Realty One

Titan Auto

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Darryl Dyck/CP
VANCOUVER - Manny Arceneaux said he hadn't done enough to help the B.C. Lions. So he made one more catch when it mattered most as his team escaped with a 45-38 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday.

The defensive coverage of the Tiger-Cats, according to the Lions receiver, was stifling him down the stretch. However Arceneaux took a pass with 1:49 left from quarterback Jon Jennings and ran in for the winning touchdown.

The play prevented the Lions from suffering a total collapse. B.C. held a 20-point lead at halftime only for Ticats quarterback Zach Collaros to rally his club in the second half.

Arceneaux, who had two receiving touchdowns in all, matching the output of Lions tailback Jeremiah Johnson, was frustrated by the Tiger-Cats but prevailed in the end.

"We had a bunch of miscues early. I sort of got frustrated. I kept telling (Jennings) 'this game is yours' but Jon said 'I'm going to ride with you,''' Arceneaux said after leading B.C. with 105 yards from five catches.

Jennings was outstanding early, boosting the Lions to a 32-12 lead at the half, but struggled once he threw a third-quarter interception to Hamilton defensive back Emmanuel Davis that sparked the comeback.

"They did a good job of mixing things up,'' Jennings said after becoming only the fourth B.C. quarterback in franchise history to throw for 300 yards in four straight games.

Collaros threw for 331 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was the first game for the Ticats quarterback in 329 days after he suffered a torn ACL which ended the 2015 season.

"I think it was a pretty incredible performance to come off that kind of injury with absolutely zero playing time since last year,'' Hamilton coach Kent Austin said.

Jennings completed nine of his first 11 passes in the game and as a result the Lions threatened to blow out Hamilton, sprinting to a 25-6 lead before 20 minutes had been played.

The B.C. quarterback completed his first throw of the contest for a 38-yard touchdown to Bryan Burnham. The throw came just after Lions defender Loucheiz Purifoy forced a Hamilton fumble and put B.C. in superior field position.

Trailing 16-6, Collaros finally got the Ticats offence going. Backup quarterback Jeremiah Masoli completed the Ticats only drive with a one-yard run. However, the Lions weren't done.

Jennings found Arceneaux between three defenders for a 35-yard score. Later, Johnson picked up a fumble for the Lions offence a yard from the goal line and scored his second TD of the game.

B.C. led 32-12 at halftime and the lead might have been bigger had the Lions special teams unit not committed four penalties. Veteran Jason Arakgi had three special teams tackles in the first half, giving him 184 in his career and a share of the record held by Winnipeg's Wade Miller.

B.C. was also up comfortably 35-22 entering the fourth quarter, but Collaros found Terrence Toliver from 31 yards out to narrow the deficit to 38-30 with 8:27 left and Brandon Banks ran back an errant field-goal attempt by Richie Leone 126 yards for a touchdown which drew Hamilton even one conversion later.

The win by B.C. (5-2) sets up a battle Friday for first place with the Calgary Stampeders (5-1-1), with the season series between the teams on the line.

"For six years every time we play Calgary it means something,'' said Lions receiver Marco Iannuzzi. "We not only want to win but send a message. It's a huge game for the organization.''

(Canadian Press)