Lions drop heartbreaker in Edmonton

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Saturday afternoon’s game at Commonwealth Stadium showed that there is light at the end of the tunnel for your B.C. Lions, although Lions running back Andrew Harris may beg to differ in regards to his health.

In wake of the Edmonton Eskimos 29-23 comeback victory over the Leos, Harris caught a six-yard pass in the final seconds of the first quarter with the Lions leading 7-0, and needed to be helped off of the field after being brought down awkwardly. It is reported that the former Vancouver Island Raiders star has a possible rib cartilage injury, and will be subject to an MRI for this coming week before his status is updated. Harris was forced to undergo season-ending ankle surgery, subsequently after suffering a separation of his left ankle in the same week last year.

On the bright side of things, the Lions may have found their quarterback of the future. 23-year old Jonathon Jennings had 18/30 completions for 281 yards and two touchdowns and only one interception.

Lavelle Hawkins hauled in 3 receptions for 80 yards, the longest one being a 28-yard catch that was hauled in for the first touchdown of the game.

The absence of Harris for the next three quarters allowed the momentum to shift, with Eskimos QB Mike Reilly throwing for 209 yards and two touchdowns as Edmonton scored 22 unanswered points to rally over the Lions.

Jennings was forced to carry the bulk of the load on offence with Shaquille Murray-Lawrence suddenly thrown into the fire as the every down RB. Known for mostly handing kick returns, the UNLV product only ran for one yard on 7 attempts.

Lions DB Steven Clark was beat on a one-on-one ball for the eventual game-winning touchdown to Derel Walker of the Eskimos with 2:22 to play in the 4th quarter.

 

Penalties and mistakes, indeed. B.C.’s defence kept Edmonton’s offence on the field one too many times. Offensive Coordinator George Cortez continued to befuddle many fans, including myself, as he averted away from what worked best in the first half: the quick passing game.

Although they are four games under the .500 mark (4-8), B.C. still has a chance to be in the playoffs by the end of the season. Montreal (5-6) currently sit in the crossover spot but are well within reach.

Next week, the Lions host the reeling 1-11 Saskatchewan Roughriders, and this would be a perfect time to end their losing streak. It’s been a long time coming.

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Trevor Knapp Trevor Knapp covers the BC Lions of the CFL and the Class-A Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League for Vancity Buzz. He manages his own personal sports blog at www.knapptimesports.wordpress.com.
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