B.C. Lions blow 19-point lead as Redblacks win

The Ottawa Redblacks’ bold decision for an onside kick late in the third quarter proved to be a difference maker on Saturday night.

Ottawa recovered the onside kick inside Lions territory and receiver Diontae Spencer scored a touchdown two plays later as the Redblacks overcame a 19-point deficit in the second half to defeat the B.C. Lions 30-25.

“That’s what football is about. You can do a lot of good things and do a lot of the hard work, but those momentum-changing plays can obviously make a huge difference,” said Redblacks coach Rick Campbell.

It was initially ruled that Spencer was down at the one-yard line, but a review from a coach’s challenge determined Spencer got into the end zone for the score.

“We had to get back in the game somehow, so it’s a credit to the coaches to be able to have the nerve to do that,” said receiver Greg Ellingson of the onside kick. “After that, it’s just players making plays.

“I think in the second half, (we) kind of let it loose. We were a little conservative, maybe, in the first half and in the second half, we let Trevor (Harris) air it out and show that his shoulder is as healthy as it’s ever been.”

Harris threw three touchdown passes and finished the game 28 of 38 for 380 yards in his return from a three-game absence due to a shoulder injury.

The Redblacks trailed 25-6 late in the third quarter, but silenced a suddenly stunned crowd of 19,324 fans at BC Place Stadium with the comeback. Harris and the Ottawa offence had been held in check through the first half with only 122 yards passing and a pair of Brett Maher field goals, while the Lions seemed in complete control.

Lions quarterback Jonathon Jennings threw three touchdown passes, including two to veteran receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux and one to sophomore receiver Shaquille Johnson. Late in the third quarter, however, the Lions began to implode.

B.C. receiver Bryan Burnham fumbled the ball inside his own 30-yard line, giving the Redblacks excellent field position. Harris then connected with Ellingson for a 19-yard touchdown pass to cut into B.C.’s lead.

“I just thought we got more aggressive, offensively and defensively, with our calls. We finally started making the plays,” said Harris.

“I’m not going to try and be anybody else. If I change the way I play, then I don’t feel like I’ll give my team the best chance to win. Me going out there and having a sense of fear wouldn’t be a good thing.”

Harris and Ellingson connected once again early in the fourth quarter, this time for a 45-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 25-25. The single-point convert from Maher gave the Redblacks their first lead of the game.

“We need to make sure we play the game to win, be aggressive enough in the way we call the game as coaches and as the players play the game,” said Campbell.

Maher’s 15-yard field goal less than three minutes later increased Ottawa’s lead to five points. He made all three of his field goal attempts, with his longest from 45 yards out.

The Redblacks improved to 6-9-1 and are one point behind the Toronto Argonauts for first in the East Division. Their next game is Friday on the road against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“Every win is like gold,” said Campbell. “It’s going to be a tough stretch. We only have two games left (versus the Roughriders and then the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Oct. 27 so these last two games are going to be huge. We need to be ready to go.”

The loss delivers a devastating blow to the Lions’ playoff hopes. They remain fifth in the West Division, two points back of the fourth-place Edmonton Eskimos, who visit the Montreal Alouettes on Monday.

– CP

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28 Comments on B.C. Lions blow 19-point lead as Redblacks win

  1. bill dehoog // October 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm //

    what a great game for the Redblacks-they needed that

  2. RB Nation // October 7, 2017 at 10:21 pm //

    You’re next Greenwhites… fear and tremble for the vengeance to come.

    • Leafs Riders // October 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm //

      We thank you for the win tonight…but playing in Mosaic will be too much to handle. I do hope for a good game by Evan Johnson though for the Redblacks…a good Regina boy.

    • Well sir…Harris was certainly the difference tonight. My Riders are going to have to dial it up a notch. Good game

  3. 3rd and 1 // October 7, 2017 at 10:40 pm //

    Everyone in the West thank Ottawa for stepping up tonight. However Green is the color. Wining is their game. Riders eat Redblack berries for breakfast. Then add some whitener to their coffee. That there is how you get the Green and White. What ever Redblack berries are left over. New Mosaics volume will swallow up the rest.
    Be prepared for a second half of the game beat down. LOL

  4. Lancaster/Reed // October 7, 2017 at 10:43 pm //

    Changed channels cause the wife wanted to watch a tornado hunter story on W5, and i thought the Lions were well on their way to an easy victory. Come back and the lions are down by 5 with under 1 minute!!!!!!!! Its the cfl, no lead is ever safe.

  5. Bc Is useless . From a disgruntled Hamilton fan lol

    • Philski Fish // October 8, 2017 at 1:14 am //

      Ha Randy! I went to the game…still in disbelief. RB’s had NOTHING in the first half. TC’s have to run the table now I guess…sigh.

  6. Scottsask // October 7, 2017 at 11:02 pm //

    Thank you Ottawa, see you in Saskatoon this week!

  7. Jennings and the Lions came out to play, compiled a lead then put the cruise control on too early. That said – Jennings was slinging that ball for all he was worth….too many dropped balls,stupid penalties and poor coverage did them in. Just my opinion….

  8. Total collapse, Wally should do the right thing and retire. Question is, will the Lions win another game this year

  9. Well as a long time Lions fan I can see the writing on the wall. This team is good on paper but poor on the field. Congrats to Ottawa. Maybe next year lol!

  10. And here we always thought that the east teams were supposed to lag late in games played at BC Place due fatigue from the time change and often the late hour (though not a factor in this game.) Instead the Leos went to sleep in the fourth quarter and allowed the OTTRBs back into the game to secure the win! They quit playing like a team desperate for victory and possible playoff spot. Looks less likely after this collapse and they did their feline cousins no favours either.

  11. Chris Williams, the speed ball, dropped two passes. The drop in the end zone was totally inexcusable, the pass hit him right in the hands. That made all the difference.

  12. TouchDownBC // October 8, 2017 at 1:37 am //

    Bouno needs to call it a day retire at seasons end and staff moved on…they cant sell the same crew again to the paying customers…conservative bland boring football

    • There lies the sad part. They might pay but they don’t always know what they are talking about.

      • Well BC Dave – Jennings looked like he was back in the groove – just too many dropped balls on near perfect passes.

        • He did look better. I thought about it while I was watching but thought. you know, before I says, “He’s back and We’re back”, I want to see if for at least a couple of games. This was a total team loss, all 3 aspects of the game. One guy I miss, and no one ever mentions these guys, is Jason Aragki on special teams. Losing him might be a bigger loss than Biggie but the “paying fans” don’t notice stuff like that.

          • May have a point there on Aragki. My thoughts – Jennings came to play and would have tossed for over 400 yards if some of those balls were caught including the dropped Williams TD. I think is was pass coverage that lost the game for you.

  13. Dundas dude // October 8, 2017 at 6:12 am //

    It was an entertaining game. As a ticat fan, I would have been happy with a Lions win, but I’ like seeing the East competitive. Not sure this changes a lot for the ticats…they still need to win the Ottawa game and sweep the Als. The Riders continue their efficient (lucky?) wins …hopefully that continues against RedBlacks. Not convinced the Esks will blow out the Als (although my fantasy team this weak is loaded with Esks) and as the autumn leaves turn, Calgary is going to have to bring their best game of the season to beat Hamilton. Hamilton is a long shot, but they have a real chance.

    • Suffice to say if RB’s beat the Riders next Friday it’s over for TC’s…do’t think they can run the table 4 straight wins albeit stranger things have happened. I agree with you re Calgary…contrary to what players say about not taking a team too lightly blah, blah, blah, I can see the Stumps underestimating the Tabbies in this one. I can also see QB Killer Coleman bagging another trophy.

  14. Dundas dude // October 8, 2017 at 6:29 am //

    Also, although the blown call unlikely would have averted the Lions meltdown, it was interesting to see Coach Campbell’s reaction (laugh) to the call of the 4th quarter RedBlacks “catch” and forward fumble. Why do we have replay challenges again, when obvious calls like this are still missed?

    I say get rid of the last coaches challenge too, and maybe allow the “eye in the sky” to advise on field officials when something obvious like this is (understandably, periodically) is missed. The dynamics of that call were priceless given: had BC recovered the “fumble” after the “catch” video replay would have awarded the ball back to Ottawa. Can the coaches challenge!

  15. It’s interesting that both Chris Williams and Earnest Jackson – 1000-yard standouts last season – have been mediocre this year since leaving the Redblacks. Williams used to stretch the defense, while Jackson was the clutch possession receiver. Maybe Ottawa GM Desjardins knew something? Or is it the lack of offensive planning on these 2017 teams?

  16. I didn’t see the game. Since I had to go out to find a bar to watch it I just stayed out afterwards and did other things rather than come home and watch the second game as I normally would have done. So, TSN, your little trick of burying the Rider game on the back channels cost you at least one viewer for the second game, and I’m sure many more for the first.

    So I didn’t see the game, but something strange sure seems to be going on in BC. There is a lot of talent on that team and they’re playing well below their talent level, which is pretty much unheard of for a Wally Buono team. Have the players quit on him because they believe this is his last year? Wally has always had the reputation of being a bit of a hard ass coach, but I always thought the players respected him.

  17. I had to go out to find a bar to watch the Rider game, that is.

  18. Thanks alot, Wally.
    – Signed, Hamilton.

    And who was the IDIOT, the IDIOT in Hamilton who traded Greg Ellingson?

    • Don’t believe he was traded – FA in 2015…injured mostly in 2014. But yeah, he was a one man wrecking crew against the Lions. Lion’s D had no answer for those crossing routes.

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