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Lulay and Lions edge Argos

Aug 7, 2012 - 1:00 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The British Columbia Lions converted two first- quarter interceptions into 10 points and the reigning Grey Cup champions held on for an 18-9 victory over the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre.

Travis Lulay threw for 205 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-27 passing and rushed four times for 32 yards. Andrew Harris ran for 60 yards on 13 carries and Ernest Jackson caught four passes for 87 yards in the Lions (4-2) fourth consecutive win over Toronto. Akeem Foster snagged three balls for 18 yards and a major in the victory.

"The defense got us going tonight," Lulay said. "You never know when big plays are going to happen. They put points on the board in the first two possessions. It was a phenomenal effort."

Swayze Waters accounted for all the Argos points with three field goals, while Ricky Ray threw for 215 yards and three interceptions on 25-of-34 passing. Chad Owens caught seven passes for 73 yards and Cory Boyd ran for 23 yards on eight carries for the Argonauts (3-3), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.

The Lions opened the scoring following an interception by James Yurichuk on just the fourth play of the game. Facing a short field, Lulay found Jackson for nine yards and capped the short four-play, 20-yard drive with a nine-yard touchdown strike to Foster, giving the Lions the 7-0 lead.

The BC defense again came up with a big play on the ensuing Toronto possession as Adam Bighill picked off a pass by Ray, giving the ball back to the Lions offense at the Argos 23.

From there, the BC offense could only make it to the 16, and Paul McCallum knocked a chip-shot field goal through the uprights from 24 yards out, extending the lead to 10-0.

The Argos finally got on the board late in the second stanza. After conceding a single, Toronto took over on its own 50-yard line and went 32 yards in six plays before Waters connected on a 35-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 11-3.

Toronto struck again just before halftime to cut the deficit to 11-6. Matt Black gave the Argos the ball deep in opposition territory at the BC 23 following a 27-yard punt return and Waters booted through a 22-yard field goal as time expired on the first half, giving the Argos a bit of momentum at the break.

Following a 32-yard punt return by Owens, Toronto took over on its own 42 and marched 33 yards in eight plays before Waters hit another 35-yarder, pulling the Argos within 11-9 with just over five minutes to play in the third quarter.

"They come at you really hard in the secondary," Ray said. "They put pressure on you. They're strong and they were tough all night."

But, the Lions found some offensive rhythm early in the fourth quarter as Lulay found a wide open Jackson over the middle on 2nd-and-10 for a 50-yard strike down to the Toronto goal line.

The Lions were stuffed on their first three attempts for the score, but caught a huge break when Marcus Ball was flagged for offside, which gave the Lions a new set of downs.

On their fourth attempt from the goal line, Mike Reilly finally pushed his way across the goal line and put the game away for BC, finishing off a seven-play, 69-yard drive in the process.

Game Notes

Lulay has thrown for at least one touchdown in 17 consecutive games...Lions defensive lineman Jabar Westerman notched his first career sack...BC leads the all-time series between the teams, 50-31-2, and has won 14 of the last 15 meetings...Monday marked Boyd's 25th birthday...BC has outscored opponents 44-15 in the first quarter this season.