Tim Brown returned a kick-off 97 yards for a touchdown and Andrew Harris scored on a 40-yard passing play as the B.C. Lions beat the Calgary Stampeders 26-22 in CFL action Saturday night.
Backup quarterback Thomas DeMarco also scored a touchdown for B.C. as the Lions improved to 5-2 and moved into a tie for second place with the Stampeders, who are also 5-2.
B.C. avenged a one-sided season-opening loss to the Stampeders and ended their winning streak at four games.
The Lions earned their remaining points from a Paul McCallum field goal, three converts and a late safety conceded by Calgary.
Jon Cornish and Marquay McDaniel scored touchdowns for Calgary, while Rene Paredes furnished two field goals and a pair of converts. B.C. also surrendered a safety.
The Lions, who have had trouble scoring in the first quarter this season, got off to a quick start as Harris caught a short pass from Travis Lulay and scampered into the end zone from 40 yards out on B.C.’s first drive.
Cornish enabled the Stampeders to draw even as he bulldozed two yards into the end zone late in the first quarter.
But B.C. quickly took the lead again, returning Paredes’ ensuing kick-off 97 yards for a touchdown. Parades had a chance to tackle Brown near the sideline, but he turned away and did not make contact while Brown twisted in the opposite direction and angled his way into the end zone.
A safety conceded by McCallum helped the Stampeders reduce their deficit to 14-9. Calgary took a 16-14 lead midway through the second quarter after Kevin Glenn connected with Marquay McDaniel on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
But a rare miscue by Cornish enabled the Lions to take a 21-14 lead. After catching a Glenn pass, Cornish was hit hard by B.C. nickelback Korey Banks and the ball popped into the handles of linebacker Adam Bighill.
Although the ball did not hit the ground, it was ruled as a fumble, with Banks credited for the force.
B.C. got the ball on Calgary’s 28-yard line. Four plays later, backup quarterback Thomas DeMarco plunged across the goal-line. The touchdown came after a pass interference penalty on Calgary’s Chris Randle, who tugged on Emmanuel Arceneaux in the end zone, giving B.C. the ball at the Stampeders one-yard line.
Lulay launched a hail-Mary pass on the final play of the second quarter in an attempt to produce another B.C. touchdown. But Randle intercepted the pass to ensure the Stampeders still trailed by only seven points at half-time.
The Lions’ defence entered the game with a clear mission to stop Cornish, and held Calgary’s star running back to 73 rushing yards and a touchdown, one week after the Canadian scored four TD’s in the Stampeders game against Saskatchewan.
Lulay completed 16 of 28 passes for 223 yards while Glenn was good on 22 of 38 pass attempts for 199 yards.
Calgary reduced its deficit to 21-19 early in the third quarter on a 32-yard Paredes field goal. But the Lions went up 24-19 on McCallum’s 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
The Stamps pulled off some subterfuge, faking a punt with just over five minutes left in regulation time. A 30-yard field goal pulled the Stampeders within two points.
With just under two and half minutes remaining, the Lions tried some razzle-dazzle of their own that backfired on them — but not for long. Harris took a hand-off from Lulay and pitched the ball back to the QB, but he was forced to scramble and Jamar Wall intercepted the underthrown pass intended for Courtney Taylor near Calgary’s goal-line.
However, B.C.’s defence held the Stampeders in check as Glenn failed to complete two passes, and Maver conceded a safety instead of attempting a punt out of the end zone.
But the Lions did not gain any traction following Calgary’s kick-off and were forced to punt with 1:11, setting the stage for a frantic finish.
Calgary managed to get in scoring range in the closing seconds, but a Glenn incompletion on a third-and-one situation gave the Lions the ball and the victory.
Notes: The Lions made a last-minute uniform change to what the club called new “gun-metal grey” attire featuring orange paws and piping. The new duds effectively camouflaged black, orange-borded jersey numbers from a distance. ... Offensive lineman Steve Myddelton dressed for his first game as a Lion after being acquired in a trade from Calgary on August 5. ... Receiver Nick Moore returned to B.C.’s lineup after missing the previous game against Winnipeg with an ankle injury. ... Calgary lost veteran receiver Nik Lewis in the first half. General manager and coach John Hufnagel said after game that Lewis suffered a broken fibula.