Friday, June 1, 2018


Thanks to 19-point third quarter, the BC Lions completed the comeback and finished their first pre-season game with a win over the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium on Friday night.
BC Lions rookie quarterback Ricky Lloyd looked sharp in his team’s pre-season opener, taking the majority of the snaps after replacing an injured Cody Fajardo in the second quarter. The 25-year-old connected on 15 of 23 passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 36-23 victory.
Jonathon Jennings played just a quarter and the Lions’ projected starter connected on four of five passes and 40 yards. His counterpart, Bo Levi Mitchell, stayed in the game for two drives for the Stampeders, making three of five passes for 45 yards and a rushing touchdown before moving aside for the rest of the team’s pivots.
Running back Travon Van and receivers Kevin Elliott and Ricky Collins Jr. all scored touchdowns for the Lions in the team’s win. Rene Paredes was three-for-three on his field goal attempts and Markeith Ambles scored a major, to go along with Mitchell’s, for the Stampeders.
The game’s first turnover occurred early on at McMahon. Lions’ running back Shaun Wick fumbled a hand-off from Jennings on the very first play of the game and Adam Berger recovered the football for the Stamps, bringing his team down to the Lions’ 19-yard line.
That fumble recovery brought Mitchell and co. into the contest as fans got their first look at the Stamps’ starting pivot.
To start Calgary’s first drive of the contest, Mitchell looked to Reggie Begelton in the end zone but overthrew on the toss. On second down he had his sights on Kamar Jorden, but missed once again, forcing the kick team to take the field. Paredes hit his 26-yard field goal to put the Stampeders up 3-0 early in the contest.
The Lions responded with a field goal of their own on the next drive as Jennings moved his team down the field to set up Ty Long’s 45-yard attempt and things were tied up at three.
However, it took no time at all for Calgary to grab the lead right back.
Mitchell and the Stamps marched down the gridiron on the very next drive and plunged into the end zone himself from the three-yard line for the major score. With Paredes’ completed convert kick, Calgary was up 10-3 late in the first quarter.
That appeared to be all head coach Dave Dickenson needed to see from Mitchell as Ricky Stanzi took over under centre on the team’s next possession.
Paredes scored his second field goal of the night early in the second quarter, hitting his 48-yard attempt and added to the Stampeders lead (13-3).
Cody Fajardo made his BC Lions debut as his team took to the field after Paredes’ score but the Leos weren’t able to generate any offence and Long had to punt the ball away giving the pigskin back to Stanzi and co.
A 54-yard return from Williams gave the Stampeders great field position but the Lions defence was up to the task of stopping them from taking advantage. Safety Anthony Thompson picked off Stanzi and Fajardo and his offence marched right back onto the field but, again, Long had to punt the ball away.
When the Stampeders got the ball back on the next possession, Keelan Johnson scooped up a Stampeders fumble and ran it back to the end zone for the score. Fajardo ran in for the two-point convert and the Lions cut the Stampeders lead to 13-11 with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter.
That score gave some momentum to BC, as the team’s defence held the Stampeders to a field goal late in the second quarter. Paredes nailed his third three-point attempt, adding to Calgary’s lead (16-11).
Late in the second quarter, Fajardo was sacked by Winston Rose and had to get helped off the field, giving way for Lloyd to take over under centre.
Larry Brihm took over at quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders to start the second half, marking the third quarterback in red to hit the field.
Markeith Ambles caught a 20-yard pass from Brihm to add to Calgary’s lead in the third quarter just over five minutes into the half. After a failed two-point conversion, the Stamps held a 23-11 lead over BC.
Elliott put the Lions on the board, as Lloyd threw to the pass-catcher in the end zone for the major score after moving his team down the field 54 yards. Jose Maltos competed the convert kick and the Leos cut the Stampeders lead to 23-18 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.
Nick Arbuckle was the fourth quarterback to join the game for the Stampeders and on his first pass, he threw an interception to Claudell Louis.
The Lions made the Stamps pay for that turnover, as Van scored a one-yard major and gave his team their first lead of the contest. BC was unsuccessful on their two-point convert and held a one-point lead late in the third quarter (24-23).
BC continued to pile it on in the third quarter. A blocked punt from 2018 draft pick David Mackie led to an 11-yard touchdown Ricky Collins Jr., one of the Lions’ off-season acquisitions. That major score gave the Lions a 30-23 lead to end the quarter.
Maltos added to his team’s lead, hitting two field goals late in the fourth quarter (the first from 48 yards and the second from 23) as the Lions defeated the Stampeders 36-23.
The Calgary Stampeders head to Saskatchewan next week to take on the Roughriders while the BC Lions play host to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the final week of pre-season action.

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