BC Lions quarterback Travis Lulay runs the ball during CFL football action against the Calgary Stampeders, in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

BC Lions quarterback Travis Lulay runs the ball during CFL football action against the Calgary Stampeders, in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

The task at hand is simple one for Travis Lulay and the B.C. Lions: Win and they’re in the CFL playoffs.

B.C. (8-7) can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos (8-8). The Lions have put themselves in the playoff picture with a solid late-season run that’s seen them win five of their last six contests, including last weekend’s 26-21 victory over the front-running Calgary Stampeders (12-3).

The Lions are also 6-3 over their last nine games, a stretch that began with a 31-23 home victory over Edmonton on Aug. 9. By comparison, the Eskimos are 3-6 over the same span but did snap a three-game losing streak last weekend with a solid 34-16 home win over the Ottawa Redblacks.

CFL passing leader Mike Reilly returned to form against Ottawa, completing 31-of-38 passes for 369 yards with a TD while rushing for 72 yards on 10 carries. Bryant Mitchell registered 13 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown while league receiving leader D’haquille Williams had three receptions for 39 yards.

Back in August, Reilly threw for 302 yards with two TDs but also had two interceptions and ran for just one yard. Anchored by solid second-half play from its defence, B.C. rallied from a 20-10 half-time deficit to earn the victory.

The Lions’ defence didn’t allow a first down in the third quarter. Otha Foster’s recovery of a Reilly fumble set up Travon Van’s TD run that put B.C. ahead 27-20 early in the fourth.

Last weekend, it was newcomer Tyrell Sutton who was instrumental in B.C.’s win over Calgary. Sutton rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries against the CFL’s top-ranked defence against the run (81.1 yards per game).

As important as this encounter is to B.C.’s playoff hopes, it’s a pivotal contest for the Eskimos. They’ve played one more game than the Lions and while a loss wouldn’t eliminate them from playoff contention, it would deliver a crippling blow to the post-season aspirations of a franchise that will be hosting the Grey Cup next month at Commonwealth Stadium.

But let’s consider that B.C. is 6-1 at home this season while Edmonton is 2-8 on the road.

Prediction: B.C.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ottawa Redblacks (Friday night)

This is the start of an important home-and-home series. Hamilton (8-7) has won two straight and five of its last seven games. The Redblacks (8-7) have had two consecutive losses but lead the season series 1-0 and could take control of this race with a victory. Then again, the Ticats can clinch top spot with a series sweep.

Prediction: Hamilton.

Montreal Alouettes at Toronto Argonauts (Saturday afternoon)

In a matchup of two teams that will miss the playoffs, James Franklin makes a second straight start for the Argos (3-12), who’ve lost seven straight. Johnny Manziel is still searching for his first CFL win with Montreal (3-12), which has lost four in a row but beat the Double Blue 25-22 in August with Antonio Pipkin under centre.

Prediction: Montreal.

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Calgary Stampeders (Saturday night)

Both teams have clinched playoff berths but are hurting and coming off losses. Yet it’s hard to imagine the Stampeders (12-3) not rebounding under quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, 68-13-2 as a CFL starter and 38-4-0 at McMahon Stadium. Saskatchewan (10-6) dropped a lopsided 31-0 loss to Winnipeg and has been inconsistent offensively all year.

Prediction: Calgary.

Last week: 3-1.

Overall: 45-23.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(James Holmes/Contributed)
Kelowna chef to compete on the Food Network’s Fire Masters

Chef James Holmes will compete for $10K on an upcoming episode of Fire Masters

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Fernando’s Pub is set to reopen on May 17 following a lengthy winter closure, allowing Kelowna residents to again enjoy the pub’s famed avocado margarita. (Fernando’s Pub/Facebook)
Downtown Kelowna’s Fernando’s Pub set to reopen after winter closure

Fernando’s has announced it will begin welcoming its patrons back on May 17

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Approximately 2,500 teachers, school staff vaccinated in Central Okanagan

Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association said teachers are thrilled

City of West Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan/West K News)
City of West Kelowna puts more than $35M into infrastructure projects

Sizable investments into road and active transportation network projects

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

A wild rabbit grazes in Nanaimo, B.C. in this Feb.2, 2018 photo. Rabbit owners in Alberta are being warned about a deadly virus that was identified in a southern Alberta household last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner
‘Like a flash fire:’ Rabbit owners warned about outbreak of deadly disease in Alberta

The disease is confined to rabbits and cannot spread to humans

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Most Read