B.C. Lions’ Ryan Lankford, right, leaps to avoid a tackle by Ottawa Redblacks kicker Richie Leone while returning a punt during the first half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Friday September 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Lions snap 7-game losing skid with 29-5 win over Ottawa

QB Reilly dominant in triumph for Leos

VANCOUVER — Mike Reilly did it all on Friday, leading his B.C. Lions to a 29-5 win over the Ottawa Redblacks.

The veteran quarterback threw for 286 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the victory. He also rushed for 31 yards, including another two TDs.

The victory was the Lions (2-10) first at home this season, snapping a seven-game losing skid for B.C.

Jonathon Jennings put up 191 passing yards and two interceptions for Ottawa (3-9). The Redblacks quarterback was consistently pestered by a stalwart Lions defence that registered 46 tackles, four sacks and five pass knockdowns.

B.C. got the scoring started just two minutes into the game when Reilly lobbed a nine-yard pass to wide receiver Lemar Durant midfield. Durant broke a tackle by Ottawa’s De’Andre Farris, then streaked another 43 yards into the endzone, completing the touchdown on B.C.’s first drive of the night. B.C. added another strike midway through the first quarter when Duron Carter collected a 48-yard pass from Reilly just over the goal line. The touchdown was Carter’s first in a Lions uniform.

Ottawa appeared poised to make waves with a trick play to start the second frame. Richie Leone faked a punt, then tossed the ball to Anthony Gosselin instead. The fullback ran 35-yards into Lions territory. A flag was thrown on the play, however, and an ineligible receiver penalty negated the gain.

READ MORE: Struggling B.C. Lions dismiss offensive line coach Bryan Chiu

The Redblacks continued pushing but were stymied by a strong Lions defence, keeping Ottawa off the board for the entire first half.

A big drive from Reilly rounded out the second quarter. With just over a minute left on the clock, the quarterback struggled to find a passing lane, and instead deked around the Ottawa defence, taking off on a 27-yard run for a first down. He followed up with a 20-yard pass to Bryan Burnham along the sidelines to put the Lions within striking distance. Reilly then finished the job on his own, muscling his way into the endzone for a three-yard touchdown.

The Redblacks first points of the night came midway through the third frame, thanks to a 32-yard field goal from Louis Ward.

But B.C. widened the lead once again before the quarter was through. With just seconds on the clock, Reilly capped a 10-play, 88-yard drive by diving over a mass of bodies on the goal line for his second touchdown of the night. The Lions added a single point late in the fourth quarter after Josh Bartel’s punt was declared dead in the endzone.

Ottawa put up two of its own with a safety with just seconds left on the game clock. The two sides will meet again on Sept. 21 when the Redblacks host the Lions in Ottawa.

NOTES: Reilly moved into 15th spot on the league’s all-time passing list with 30,578 yards over 151 career games. … B.C. running back Brandon Rutley rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries, marking his 100-plus-yard CFL game. … Saturday marked Jennings’ first trip back to Vancouver. The 27-year-old quarterback spent four seasons with the Lions before signing with Ottawa in free agency in February.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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