VANCOUVER — Trevor Harris threw three touchdown passes and the Ottawa Redblacks overcame a 19-point deficit in the second half to defeat the B.C. Lions 30-25 on Saturday.
The loss delivers a devastating blow to the Lions’ playoff hopes. They remain fifth in the West Division, two points back of the fourth-place Edmonton Eskimos, who visit the Montreal Alouettes on Monday.
The Redblacks trailed 25-6 late in the third quarter, but silenced a suddenly stunned crowd of 19,324 fans at BC Place Stadium with the comeback. Harris and the Ottawa offence had been held in check through the first half with only 122 yards passing and a pair of Brett Maher field goals, while the Lions seemed in complete control.
Lions quarterback Jonathon Jennings threw three touchdown passes, including two to veteran receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux and one to sophomore receiver Shaquille Johnson. Late in the third quarter, however, the Lions began to implode.
Lions receiver Bryan Burnham fumbled the ball inside his own 30-yard line, giving the Redblacks excellent field position. Harris then connected with Greg Ellingson for a 19-yard touchdown pass to cut into B.C.’s lead.
After an unsuccessful two-point convert attempt, the Redblacks maintained possession with an onside kick, recovering the ball inside Lions territory. Ottawa receiver Diontae Spencer scored a touchdown two plays later. It was initially ruled that he was down at the one-yard line, but a review from a coach’s challenge determined Spencer got into the end zone for the score.
Harris and Ellingson connected once again early in the fourth quarter, this time for a 45-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 25-25. The single-point convert from Maher gave the Redblacks their first lead of the game.
Maher’s 15-yard field goal less than three minutes later increased Ottawa’s lead to five points. He made all three of his field goal attempts, with his longest from 45 yards out.
The Redblacks improved to 6-9-1 and are one point behind the Toronto Argonauts for first in the East Division. Their next game is Friday on the road against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.