Three 3rd quarter TDs power BC Lions past Edmonton Eskimos and into playoffs

VANCOUVER — The BC Lions have punched their ticket to the playoffs.

DeVier Posey‘s three touchdowns in the third quarter led the Lions to a 42-32 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place on Friday night.

Posey finished the evening with a game high 113 yards on five catches while Lions quarterback Travis Lulay threw for 251 yards with four touchdown passes and two interceptions.

On the other side of the field, Esks pivot Mike Reilly had 268 yards through the air with one touchdown and no interceptions.

The victory guarantees the Leos a birth in the postseason. Meanwhile, the Eskimos playoff fate still remains up in the air. Edmonton is on a bye next week. A Winnipeg Blue Bombers win over the Calgary Stampeders in Week 20 would end the Green and Gold’s playoff hopes.

After a back-and-fourth start to the game that saw multiple lead changes, BC was able to pull away in the second half by outscoring the Esks 25-10.

The Esks would got on the board first midway through the first quarter after a punt return fumble by running back Chris Rainey . The Esks began their drive in Lions territory, but BC’s defence held strong, forcing Edmonton to settle for a 47-yard field goal.

The Esks were able to pin the Lions deep in their own zone on the ensuing drive that resulted in a safety to extend their lead to 5-0.

The Mike Reilly – Duke Williams connection was on full display early at BC Place. Reilly found the league’s leading receiver in stride along the sideline for a 47-yard gain. Williams made a highlight reel one-handed catch to set the Esks up inside the red zone.

Reilly capped of the drive with a touchdown on a quarterback sneak to give the Esks a 12-0 lead with 4:25 remaining in the first quarter.

The tables quickly turned in favour of the Lions.

Rainey would make up for the earlier fumble before the end of the quarter. On the kickoff following the Esks touchdown, the Florida product surged past Edmonton’s entire team and all the way to the other end of the field for a 95-yard return touchdown.

The Lions weren’t done there. An Esks fumble would put the ball back in the hands of BC just short of the red zone. Lulay capitalized on the turnover, finding Bryan Burnham in the pay dirt to take a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The back and forth play continued as the half progresses.

Edmonton was able to regain the lead courtesy of a steady drive orchestrated by the reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player. Reilly moved the sticks by connecting with a number of receivers, eventually finding Bryant Mitchell in the end zone for a 23-yard major.

The Lions responded with a 30-yard field goal to narrow the deficit.

The Esks put some more distance between themselves and the Lions before the end of the second quarter when Edmonton linebacker Adam Konar anticipated a Lulay pass and picked off the ball at midfield.

The Esks appeared poised to score another touchdown off the turnover when Reilly found Mitchell for a 51-yard gain. However, the Lions defence was able to halt Edmonton’s momentum. Sean Whyte notched his second field goal of the game, this time from 14 yards out, to put the score at 22-17 at the end of the second quarter.

The second half was all about DeVier Posey.

Posey’s first major came on a short drive by BC. Lulay connected with Burnham for a huge 55-yard gain before finding Posey in the end zone on his next pass attempt to give the Lions a two point lead.

Posey went back to work on the Lions next drive, catching a Lulay pass and then running nearly half the length of the field for a game-changing 65-yard major.

But Posey wasn’t done there.

Last year’s Grey Cup MVP continued his dominant third quarter performance with his third touchdown in under 15 minutes. Lulay once again found his favourite target of the night late in the third quarter, this time for a 32-yard major, to give the Lions a 38-22 lead entering the final frame.

BC’s defence appeared to put the nail in the coffin when Otha Foster III strip sacked Reilly midway through the fourth quarter. The ball was recovered by Shawn Lemon to give the Lions offence possession once again.

However, the Leos did not have the ball back for long. Edmonton defensive back Aaron Grymes intercepted Lulay and ran the ball back 57 yards for a touchdown, showing the Esks would not give up quietly.

The Esks added a 40-yard field goal, but that was as close as the Green and Gold would get.

The Lions will go for their fourth straight win when the face off against the Saskatchewan Roughriders next week.

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