BC Lions get narrow home win over Edmonton Elks

The BC Lions were the last team standing in a close 24-21 affair with the Edmonton Elks on Thursday at BC Place.

With the game tied at 21 and a little over a minute left on the clock, the Leos put together a field-goal drive to take the final lead of the evening.

Pivot Vernon Adams Jr. threw a touchdown pass to William Stanback, fullback David Mackie added a running touchdown and kicker Sean Whyte made all three of his field goals to move the Lions to 3-1.

The defence kept the Elks in check and defensive back Ciante Evans came away with a crucial second-half interception on Elks’ pivot McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Edmonton’s quarterback threw a touchdown pass to receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. but was unable to prevent the Elks from dropping their fourth straight game in 2024.

Kicker Boris Bede made both of his field goals, including a 52-yarder to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

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Edmonton opened the scoring with a rouge on their first possession. BC almost responded with a field goal, but a fumbled snap on a field goal attempt kept the score 1-0 in favour of the visitors.

The turnover also gave the Elks good field position and they turned it into three points to extend the lead to 4-0 halfway through the first quarter.

BC’s offence came alive later in the quarter . Adams Jr. connected with Stanback on a wheel route for 15 yards before finding Ayden Eberhardt for a couple of first downs all the way to Edmonton’s 31-yard line. Jevon Cottoy brought them closer with a 10-yard catch, but the Orange and Black had to settle for a field goal by Sean Whyte to bring the lead back to three.

The Leos forced a quick Elks punt before mounting together another scoring drive. Adams Jr. connected with Justin McInnis for 18 yards over the middle before finding a streaking Eberhardt down the right sideline for 16 more. The pivot then found Hollins wide open for 35 yards before throwing a short touchdown pass to Stanback for the game’s first major.

The visitors answered with their own long campaign. Bethel-Thompson threw over the top of BC’s defence to Dillon Mitchell before connecting with Arkell Smith for another first down. The veteran pivot then finished things off with a strike to Gittens Jr. to retake an 11-10 lead after the extra point.

The Elks added another single before halftime to extend their lead to 12-10, but the home team came roaring once more. Adams Jr. distributed a series of short passes to Cottoy, Eberhardt and McInnis to guide the Leos into Elks territory and set up a go-ahead field goal by Whyte heading into halftime.

The second half started with the Double E marching into BC’s territory before Evans jumped a Bethel-Thompson pass to stop the visitors from scoring. The two teams went on to exchange punts during most of the third quarter, heading into the final 15 minutes of the game with the Leos up by a single point.

It looked like the Leos would strike first in the fourth quarter, but Mackie fumbled the football yards away from the end zone and gave the ball back to the Elks.

The visitors took advantage and marched 106-yards down the field to take the lead. Bethel-Thompson completed five passes on the drive to set up second-and-goal from the one-yard line and Prukop punched it in to give Edmonton a 18-13 after a failed two-point conversion.

BC put together a late drive to retake the lead. A pass-interference penalty overturned on replay gave the Leos first-and-goal from the five-yard line and Mackie redeemed himself from his turnover with a go-ahead major. The Leos went for two and after a couple penalties converted with a pass from Adams Jr. to McInnis to push the lead to 21-18.

Edmonton mounted another scoring drive to set up Bede for a game-tying field goal with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter.

That was enough time for Adams Jr. and the Leos to move into scoring position once more. A face mask penalty gave them 15 yards of field position and Stanback moved the chains once more to put BC in field goal range. Whyte then sealed the win with the kick.

BC’s linebacker Josh Woods left the game with an injury in the first half and didn’t return.

The Leos now travel to Hamilton to face the Tiger-Cats on Sunday, July 7, in Week 5 action. The Elks meanwhile head to their first bye week of the season before hosting the REDBLACKS on Sunday, July 14, in Week 6.