Eskimos 31 Lions 19
VANCOUVER — Tristan Jackson returned a missed field goal 113 yards for a touchdown as the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the B.C. Lions 31-19 in a CFL exhibition game Tuesday night.
Eskimo quarterback Ricky Ray threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Nowacki as Edmonton improved its pre-season record to 2-0. Arlee Whitlock added a touchdown on a five-yard run in the last minute.
Jackson, a defensive back from Central Arkansas who led the league in punt return yards last season, gave Edmonton a 6-0 lead even before the Eskimo offence ran its first series.
The play started when B.C. kicker Paul McCallum was wide on a 49-yard field-goal attempt. The five-foot-eight Jackson took the ball three yards deep in the end zone, then blazed his way up the field. He managed to break a late tackle and sprinted in for the score.
It was a rough night for McCallum, who later missed on field-goal attempts of 48 and 41 yards. He also put some excitement in a first-quarter punt when he dropped the snap, ran a few yards, then finally kicked the ball.
The B.C. offence showed some flashes but had trouble converting before a crowd of 23,217 at BC Place Stadium.
The Lions didn’t score a touchdown until late in the third quarter when Martell Mallet, who is in a battle for the running back spot, hauled in a two-yard touchdown pass from Jarious Jackson.
Travis Lulay, a rookie from Montana State, made a case for being the third-string quarterback when he tossed a 33-yard touchdown to Emmanuel Arceneaux in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Buck Pierce played the first half, completing 16-of-24 passes for 170 yards but was intercepted twice, both off tipped balls.
The Lions threatened late in the opening half, but that drive stalled when Mallet, a rookie from Arkansas Pine Bluff, fumbled on the Edmonton 23-yard line.
Jackson had more luck moving the team. He was able to find the open receivers and capable of pulling down the ball and running when they were covered.
The Lions, who dropped to 0-2 in the exhibition, are looking to replace eight veterans lost from last year’s team.
Edmonton whipped Saskatchewan 45-12 in the Eskimos’ first exhibition match while the Lions lost 37-30 to Calgary.