“If we could explain it, it wouldn’t happen. I’m confident we’ll find a way to fix it.”

On the plus side, Geroy Simon got his first TD pass of the season late in the first half, a 25-yard effort, topped off by a hot-dogging pose.

Hey, it was a touchdown, the only time B.C. found the end zone until Akeem Foster scored a meaningless touchdown with 76 seconds left.

“That’s not really important to me,” said Simon about his TD. “We’ve got to find a way to start winning games. This is a good football team we played and, at 3-0, it shows in their record.

“Hopefully, this is rock bottom and we can start working our way back up. We’ve been in this situation before and we’ve got to keep working at it, keep fighting and we’ll turn it around.”

When Edmonton’s T.J. Hill returned a Lulay interception 71 yards late in the third quarter the play after Hill got called for grabbing a facemask, the fat lady started warbling after Daniel Porter’s TD run put Edmonton up 30-10.

Ray ground down the B.C. defence with several long ball-control drives and had a huge advantage in possession time.

“The thing is, that’s Ricky Ray,” said defensive end Aaron Hill, whose team sacked Ray just once.

“He’s a great passer, but he’s a scrambler. He played well. He did exactly what he had to do.

“We missed a lot of tackles, so what can you do?”

Plenty of Lions were shaking their heads, wondering what’s next.

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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