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Football, Sports

Quick-6: Lions come back to beat RedBlacks 29-23

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Trevor Knapp Aug 25, 2016 2:01 pm

The BC Lions defeated the Ottawa RedBlacks by score of 29-23 on Thursday night. Chris Rainey was the player of the game, leading the BC offence with 182 all-purpose yards.

BC scored a go-ahead touchdown on a Travis Lulay QB sneak with 1:34 left in the fourth quarter. After a two-point conversion, the score was 29-23 in the Lions’ favour, and the defence stood tall in the closing moments, en route to the big road win.

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Jonathon Jennings has yet to lose two games in a row as a starter in the CFL, and completed 23 of 31 of his attempts for 289 yards and one touchdown.

Defensive end Alex Bazzie continues to rack up the sacks on the defensive end for BC, with two tonight, and a league-high eight on the year.

Let’s jump into the Quick-6.

1. O-Line’s miserable night

Jennings was sacked six times tonight and was pressured all night long. BC’s O-Line seems to have taken a step back since the arrival of Levy Adcock into the starting lineup, and they need to get their act together real quick.

To win ballgames, you can’t have Jennings attempting to escape from the pocket to keep a play alive on an alarming basis. Gotta clean that up.

2. BC’s fresh running game proves effective

With a benched Jeremiah Johnson, Anthony Allen got the starters reps in this one and contributed nicely, rushing for 76 yards on 13 attempts.

Chris Rainey got in on the action as well, averaging 5.3 yards on four attempts. Rainey also scored a touchdown in the winning effort, showing off his blazing speed along with a pretty juke on this nice score in the 3rd quarter.

3. More injuries?

Two key defensive players for the Leos, Louchiez Purifoy and Mike Edem went down in the first half. If you’re head coach Wally Buono, you have to be feeling on edge after DB Steven Clarke went down with a torn ACL just last week. The Lions D has really taken a hit with injuries this year, losing starter T.J. Lee as well earlier in the year.

Purifoy is arguably the best all-around member of the Lions’ defence, and Edem has had a really positive influence on the team in his first year with BC.

Luckily Edem returned to action, but it would’ve been a scary sight for the Leos if he hadn’t. Fellow Canadian Eric Fraser is Edem’s replacement back there, and has been a real liability so far. On this touchdown pass to receiver Ernest Jackson late in the second quarter, Fraser is clearly very late to making a play on the ball, providing no help in coverage to DB Brandon Stewart.

4. Leone continues to marvel and scuffle at the same time

While Richie Leone continued to kick the crap out of the ball on the punting side side, he missed yet another field goal (33-yarder), which at this level of football, needs to go through the uprights.

This game could’ve easily come down to a Leone FG attempt for the game tonight, and the Lions have got to be thinking about replacing him with a full-time kicker who’s proven in the past to be reliable. Then Leone can focus on his specialty: punting.

Former Argo Swayze Waters comes immediately to mind. The 2012 Grey Cup champion with Toronto was cut by the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, and he could be well on his way for a return north of the border.

5. Ottawa’s GM the victim in a sideline collision

Yes, you read that correctly. Midway through the second quarter, Chris Rainey took a punt return deep into Ottawa territory, but was run hard out bounds, resulting in Rainey catching surveying RedBlacks GM Marcel Desjardins on the sideline by surprise, landing hard on his left leg.

Here’s the hit.

Thankfully, he was ok.

6. Atmosphere at the game

After being in the press box of a fairly disappointing BC Place crowd for both Lions home games against Hamilton and Calgary the last two weeks, it was real refreshing to see a change in the fan experience, even on TV.

TD Place Stadium was rocking the entire night. The crowd was getting into the heads of that BC offensive line for the most part on Thursday, especially in the first half when the whole offence was out of sync.

Hopefully we’ll see better crowds starting in Week 12 when the Lions host Montreal, but for now, the now 6-3 Lions have their sights set on a Wednesday tilt in Toronto next week, taking on the 4-4 Argonauts who are currently on their bye week.


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Trevor Knapp
Daily Hive Vancouver sports writer

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