Lions 40 Eskimos 22
EDMONTON — Jarious Jackson proved to be one heck of an insurance policy for the B.C. Lions.
Jackson passed for four touchdowns, including a pair of long strikes to Geroy Simon, as the Lions won their first game of the season Thursday, 40-22 over the Edmonton Eskimos.
Jackson, who came in for injured starter Buck Pierce in the first quarter, finished with an impressive 362 yards.
“You have to be ready at all times,” Jackson said. “I’ve been doing this since I came in here, as far as having to come in late in a game. This is something I’ve become accustomed to. But it feels good to come on in this kind of situation and have a game like that.”
With the victory the Lions improved to 1-2 and moved into a tie for second place with Edmonton in the West Division.
“It was a good feeling to come in and play that way,” Simon said. “That’s the way we feel we should be playing every week. We have all of the confidence in the world in Jarious and feel good when he comes into a game.”
Lions head coach Wally Buono said he believes all of his quarterbacks can do the job when called upon.
“I keep saying that we aren’t a team with just one quarterback,” he said. “We have good quarterbacks. Whether it is Buck, Jarious, Travis (Lulay) or Zac Champion. We have confidence that all our quarterbacks, given the opportunity, can get the job done.”
It was the second pasting in a row for the Eskimos (1-2), who were coming in on the heels of a 50-16 loss in Montreal.
“We’re 1-2 but there is 15 games left,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall. “We aren’t hitting the panic button yet. We just have to get back on track or get on track.
“At times we looked like a pretty good football and at times we looked like it was the first time we had assembled out there. It’s like we had sugar in our gas tank. We sputtered and stalled.”
Hall admitted allowing 90 points in two games is a definite worry.
“It’s a big concern, especially when we don’t score 100 in return,” he said. “If you want to be successful in the CFL, you have to be able to stop the bleeding and keep people out of the end zone. These last two games we have struggled doing that I am very concerned.”
With the Lions up 2-0 on a safety, Pierce left the game following a hit by Elliott Richardson with five minutes to play in the first. Jackson came in and immediately paid dividends, hitting Simon with a 45-yard passing strike down to the Edmonton one-yard line.
Martell Mallett took it in from there to give the Lions a 9-0 lead after the opening quarter.
Jackson and Simon proved to be a lethal combination again three minutes into the second quarter. Jackson found Simon on a 33-yard TD strike into the end zone for a 16-0 lead.
The Eskimos finally caught a break with seven minutes left in the second. Jackson was caught scrambling and hit by Maurice Lloyd, and the ball popped out and was recovered by Kitwana Jones on the B.C. 20. Edmonton converted on the opportunity as quarterback Ricky Ray hit Maurice Mann for a 12-yard passing touchdown.
Edmonton closed to within two points with just over a minute left as Ray hit Calvin McCarty on a swing pass ,and he muscled his way 23 yards in for the touchdown to make it 16-14 at the half.