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Pair of fourth-quarter picks lift Lions over Als for first road win of the season

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Antonio Pipkin breaks away from BC Lions Jordan Herdman (53) and Shawn Lemon (9) in Montreal on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

T.J. Lee and Anthony Orange had interceptions for fourth-quarter touchdowns to lift the B.C. Lions to their first road victory of the season, a 32-14 win over the Montreal Alouettes.

But the night wasn’t all good new for the Lions, who lost quarterback Travis Lulay to a separated left shoulder.

The game was still either team’s for the taking when Lee picked off Antonio Pipkin with three minutes left and ran 37 yards for a touchdown. Orange sent the Molson Percival Stadium crowd of 15,346 streaming toward the exits when he picked off the struggling Als quarterback for a 54-yard touchdown return a minute later.

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Bryan Burnham scored B.C.’s other touchdown, while Trevaughn Campbell’s thrilling 87-yard run was Montreal’s only major on the night.

Lulay’s replacement Jonathon Jennings completed 19-of-30 pass attempts for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Pipkin was 11 for 22 for 95 yards, with four interceptions. He was sacked six times.

Burnham had five receptions for 104 yards. Eugene Lewis had one reception of 36 yards for the Als.

The Lions improved to 5-6 while the Als, who lost for the first time in three games, dropped to 3-9.

Friday’s storyline was almost as much about the quarterbacks who weren’t on the field as the ones who were.

Lulay was knocked out of the game for the second straight week. Lulay, who took a huge hit on the chin in last week’s 26-14 home win over Ottawa, was injured on the Lions’ first drive of the night Friday when he was hit by John Bowman. He headed to the locker-room clutching his left shoulder. It was the unlucky quarterback’s fourth injury in five starts against the Alouettes.

Lulay was replaced by Jennings, and the back-up’s first play from scrimmage was a 16-yard pass that found Burnham in the end zone for a 7-0 lead at 3:33 of the first quarter.

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Pipkin’s shaky performance had to have stung for Johnny Manziel.

A day earlier, a healthy Manziel had wondered aloud whether the club had lost faith in him. The Heisman-Trophy winning QB said he was fully recovered from a concussion for the previous two games, and thought he’d “be the guy.” He sat for the third straight game, and a handful of fans above the Als bench voiced their displeasure after a couple of Pipkin sacks by chanting “We want Johnny!”

Ty Long made it 10-0 B.C. early in the second with a 25-year-field goal.

Montreal finally got on the board at 7:16 of the second quarter, with a 46-yard field goal from Boris Bede. His 29-yard-field goal five minutes later cut the Lions’ lead to 10-6 heading into the halftime break.

After the Als scored a point on Bede’s 59-yard punt into the end zone, Long connected from 30 yards to make it 13-7 for B.C.

Campbell injected some life into what had been a dreary game when he pounced on a field-goal attempt that was blocked by Chip Cox and ran 87 yards with nothing but open field in front of him late in the third. Campbell leaned chest-first at the end zone like a sprinter, then struck Usain Bolt’s signature “To the World” pose.

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The play put Montreal up 14-13 with one quarter left.

Long made sure the Als’ lead was short-lived, connecting on a 45-yard field goal to put the Lions back up by two. A B.C. safety made it a four-point game with six minutes left.

The night marked the final game at Molson Stadium for retiring coach Lions coach Wally Buono, who grew up in Montreal and both played and coached here. Buono, who was honoured prior to kick-off, holds CFL records both for regular-season wins (274) and Grey Cups (five).

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