DeVier Posey’s TD hat trick puts Lions in playoffs

The MVP of last year’s Grey Cup has led his new team to a spot in this year’s playoffs.

Receiver DeVier Posey had a trio of touchdowns for the B.C. Lions (9-7) as they beat the Edmonton Eskimos 42-32 on Friday, guaranteeing a spot in the post-season.

B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay tossed for 251 yards and four touchdowns in the victory, while Mike Reilly threw for 268 yards and a touchdown for the Eskimos (8-9). Reilly has a league-leading 5,242 passing yards this season.

Posey, a former Toronto Argonaut, said his standout game on Friday was simply a result of believing in the process set out by the Lions’ coaches and management.

“When you play offence, you need 11 guys. … I just felt like it was my night,” Posey said.

The 28-year-old was named the MVP of last year’s league championship after he registered seven catches and a 100-yard reception in the Argos’ 27-24 win over the Calgary Stampeders.

He went on to sign with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, but was released by the team last month. The former Ohio State star has filled an important role with the Lions, said head coach Wally Buono.

“We just felt that he was going to give us the dimension that we were lacking, which was a big receiver that can give you the big play,” Buono said.

“We’ve been close a lot of times since (Posey’s) been here, but tonight was the first night that there was connection and there was big plays.”

One of those big plays came in the third quarter, when Lulay and Posey connected for a 65-yard catch-and-dash into the end zone. The pair have been working for weeks on building a rapport, even texting at night about how they want to work together on the field, said Lulay.

“(Friday night was) just a culmination of a lot of work and effort to get better,” he said.

“All of those were technical, wide-receiver plays. It’s obvious what he adds to our group.”

Despite the win, the Lions struggled at times in Friday’s game, starting with some sloppy play that saw them go down 12-0 in the first quarter. Lulay, a veteran leader on the squad, said he’s proud of how the Lions regained control in the third frame and held on for the lead in the final quarter.

“That’s what our team wants to hang our hat on, being physically and mentally tough,” he said.

“This is a really important win. It says a lot about who we are as a group.”

The victory means Buono is guaranteed another playoff run, but the most winningest coach in the league’s history said what he really wants is another Grey Cup.

“If you’re not thinking that, if you’re not playing for that, you might as well go home,” said Buono, who has already won the trophy five times. “Championships aren’t won in November. But myself, the team, we want to stay focused on our next game.”

Friday’s loss further dims Edmonton’s playoff hopes.

“Any time you lose it sucks,” Eskies coach Jason Maas said after the game.

The club now needs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to beat the Calgary Stampeders next week to have a shot at a post-season berth.

“You become a fan and you’ve got to root against Winnipeg,” Maas said. “If Winnipeg doesn’t take care of business, we have the chance to make it right. So that’ll be our focus and regardless, we’ve got to finish the season out strong.”




Must Read