B.C. Lions claw their way back to score 20-17 victory over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers, who beat the Lions 41-19 last week in Edmonton, fell to 2-3 with the loss

The B.C. Lions roared back from a 17-0 halftime deficit to edge the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 20-17 on Saturday night

Ty Long’s 16-yard field goal as time expired gave the Lions (2-2) a split in the home-and-home series.

The Bombers, who beat the Lions 41-19 last week in Edmonton, fell to 2-3 with the loss.

Lions quarterback Travis Lulay, making his first start in nearly 10 months after undergoing off-season knee surgery, threw for 326 yards in the win. He had one touchdown pass and one interception.

Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols was picked off three times, while throwing for 214 yards. All told, Winnipeg had five turnovers.

The game had barely started when Winnipeg running back Andrew Harris, a former Lion, sprinted 37 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

B.C. responded by steadily working its way down the field, but Lulay missed badly on a throw to the end zone and it was intercepted by Kevin Fogg.

Harris added another touchdown in the first half.

Winnipeg kicker Justin Medlock recovered from an early missed field goal with a good 50-yard attempt.

Meanwhile, the Lions were their own worst enemy. Lulay tossed to Bryan Burnham in the end zone at the end of the first half, but the receiver couldn’t hang on to the ball, preventing B.C. from scoring any points.

The Lions finally put some points on the board in the final minutes of the third quarter thanks to quarterback Cody Fajardo, who reached over a massive pile on the goal line for a touchdown.

Long’s field goal at the start of the fourth narrowed the deficit to 17-10.

With just minutes to go in the game, Lions wide receiver Shaq Johnson hauled in a pass from Lulay, evaded a tackler and stretched into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown to tie it.

An energized crowd of 19,541 rose to its feet minutes later when B.C. defensive back Anthony Orange intercepted a Nichols pass, giving the Lions a chance to avoid extra time.

His team seized the opportunity, with Lulay throwing 38 yards to Burnham, who recovered from his earlier drop and held tight to the football, putting the Lions back in scoring position. The Bombers challenged for offensive pass interference, but the call on the field stood, allowing the Lions to kick the winning field goal with no time left.

The victory snapped the Lions’ two-game losing skid.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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