B.C. Lions hang on to beat Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36-29
VANCOUVER - Kevin Glenn threw for over 400 yards, including a touchdown pass to Emmanuel Arceneaux, and ran another in himself Friday as the B.C. Lions survived an up-and-down performance to defeat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36-29.
Andrew Harris also had a rushing TD for the Lions (4-3), while Paul McCallum kicked five field goals.
B.C. was coming off a 25-24 come-from-behind road victory against the Calgary Stampeders and picked up its second win at home in 2014.
Brandon Banks returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown for the Tiger-Cats (1-5), who were coming off a heart-breaking 27-26 last-second loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.
Hamilton quarterback Dan LeFevour ran in another touchdown for the visitors, while Justin Medlock booted five field goals.
B.C. took a 27-26 lead into the fourth quarter in the seesaw matchup and Glenn engineered a drive that resulted in McCallum's 32-yard field goal to stretch the advantage to four.
The Tiger-Cats answered that score with a field goal of their own as Medlock connected from 40 yards following a 38-yard pass from LeFevour to Mossis Madu.
Glenn marched B.C. down the field again thanks to a 43-yard hookup with Shawn Gore that got the Lions down to the Hamilton four, but they had to settle for McCallum's 20-yard effort with 2:32 left that made it 33-29.
The Lions then forced a Hamilton punt and McCallum nailed a 41-yard attempt — his fifth of the night — for a hard-fought victory that was anything but pretty.
Hamilton led 19-17 at half-time and got the ball near midfield early in the third quarter after Glenn was picked off by Tiger-Cats linebacker Frederic Plesius, but they couldn't capitalize on the great field position.
Glenn then hit Arceneaux for a 38-yard catch and run to set up a 47-yard field goal by McCallum that almost nicked the crossbar to make it 20-19.
On B.C.'s next possession, Hamilton took roughing the passer and objectionable conduct penalties on the same play to move the Lions into Tiger-Cats territory. Glenn hooked up with Arceneaux for 32 yards and a pass interference call on the next play moved the ball to the Hamilton four to set up Harris' second touchdown run of the season — pushing B.C.'s lead to 27-19.
After taking that body blow, the Tiger-Cats marched into Lions territory, with LeFevour diving over from a yard out to cut the deficit to one. The key play on the drive came on a pass interference call in the end zone that initially went undetected before being overturned following a Hamilton challenge.
Lions No. 1 quarterback Travis Lulay dressed for the first time this season after undergoing surgery to his throwing shoulder in November. The veteran pivot had hoped to be ready to start the season, but had to wait until Week 7 to suit up as Glenn's backup.
Down 17-3 after one quarter, the Tiger-Cats started to get going in the second thanks to a big play on special teams.
Medlock booted his second field goal from 31 yards out to cut the lead to 11 before Banks collected a booming punt from B.C.'s Ricky Schmitt, made a couple of Lions miss, and was off to the races for a 97-yard touchdown return to make the score 17-13.
It marked the second straight game Hamilton returned a punt for a touchdown after Quincy McDuffy's 66 yarder last week.
LeFevour then hooked up with Sam Giguere for a 57-yard completion to set up a 32-yard Medlock field goal to cut the B.C. lead to just one.
A Lions offence that had looked so sharp in the first quarter was out of sorts in the second, and things got worse when a Glenn pass was deflected at the line and intercepted by Tiger-Cats linebacker Taylor Reid in B.C. territory.
The home side's defence held strong, but Medlock's 38-yard field goal — his fourth of the half — gave Hamilton its first lead of the game at 19-17.
The Lions got the ball back with less than a minute to go in the second quarter but elected to kill the clock, much to the chagrin of the crowd at B.C. Place Stadium.
Things were a lot rosier for the Lions in the early going. After McCallum opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal, Glenn hooked up with Arceneaux on a 10-yard touchdown on a corner route for a 10-0 lead.
LeFevour led the Tiger-Cats deep into Lions territory on the next play from scrimmage on a 63-yard run, but the drive stalled and Hamilton had to settle for a short field goal.
The Lions extended their advantage late in the quarter when a penalty on a punt set B.C. up in Hamilton's half, with Glenn eventually scrambling 19 yards and diving over the goal-line for a 17-3 lead that would not last.
Notes: The Lions dressed defensive lineman Jabar Westerman after benching him last week in Calgary. The 25-year-old was in court this week on charges he allegedly threw a punch during a nightclub altercation in June. ... B.C. visits Hamilton on Oct. 4. ... Hamilton hosts Calgary next Friday, while B.C. travels to Toronto to take on the Argonauts on Aug. 17. ... Attendance was 24,236.