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BC clinches playoff spot with win over Winnipeg

Oct 26, 2014 - 3:48 AM Winnipeg, MB ( - John Beck entered the game in the second half and threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns, and J.R. LaRose registered a sack as time expired as the British Columbia Lions defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 28-23, at Investors Group Field to clinch a playoff spot.

Regular starting quarterback Kevin Glenn was sent out of the game for BC (9-7) due to concussion symptoms, so Beck was asked to replace him. He threw a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to Ernest Jackson to help the Lions retake the lead, and then another late major completion to Kito Poblah sealed the victory.

Glenn completed 12-of-23 passing for 175 yards and an interception before he was taken out of the game. Beck completed 3-of-4 pass attempts for 73 yards and a pair of scores in the comeback effort. Jackson caught eight passes for 149 yards and a score, while Keola Antolin rushed for 84 yards and a major.

With 2:27 left to play in the game, Paris Cotton carried in a two-yard touchdown for Winnipeg (6-11) to cut the BC lead, but the ensuing two-point conversion failed. The Lions were able to run out much of the fourth-quarter clock, and held quarterback Drew Willy and his offense at bay on the final possession to end the game.

Willy connected on 13-of-25 passing for 221 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Cotton was stellar in the losing effort, gaining 131 yards on 16 carries with the late-game touchdown.

Winnipeg took an early 4-0 lead when Lirim Hajrullahu connected on a 45-yard field goal try and then a 42-yard single seven minutes into the contest. But BC took the 7-4 advantage when Antolin took a handoff 10 yards to the end zone.

Hajrullahu hit a 17-yard field goal to knot the score midway through the second period, and then Willy connected with Clarence Denmark on a 19-yard scoring completion for the 14-7 advantage.

Back-to-back Paul McCallum field goals cut the Bombers' lead to 14-13 at the midway break.

The only score in the third quarter came on a Hajrullahu 46-yard field goal with 7:29 left to play in the frame.

The Lions came storming back in the final period thanks to the efforts of Beck, who found Jackson on a 12-yard major completion just over five and a half minutes into the fourth quarter as the Lions grabbed the lead back, 20-17.

A 52-yard McCallum single put BC up 21-17, and then Beck found Poblah for his first touchdown reception as a member of the Lions. The receiver caught the pass from Beck, shook off a defender and had nothing but green in front of him en route to the 55-yard score.

Cotton's two-yard touchdown run with just under two and a half minutes to play served as the final score. The Bombers had another shot, but Willy was sacked by LaRose as time expired.

BC clinches a spot in the Grey Cup Playoffs, while Winnipeg has dropped eight straight contests and sits in last place in the West Division.