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BC thumps Edmonton, secures top spot in West
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Mike Reilly threw a pair of touchdown passes and Paul McCallum connected on six field goals to lead the British Columbia Lions past the Edmonton Eskimos, 39-19, on Friday.
Reilly, who was making his first career start in place of an injured Travis Lulay, completed 19-of-28 passes for 276 yards and an interception for the Lions (12-4), who clinched the top spot in the Western Division.
Nick Moore had five receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown, while Tim Brown finished with 50 rushing yards and a score on four carries and added 34 yards on two catches in the win.
Kerry Joseph threw for 146 yards with a touchdown and an interception on just 6-of-24 passing for Edmonton (7-9), which had its two-game win streak snapped.
The Eskimos' Cary Koch paced all receivers with 72 yards and a touchdown on three receptions.
British Columbia held a 16-10 lead entering the third quarter and McCallum connected on a 44-yard field goal on the Lions' second possession of the frame to extend BC's lead.
McCallum conceded a safety on the Lions' next touch by running out of the end zone on a punt attempt at his own goal line to make it a 19-12 game with 5:56 left in the third.
Edmonton started a drive at its own 28 after the teams traded punts, and Joseph kept the possession alive by converting a 2nd-and-10 with an 18-yard scramble before capping the 6-play, 82-yard march with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Koch, who tipped the ball away from a leaping defender before turning around and corralling the ball as he fell to the ground, tying the game at 19-19 with 13:55 remaining in the contest.
The tie was short-lived, however, as Reilly found Moore for a 20-yard gain on the Lions' ensuing possession to move the ball past midfield and set up McCallum's 40-yard field goal.
The Lions added to their advantage on their next touch, as British Columbia started its drive at the Edmonton 42 and took advantage of the favorable field position with a 4-play trek capped by Moore's 9-yard reception in the right side of the end zone.
Ryan Phillips intercepted Joseph on the Esks' next offensive play and Harris' 13-yard run preceded a 42-yard field goal by McCallum for a 32-19 lead with just over three minutes left to play.
Joseph was then sacked by Brandon Jordan on a 3rd-and-18 at the Edmonton 27 and Brown reeled off a 23-yard score on a run off the left side on the next play to cap the scoring.
Reilly opened the game with a 6-yard completion to Ernest Jackson, but was intercepted on the next play by JC Sherritt, who returned it 27 yards to the Lions' 17-yard line.
Edmonton, though, lost 10 yards on the possession and was forced to settle for Grant Shaw's 34-yard field goal.
Reilly atoned for his early mistake on British Columbia's ensuing drive by hitting Akeem Foster deep down the right sideline for a 47-yard gain. After a personal foul penalty on Edmonton during an incomplete second-down pass gave the Lions a new set of downs at the Eskimos' 11, Reilly connected with Courtney Taylor for an 11-yard touchdown.
Edmonton later took over on offense at its own 47 following a series of punts, and a 46-yard catch-and-run over the middle by Koch set up a 24-yard kick by Shaw to knot the game at 7-7.
The teams then traded a 38-yard field goal by McCallum and a 47-yard kick by Shaw over the next two possessions of the game to make it a 10-10 contest early in the second quarter.
British Columbia regained the ball at its own 25 following a punt by each team and Reilly reeled off an 18-yard run before finding Moore and Foster for gains of 26 and 21 yards, respectively, to move as far as the Edmonton 3-yard line. The Lions could not push the ball across the goal line, however, and McCallum's 11-yard field goal gave BC a 13-10 advantage with just over three minutes left in the half.
The Eskimos managed just one first down on their next touch and Brown raced up the middle for a 52-yard punt return, resulting in a 48-yard field goal by McCallum for a 16-10 edge at the break.
The Lions have now won seven of their eight home games this season ... Foster finished with 68 yards on two receptions ... British Columbia racked up 404 yards of offense, while Edmonton finished with 238 ... Hugh Charles had 35 yards on seven carries for the Eskimos .. Lions coach Mike Benevides set a new team record for wins as a first-year coach with the victory, surpassing the previous mark of 11 shared by Wally Buono, Don Matthews and Bob O'Billovich.
10/20 01:25:49 ET