Lions36 Eskimos 1
EDMONTON — Arland Bruce reeled in a pair of touchdown passes as the B.C. Lions contributed to the recent collapse of the Edmonton Eskimos with a dominating 36-1 victory on Friday night.
It was the second win in the last three outings for the Lions after an 0-5 start to the season.
The Eskimos are headed completely in the opposite direction with three consecutive losses — including a 27-4 loss to Montreal the previous week — after a 5-0 start to the year.
Edmonton has only scored five points in its last eight quarters of play.
With a bye next week, it is the first time since 1969 that the Eskimos failed to record a win in August.
Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray telegraphed what was to come as he struggled in the early going and was intercepted on successive possessions. Korey Banks first picked off Ray at the B.C. five and was followed by Solomon Elmimian intercepting a pass at the Edmonton 52.
The second pick would quickly lead to a 7-0 Lions lead with five minutes to play in the first as Travis Lulay found Akeem Foster with a pass. Foster was able to avoid Edmonton’s bumbling attempts at tackles and sprint 56 yards into the end zone.
The Lions came right back at the Eskimos on their next possession but had to settle for a 25-yard Paul McCallum field goal for a 10-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Edmonton finally got on the board with a single from a missed Damon Duvall field goal attempt four minutes into the second.
B.C. countered with a McCallum field goal and then marched down the field in the final minutes to score as Bruce made a jumping catch on the goal line with 30 seconds remaining to put the Leos ahead 20-1 at the half.
The Lions had 241 yards in offence through 30 minutes while Edmonton was only able to muster 74 yards.
B.C. kept coming to start the third quarter but the Eskimos defence stepped up to keep them off the board as Wopamo Osaisai picked off a Lulay pass in the Edmonton end zone. However, Ray was picked off in turn on the very next play by Ryan Phillips, leading to a 10-yard TD pass to Bruce and a 27-1 Lions lead.
Veteran Kerry Joseph came in to replace Ray at quarterback but the move failed to awaken the Eskimos from their slumber as the third quarter came to a close.
The Lions kept on roaring to start the fourth as they cushioned their lead to 33 points on a 25-yard TD toss to Geroy Simon just over a minute into the final frame.
Midway through the fourth, Edmonton got hemmed into its own end and conceded a two-point safety to extend the Lions lead to 36-1.
B.C. recorded eight sacks in the game against the porous Edmonton offensive line.
Both teams have byes next week and won’t play again until September.