Lulay wants to beat friend and rival Reilly when Lions host Eskimos

Monte Stewart, Canadian Press

B.C. Lions quarterback Travis Lulay will put his friendship with Edmonton Eskimos counterpart Mike Reilly on hold Thursday night.

Lulay hopes to outshine his former teammate as the Lions (2-4) attempt to end a two-game losing skid with a win over the surging Eskimos (5-2).

“We’ve played against each other a couple times,” said Lulay after a workout at the team’s practice facility Wednesday. “But up until last year, we hadn’t directly squared off. They got us at home last year. We got Mike coming into our house this week, so it would be fun to hang around and (compete) with him.”

Lulay and Reilly spent three seasons as Lions teammates before Reilly was traded to Edmonton after the 2012 season. Both have won CFL most outstanding player awards – Lulay in 2011 and Reilly last season.

“When they were here, they were competitive and yet they were good friends,” said Lions coach Wally Buono. “I still think they’re good friends. Has Travis helped Mike? Has Mike helped Travis? It’s kind of like the chicken-and-the-egg thing.”

Reilly has picked up where he left off in 2018, leading all CFL quarterbacks with 160 pass completions on 241 attempts for 2,320 yards and 14 touchdowns. Lulay, who began the season as a backup after coming off a knee injury last season, has completed 72-of-112 passes for 932 yards and four touchdowns. He has tossed only two interceptions compared to Reilly’s four.

“We talk almost every week, texting actually,” said Lulay. “He’s kind of been distant this week, actually. I meant to call him up. We chat often times when things come up or games happen. Sometimes he’ll call me to vent about a few things that happened in the last game. I do the same thing.”

This week, the Lions have been venting about missed opportunities. One that sticks out was their previous game in Edmonton, in the second week of the season in late June, when the Lions built an 11-0 lead but lost 41-22.

“We really could have scored, easily, 24 points,” said Buono. “Instead of kicking field goals, score touchdowns. Then, don’t let the momentum get away from you – which we did, whether it was a penalty or whether it was a big play on their part. This is who they are. They thrive on big plays on offence. So we’ve got to keep those to a minimum.”

The Lions will try to score more points earlier. B.C. has been outscored 98-50 in the first half this season.

Lulay feels that one of the best ways to stop Reilly and company is to keep the B.C. offence on the field longer and produce more points within 20 yards of the opposition end zone – something they have failed to do consistently this season.

“Obviously, it takes a lot of effort to get down there, so you don’t want to waste an opportunity,” said Lulay.

The Lions’ last three games have been decided by nine points or less. Lions receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux said the club has started executing better and capitalizing on its opportunities.

“You can talk about executing, but it’s going out there and doing that’s the most important,” said Arceneaux. “So we’ve got an opportunity to go out there (Thursday) night and put our words into action.”

Edmonton is on a three-game winning streak. Defensive end Odell Willis, a former Eskimo, said the Lions, who have allowed opponents to score late via big gains, need to do a better job of defending against the run. B.C. ranks seventh in the league with 747 rushing yards against.

But, said Willis, the key will be to stop Reilly.

“He goes as far as the team goes,” said Willis. “If we control Mike Reilly, we control what they do.”

Reilly, who was frustrated with his performance in a home-field win over Saskatchewan last weekend, does not want the Eskimos to get too comfortable with their success.

“We’ve got to get better every week,” he told reporters. “The games are just going to get tougher.”


18 Comments on Lulay wants to beat friend and rival Reilly when Lions host Eskimos

  1. Riding the Horse // August 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm //

    I’m sure with the benefit of hindsight; Wally would not have made the Reilly trade. However he could not have predicted the injuries that Lulay would have.
    At the time it was the right trade

  2. Fern Allary // August 9, 2018 at 9:54 pm //

    That’s odd, and here I thought that Lulay would just roll over and let Reilly take the “W”

  3. Regardless of what happens, does not look like anyone is going to be there to see it. Attendance looks HORRIBLE. Wake up Canada! You are inching ever closer to losing the only purely Canadian sport tradition that is exclusively yours. Won’t know what you got until its gone.

  4. Paul Bomber // August 9, 2018 at 10:43 pm //

    Watched the first 5 minutes… can’t deal with that STUPID live mic crap. TSN SUCKS!!

  5. Evil Empire // August 9, 2018 at 11:39 pm //

    Just got home. I was at the opera with my wife. The only bad thing about being married to a Doctor. She has alot of white collar friends, and responsibilities. I love classical music. I’m not sure what A-hole decided to ruin it by having ppl sing to it. Especially, in French/Italian/German. It’s cool that alot of venues now have subtitles on big screens. It’s a little more enjoyable when you can actually follow the story.

    That’s my opinion, at least.

    I see it’s 20–10 at the half.

    I hope the Eskimos can get the win. They have to keep pace with Cgy.

  6. Evil Empire // August 9, 2018 at 11:55 pm //


    Maybe I should not have tuned in. BC just scored. I’m a very superstitious person. Especially, when it comes to sports.

    My wife just asked if I wanted to go for Sushi. Sounds like a plan. She knows how superstitious I am too ;). I’ll check in later. Hopefully after an Eskimo win.

  7. Evil Empire // August 10, 2018 at 12:04 am //

    Our local Sushi place is open until 1 am. And Thursday- Saturday is always 50% off. And that’s not to say I won’t watch. I watch on demand. Win, or lose. I’ll be up til the wee hours, watching. I just hate watching the Eskimos in real time on tv. Live in person, is a different story.

    I have flaming dragon balls to eat. And, Sake to drink. See ya later.

    We got Reilly. I have faith.

  8. EE set up nicely for another Reilly 4th quarter comeback.

    • Oops.

    • Evil Empire // August 10, 2018 at 3:15 am //

      @Bleeding Green.

      A very respectful post.

      I know that 100% of the online members of Rider Nation, are NOT douchebags.

      Thanks for reminding me of that universal truth.

      Best of luck to you, personally. I tip my hat to acknowledge your show of class.

      RESPECT !

  9. Evil Empire // August 10, 2018 at 1:28 am //

    So, I’m out enjoying life with my wife. I receive a one word text from my mom.

    Shit !

    That could only mean one thing. Thanks for the spoiler, mom.

    LOL. It’s a football game. I hope you’ll excuse me if I don’t do a swan dive into the Potomac. I think I’ll save it for the weekend. We’re going to NYC. That’s a much cooler place to take a header. And, an amazing amount of VERY tall buildings. The tallest building in DC is probably the Watergate.

    I literally saw about one minute of this game. So, I can’t say much. The losers over at RF will have revived their “ Esks lose again “ thread.

    I’m so happy that their greatest joy comes not from their own achievements. But, from the failure of others. LMAO. It must be horrible to be so pathetic. BC Place has never been an easy win for Edm. I expected nothing different this time. Congrats to BC.

    And, to you morally bankrupt in Riderville….

    You realize you just came one step closer to not even managing a pathetic crossover, right ?

    No, of course you didn’t. That would require having the capability to foresee what lies beyond the tip of your own nose.

    The Esks hit a bump in the road. It wasn’t unexpected. I still feel good. We have Mtl at home next week. And, the home, and home with Cgy will probably decide who wins the West.

    Once again… Congrats BC. I’m sure the victory was well earned.

  10. Gee, Orville, you live such an awesome life, according to your blog. And I see you’re an ornery drunk. And I see that the SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS own you – you write more about the Riders than the teams that were actually playing.

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