No let-up in Lions

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:05 AM ET

EDMONTON - The Eskimos thought they needed this game badly? Try being 1-6.

The B.C. Lions showed Edmonton what desperation really is Friday, taking a game the Eskimos billed as “must win” against a team they “should beat” and shoving it down their throats.

Welcome to Gaggerville.

“This is professional football and we’re all trained to compete and to win,” said Lions receiver Arland Bruce, after B.C. came out and totally destroyed the Eskimos on both sides of the ball in a 36-1 debacle at Commonwealth Stadium. “You can never think that you can just roll your helmet out there and win the game, you have to play all four quarters. That’s what we did as a team today and we pulled the win out.”

Pulled Edmonton’s hearts out, too.

Snuffed their offence. Shredded their defence. Chased Ricky Ray. Would have chased most of the secondary if the Eskimos had anybody else worth putting in. Sacked the quarterbacks eight times.

Special teams? They beat up Edmonton so badly everywhere else that special teams didn’t even matter.

“It’s about time,” said Lions defensive end Aaron Hunt, who had three sacks in the full-scale assault. “With all the losing, it’s about time. We put it all out on the line.”

By the time the game was 15 minutes old it was impossible to tell which team was 1-6. The Lions held Edmonton to 29 yards total offence in the first quarter intercepted Ray twice. They made it 7-0 on a 56-yard TD pass to Akeem Foster (who ran through the Edmonton secondary like they were playing two-hand touch) and walked through the defence on the next drive, marching from their own 31 to the Edmonton 18 in five easy plays to set up a 25-yard field goal on the final play of the first quarter.

By the end of the first half they’d put up 232 yards passing and had a 20-1 lead.

“We didn’t come in here thinking it was going to be easy,” said B.C. coach Wally Buono. “But in fairness to the Eskimos, especially their offence, it’s tough when you lose some of the great players that they did. We can’t not acknowledge that.

“But whether their offence was crippled by that, and I’m going to say they were, their defence wasn’t. Our offence did play against a very, very good defence and did what they had to do. They made big plays.”

By game’s end, the Lions had 479 yards of offence, 378 of it through the air.

“Everybody made plays today on this receiving corps,” said Bruce, who had catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns. “We won as a team today, it was a great win and I’m proud to be part of it.

“If they had wounded guys, that’s just the nature of the business. We took advantage of that and got the win today.”

And now, heading into the bye week, the Eskimos and Lions appear to be heading in opposite directions.

“We have 10 games left, we have a lot of football to play,” said Buono. “This takes some of the pressure off and lets them come back with the idea that they can play good football. The second half of the season is going to be fun.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca

@SUN_TYCHKOWSKI


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