Lions beat the Esks and elements
It was another wet installment of CFL football last Saturday night in Edmonton. The skies opened up and dropped a monsoon on top of Commonwealth Stadium for the week three tilt between the Edmonton Eskimos and the B.C. Lions.
This marked the second consecutive week that the Esks had played in a severe weather game after making a soggy trip to Guelph, Ontario to take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in their temporary home.
Edmonton faired well back east in the rain, but things were a little different against the Lions in a wild west showdown.
The game, being as wet as it was, became a defensive battle for field position and a ball handling nightmare for each team. There were dropped passes, muffed kicks and fumbles galore… every defensive player’s dream conditions.
As for the quarterbacks and receivers, these types of games are a real challenge and never great for your stat line. Games like this often turn out the way playoff games do; the team who commits the least mistakes tends to win.
This battle was fun to watch at times, but downright ugly at others. As expected, it failed to light up the scoreboard, but there were still some standout stars in the big win for B.C. Here are this week’s three stars of the game.
Offensive game ball – Travis Lulay
Quarterback Travis Lulay showcased on Saturday night why he is the undisputed pivot for one of the league’s top teams.
Against a solid Edmonton defense and adverse weather, Lulay managed to play virtually a perfect game for the Lions. Despite the sloppy conditions, Lulay didn’t turn the ball over once in his first regular season matchup versus his friend and former teammate Mike Reilly.
Lulay was impressively accurate in the downpour and managed to complete 12 of 18 throws for two Lions touchdowns. He also dominated with his legs, racking up a game high 82 yards on just nine carries. Lots of running is to be expected in poor weather games, but not typically from a sharp shooter quarterback.
Lulay showed that he’s the whole package: arm, legs and most importantly a great football brain. His mistake-free style of football is what sets him apart from other quarterbacks in the CFL and is a big reason why B.C. is sitting at 2-1 with a lot of momentum moving forward into week four.
Defensive game ball – Cord Parks
Yes, he might have the best first name in all of the CFL. B.C. defensive back Cord Parks has a great name, great hair and a great style of play. Number 26 really showed up to play on Saturday and was all over the football field against the Eskimos. While he’s not imposing in stature, he packs a big punch for a thin guy.
A few of his sideline hits on Edmonton players probably confused them into thinking he was a linebacker. Parks notched six tackles and picked off Mike Reilly late in the game to seal the deal.
It was a big win for the B.C. defense in general, only allowing three points and getting back into the form we all expected them to be in at the season’s start.
Special teams game ball – Korey Williams
A game like this is tough to play in for a number of positions. The kicking and receiving games particularily take a hit when the weather is bad and we sure saw some botched kicking attempts on Saturday. Not to knock the kickers or holders, because it’s very tough to keep a handle on things when the ball and turf become obstacles.
But the real hero in this game for B.C.’s special teams is return man Korey Williams. Williams returned two kickoffs and seven punts without fumbling the ball once.
This was an integral factor in B.C. winning the field position battle and subsequently the ball game. Williams should be proud of his sure hands after playing in those conditions, and rest assured he is excited for a nice dry game at B.C. Place this coming weekend.
After knocking off former backup QB Mike Reilly on the road, the Leos look to repeat the win on home turf Saturday at B.C. Place in their second straight tilt with the Eskimos.