The BC Lions kept pace in the West Division playoff race with 40-13 win over the East Division-leading Hamilton Tiger-Cats Friday night at BC Place.
The Lions snapped a two-game slide while maintaining their hold on third in the CFL’s West Division. Montreal (via the crossover) and Winnipeg are battling with B.C. to earn a postseason berth. A dominant Montreal win over Toronto earlier in the evening put even more pressure on the reeling Leos to deliver in this one.
The Ticats were without the injured Zach Collaros tonight, and struggled with rookie quarterback Jeff Mathews at the helm. Mathews threw two interceptions in the losing effort. Hamilton’s running game didn’t help the rookie out either, with C.J. Gable only accounting for 45 yards rushing.
Hamilton jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, but the Lions battled back. Jonathon Jennings threw touchdown passes to Shawn Gore and Emmanuel Arceneaux to give the Lions a 10 point lead after the first quarter.
B.C. stretched the lead to 17 early in the second quarter when Jennings found Bryan Burnham on a 46-yard pass to set up Rainey’s 25-yard circus TD that included a one-handed grab and a leap into the end zone.
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Hamilton kept things close after an Andy Fantuz touchdown grab in the 3rd quarter, but the Lions put the game away in the 4th quarter after a pair of Andrew Harris rushing touchdowns.
Jennings completed 23/33 passes for 247 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Meanwhile, the CFL’s leading rusher in Andrew Harris continued to dominate on the ground this week, compiling 119 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Three different receivers on the Lions tallied 50+ yards each from the air, and all-star linebacker Adam Bighill dominated on defence, with nine individual tackles and one sack.
B.C. improves to 6-10, ahead of Winnipeg (5-11) and tied with Montreal (6-10) for the final playoff spot in the West. They will head to the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Halloween night, taking on the 9-7 Argonauts.