Lions outlast Bombers in B.C. holiday battle
The Bombers marched into B.C. Place feeling confident that their young pivot Justin Goltz could repeat what Toronto QB Zach Collaros managed a week ago versus the B.C. Lions.
Collaros got his first CFL start against the Lions and made the most of it in a poor showing from the orange and white.
Goltz, a 4th year player from Occidental College, was recently named Winnipeg’s number one quarterback, dropping Buck Pierce down to third on the depth chart.
Goltz has certainly showed promise as of late, showcasing a strong arm and also great running skills, utilizing his six foot five frame. But entering the Lions’ den after a loss is a tough thing to do as Monday afternoon proved.
The Lions defense was embarrassed a week ago at the hands of the Argos, and a repeat of that performance was not an option. In this 2011 Grey Cup rematch, the home town Lions showed up to play.
The game wasn’t pretty, in fact not even close, but that is what typically happens when two strong defensive clubs meet.
The Lions had some familiar faces step up to make key plays in this hard fought win. Here are this week’s offensive, defensive and special teams game balls.
Offensive game ball – Travis Lulay
Andrew Harris has been all the hype this season for the Lions, and deservedly so. But as defenses key in on the star running back it’s become imperative that other players step up to fill the gap on offense.
Travis Lulay is always consistent and a staple of our team. He’s had a quiet start to this season, but Monday afternoon showed up to win.
Lulay pulled in CFL offensive player of the week honours after going 28 for 39 with three touchdowns and zero picks.
He failed to top the 300 yard mark again, but he was accurate and the Lions won. If you ask the 29 year old what’s important to him, yards would never enter the conversation. Number 14 is here to win, and he did just that for the fourth time this year.
Defensive game ball – Solomon Elimimian
In a battle of two good defenses there are always performances to applaud.
B.C. linebacker Solomon Elimimian had another one of those great performances this week, and the CFL agreed, naming him the defensive player of the week.
The notoriously hard hitting Lion wreaked havoc across the field for the Bombers, tallying three tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.
Solomon and Adam Bighill are co-existing very well thus far this season after questions surrounded whether the two could fit into the same defensive scheme in the CFL.
Bighill racked up eight tackles of his own on Monday. The total team effort was much improved from a week ago and a big reason B.C. walked away victorious.
Special teams game ball – Tim Brown
If you watched this game you know why I can’t name anyone else the special teams player of the game.
Although he mastered two consecutive coffin corner punts, kicker Paul McCallum missed two very reasonable field goals, and sent an important late game punt just three yards upfield and out of bounds, resulting in a penalty.
Return man Tim Brown is always a threat when he’s back to field a punt or kickoff. Although he did not exactly awe the crowd in this game, he was his consistent self returning six punts for 34 yards and four kickoffs for an impressive 82 yards.
As long as Brown stays healthy, he will start to break some big ones as the season wears on.
All-in-all the Lions played a decent game. Not a polished performance, but enough to escape with a win heading into the bye week.
They are sitting at 4-2 as they await Calgary, who come to town on August 17th for another West Final rematch.
Expect Mike Benevides to make some much needed adjustments in the team’s time off and have the boys ready to rumble against the rival Stampeders.