Sunday, June 21, 2015

Eskimos edge Lions in final pre-season game

 In the final pre-season game of the 2015 season, BC Lions fell short to the Edmonton Eskimos, however, BC fans were relieved to see an impressive first half from quarterback, Travisy Lulay.
With all eyes squarely on the quarterback, Travis Lulay many people were anxious to see how the veteran would play after having a shoulder procedure done last season.
Lulay played the entire first half, passing for 123 yards and completed over 61 per-cent of his passes including passing for a touchdown in the process.
It didn’t take long for everyone to see how fit Lulay was for football activity in a game environment. With the Lions receiving the ball to begin the game, Lulay trotted onto the field. It only took the second play of the game for the pivot to take his first hit and quickly get back to his feet.
By the end of the series, Lulay led the Leos down the field that finished with a 25-yard touchdown catch and run by wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux to open up the scoring.
On the Eskimos’ first series they were able to cut the home-sides lead to four. After a first down rush and a pair of receptions, back-to-back plays, the Eskimos had to settle with a 48-yard field goal by Grant Shaw.
Entering the third offensive series, the Lions were still being led by Lulay. It took no time for him to build some chemistry with first-year CFLer Austin Collie.

On the series, he found Collie for the second time in the game for a big gain to put the Lions in field goal territory. The Lions would settle for a 37-yard field goal attempt. However, kicker Richie Leone’s boot sailed wide left and the Eskimos returned it out of their end zone, resulting in zero points.
Quarterback Travis Lulay completed 8-of-13 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in his pre-season debut.
After a pair of offensive series, Matt Nichols came in to replace Mike Reilly.
At the end of the opening quarter, BC led 7-3.
The Eskimos continued to chip away at the Lions lead. On the second play of the second quarter, Shaw nailed a 41-yard field goal to make the score 7-6 Lions.
After a lengthy drive, that saw the Lions move the chains on three occasions they once again had to settle for a 44-yard field goal attempt by Leone that went wide of the uprights.
Again the Eskimos returned the missed kick out of the end zone.
Leone shook off his early struggles in the kicking department, and booted a long punt that pinned the Eskimos inside their five yard line.
With the Eskimos under the helm of James Franklin, he began deep in Eskimo territory with four minutes to go.
After finding Kenny Stafford for a first down and a pass interference call downfield, the Eskimos continued to march downfield. With time ticking down in the half, Franklin found Stafford for the major to give the Eskimos their first lead in the game, 13-7.
With the first half dwindling down, Lulay led the Lions on their final drive of the half. After a penalty gave the Lions favourable field positon, Lulay found Collie for the third time in the half for another big gain to set up Leone for the 24-yard field goal with only three seconds left in the half, to trim the lead to 13-10.
On the kickoff, the Eskimos had a great return, plus after two Lion penalties on the kickoff it resulted with Shaw having a 28-yard field goal, but missed it resulting in a rouge to end the first half.
The Eskimos went into the half with the 14-10 lead.
To being the second half, Edmonton began with possession. Franklin was able to move the offence down the field thanks to receptions from Adarius Bowman and Kenny Stafford, as well as some timely BC Lion penalties.
Shaw would set up for a 37-yard field goal attempt that once again went wide, settling for a rouge to give the Eskimos a five-point advantage, 15-10.
Jonathan Jennings replaced Travis Lulay as the quarterback to commence the Lions first second half drive.
Another promising drive for the Eskimos stalled, and the kicking struggles continued with Grant Shaw hitting the upright and out from 22-yards out late in the third quarter.
The Eskimos defence was able to shutout the Lions in the third quarter and added a trio of points after Shaw knocked in a field goal from 41 yards out.

Early in the fourth, the teams would trade interceptions. First, Eskimos defensive back Aaron Grymes picked off Jennings and returned it into BC Lions territory.

A few plays later Franklin tried finding a receiver in the end zone, but over threw him and Keynan Parker was able to intercept the ball and halt the Eskimos drive.

Jennings was then able to make up for his earlier interception by leading the Lions down field resulting in an Anthony Fera 49-yard field goal, to cut the deficit to 18-13.

With under five minutes left Greg McGhee came into the game and he made his first completion to Marco Iannuzzi who turned up field for a significant gain and had the Lions knocking on the door.

After deciding to go for it after the three-minute warning, McGhee was sacked by Willie Jefferson resulting in a turnover on downs.
To open the season, Edmonton will travel to Fort McMurray to play the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday, June 27. The BC Lions will start the season on a bye and play their first game in Ottawa on Saturday, July 3.

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