VANCOUVER — The BC Lions hit an important pair of firsts in their season on Saturday night with their 45-13 win over the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
The team is on its first winning streak of the season, having swept the REDBLACKS in a pair of games in a three-week span. With that second win, the Lions are over the .500 mark for the first time this season, now sitting at 3-2. The REDBLACKS are on the other side of that fortune, now sitting at 1-4.
Michael Reilly made 22 of 26 passes for 319 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. He was helped by the Lions’ defence and special teams units, who both added touchdowns on the night.
In his first start of the season, Dominique Davis was 30-51 for 333 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
The Lions got to work quickly, with Reilly finding Keon Hatcher for an eight-yard touchdown pass just 2:43 into the game. The tone was set for the Lions’ offence, which ran up a lead very efficiently. Reilly found Jovon Cottoy at Ottawa’s 17-yard line and the second-year receiver shed a tackle and found the end zone, with Jimmy Camacho‘s second convert of the night making it a 14-0 game at 6:24.
About four minutes later, Dominique Davis found Ryan Davis for a 33-yard touchdown pass, with Lewis Ward‘s convert cutting BC’s lead in half. The Lions were intent on creating distance, though and struck quickly after.
Reilly closed out the opening quarter with a 39-yard pass to Bryan Burnham for his second touchdown of the year.
In the second quarter, Ward missed a 48-yard field goal attempt and the Lions’ special teams unit made Ottawa pay. Lucky Whitehead ran back a 119-yard missed field goal return for a touchdown and took firm control of the game, going up 28-7 with Camacho’s convert. Ward would add a couple of field goals in the second quarter, connecting from 41 and 51 yards, but the REDBLACKS ran dry from there, while BC continued to pour it on.
Reilly was mad at himself for throwing an end zone interception to De’Chevon Hayes late in the quarter, but the Lions’ defence made it up for him to close out a productive first half. Linebacker Bo Lokombo stepped in front of Davis’ pass and snagged his first interception of the season and ran it back 20 yards for the touchdown. Camacho’s convert gave the Lions a 35-13 halftime lead.
Reilly found Burnham at Ottawa’s 15-yard line and the receiver sidestepped Ottawa’s Antoine Pruneau, which opened up a wide lane to the end zone, giving Burnham his second TD of the night.
The Lions’ defence continued to make life difficult for Davis at QB, with the Lions’ secondary hovering around his targets, hunting more turnovers and trips to the end zone.
Hayes almost had his second end zone pick from Reilly, but wasn’t able to hang onto the ball as it moved toward the Ottawa goal line. The Lions had to settle for a 14-yard field goal from Camacho, who had no problem making his first attempt of the night, making it a 45-13 game.
Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell gave backup QB Nathan Rourke the final two minutes of the game, getting the rookie his first in-game reps since Week 1.
The Lions picked up their first home win of the season in front of 2,000 frontline workers that the organization welcomed to BC Place.
BC will travel to Montreal this week, where they’ll face the Alouettes on Saturday. The REDBLACKS head into their second bye week of the season.