CFL: BC Lions down Montreal Alouettes behind RB Jeremiah Johnson’s big game

MONTREAL — The BC Lions came out on top against the Montreal Alouettes with a 23-16 victory in Week 3 action on Thursday night.

The Lions struck first on their opening drive when Jeremiah Johnson caught a short dump-off pass from Jonathon Jennings and fought his way to the corner of the end zone with a stiff arm. Johnson would finish the game with 102 total yards and two touchdowns to lead the Lions’ offence.

The Als’ offence got off to a slow start with Montreal failing to capitalize on solid field position provided by returner Stefan Logan in the first quarter. Logan would exit the game in the first half with an undisclosed injury.

BC’s Bryan Burnham led his team in receiving yards in the first half, making several key grabs in the middle of the field to sustain drives.

The Als began to move the ball in the second quarter after Durant started gaining yards with his legs. Durant threw a first down pass to B.J. Cunningham before taking a late hit from Mic’hael Brooks that knocked his helmet off. The Lions were penalized for roughing the passer and Montreal would capitalize when kicker Boris Bede notched a field goal later on the drive to narrow the score to 6-3.

Montreal’s biggest play of the first half came when Durant found Ernest Jackson for 42 yards down the right side of the field. Durant found Nik Lewis on the ensuing play to gain another first down on the drive and the Als tied the game up after Bede made a 51-yard field goal.

Montreal appeared to secure a turnover in the third quarter when an errant Jennings pass deflected off an Alouette defender and ended up in the hands of defensive back Tyree Hollins. The interception was overturned after a successful BC challenge revealed defensive pass interference on the play.

BC Lions defense clamped down on Montreal QB Darian Durant Photo: Canadian Press

Jennings began to move the ball efficiently after the challenge, spreading the ball around while also gaining yards with his legs on the drive. Jeremiah Johnson continued to make plays in the receiving game for the Lions, shaking Montreal defenders to gain yards every time he had the ball in his hands.

Jennings had Arceneaux open in the end zone but his pass hit the field goal post. As a result, the Lions would have to settle for a field goal to regain the lead at 9-6.

Montreal’s Bede knocked through his third field goal of the game to tie the game at nine early in the fourth quarter.

Jeremiah Johnson regained the lead for the Lions on a fourth quarter drive that saw him reel in a 27-yard catch down the sideline. A Montreal pass interference call in the end zone led to a short rushing score for Johnson two plays later to put BC up 16-9.

Durant had back to back big plays to Underwood and Cunningham to put the Als in scoring position on the following drive. The Als caught a break when an illegal contact penalty wiped a 108-yard interception for a touchdown off the board. Tyrell Sutton would score a two-yard rushing touchdown on the drive to tie the game back up at 16-16.

Jennnings and the BC offence began to regain momentum on the following drive when the quarterback connected deep with Shaq Johnson for 36 yards. The Lions made their way down the field through the air, capping off the drive with a Travis Lulay rushing touchdown to put them up 23-16.

On the next drive Durant threw an interception to Anthony Gaitor after he scrambled to his left and attempted to find Tiquan Underwood, ending Montreal’s hopes for another comeback.

The Als will take on the Stampeders next Friday on the 14th and the Lions will face the Ticats next Saturday on the 15th.

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