BC Lions shock Winnipeg Blue Bombers in stunning comeback win

fVANCOUVER – After shaking off a little rust that accumulated in the past 309 days leading up to his return, Travis Lulay pieced together a memorable comeback to give the BC Lions their second win of the season, defeating the Blue Bombers 20-17.

Lulay finished the night passing for 326 yards while completing 28 of his 41 pass attempts as he led the Leos to their second win of the season, bringing BC to an even 2-2 record.

It took just five plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to get themselves on the board. Andrew Harris dashed his way to pay-dirt on a 37-yard run play to give Winnipeg their early jump on the Lions.

The long-awaited return of Travis Lulay behind centre for the Lions came with some rust. The 10-year vet’s first drive of the night ended with an interception in the end zone 11 plays after starting the drive on their own 24-yard line.

The first quarter wrapped up with the only scoring being that of Harris’ early touchdown, as both teams struggled to get much offence operating.

In the second quarter, Harris continued to pound on his former team, scoring his second touchdown of the night on a 4-yard plunge. The score increased the Bombers lead to 14-0.

The special team’s guru in Mike O’Shea reached into his bag of tricks immediately following the Harris touchdown. Lining up for the kick-off to follow, the Bombers elected to kick onside, catching the Lions on their heels and unable to get to the ball before the Blue and Gold.

Winnipeg would have to settle for a field goal, however, on the following offensive drive. Still managing to further increase their lead over the Lions to 17-0, nonetheless.

The next scoring opportunity the Lions would have come at the tail end of the second quarter. After Chris Rainey set up the offence with good field position following a 38-yard punt return, the Lions started their drive in Winnipeg’s end of the field.

With 1:40 remaining in the half, Lulay marched the Leos down to the 5-yard line only to have a potential touchdown pass slip through the hands of Bryan Burnham in the end zone after coming into contact with Kevin Fogg of the Blue Bombers.

Winnipeg would maintain their 17-point lead as their defence kept the Lions off the board come halftime, and having over a hundred yards rushing.

Not to go down without a fight, the Lions defence flexed their muscles in the third quarter.

After the Bombers marched their way downfield after halftime, the Leos dug their cleats in deep to make the goal-line stand after the Bombers elected to go for it on third down.

In the closing five minutes of the third quarter, the Lions pieced together an explosive drive on offence. Starting on their own 12-yard line, the Lions got a pair of big plays from Chris Rainey, who took the bulk of the reps at running back after Jeremiah Johnson left the game in the first half.

Cody Fajardo capped off the BC drive with a quarterback sneak from 1-yard out, narrowing the Winnipeg lead to ten.

The momentum fully shifted in way of the Lions as the third quarter came to an end after Lions’ defensive back Winston Rose picked off Matt Nichols on an overthrow, giving the Black and Orange the ball heading into the fourth quarter.

Penalties took their toll on O’Shea’s Bombers on the Lions drive, committing two roughing the passer penalties, allowing Ty Long to narrow the lead to a touchdown after he notched a 46-yard field goal.

Winnipeg’s attempt to take back their initial momentum was halted by another Lions’ defensive stand on a third-down play. Bombers Chris Streveler flanked right as Odell Willis cut his way through the Winnipeg line and wrapping up the opposing quarterback to force the turnover on downs.

Lulay roared the Lions down the field in the closing minutes of the game to eventually connect with Shaq Johnson on the game-tying touchdown, bringing the score to 17-17.

The following series, the Lions defence fed off of the momentum and energy inside BC Place, as they continued to apply the pressure on Matt Nichols, who would throw his third interception of the game.

Lulay and the Lions took over on offence with 1:11 remaining in the fourth quarter and quickly got things rolling, connecting with Bryan Burnham for 38 yards, setting up a game-winning 16-yard field goal by Ty Long.

The Lions get their second victory of the season and improve their record to 2-2, while the Bombers fall to a 2-3 record.

The Lions will take on the Ottawa REDBLACKS next week in the nation’s capital on Friday night. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, for the Blue Bombers, they’ll hope to get back on track in Toronto when they take on James Franklin and the Argonauts on Saturday of Week 6 of the CFL schedule. That game is scheduled to be an afternoon start of 4:00 p.m. ET at BMO Field.

 

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