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B.C. Lions host Win­nipeg Blue Bombers fol­low­ing road suc­cess

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY DAN RALPH

There are two dif­fer­ent twists this week for the B.C. Lions.

The Lions (3-1) are home Fri­day to Win­nipeg (2-1) fol­low­ing three straight road wins over East Di­vi­sion ri­vals, and they’ll likely have a dif­fer­ent start­ing quar­ter­back un­der cen­tre when they face the Blue Bombers.

Vet­eran backup Travis Lu­lay came off the bench to throw for a record 436 yards and three touch­downs in a 41-26 de­ci­sion against the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats on Satur­day. Lu­lay en­tered the game on B.C.’s open­ing pos­ses­sion af­ter starter Jonathon Jen­nings suf­fered a re­ported shoul­der in­jury.

Lu­lay, the 2011 CFL and Grey Cup MVP, is ex­pected to start against Win­nipeg. The 33-yearold has com­pleted 63.4 per cent of his passes dur­ing nine CFL sea­sons with al­most twice as many TD strikes (107) as in­ter­cep­tions (59).

Lu­lay also boasts a gaudy 6.9yard rush­ing av­er­age dur­ing his ca­reer. But B.C.’s de­fence is also play­ing well, al­low­ing just 21.3 points per game, tied with Mon­treal for fewest in the CFL.

By com­par­i­son, Win­nipeg’s unit is al­low­ing 27.3 of­fen­sive points per con­test. Lu­lay will lead a Lions of­fence that’s sec­ond in of­fen­sive points (29 per game) and third in time of pos­ses­sion (32 min­utes, seven sec­onds).

That could put the onus on Win­nipeg’s of­fence – ranked sev­enth in time of pos­ses­sion at 28:39 – to not only score but take its time do­ing so to keep the Lions’ unit off the field as much as pos­si­ble.

A solid ground game would cer­tainly help. For­mer Lion An­drew Har­ris ran for 81 yards on 17 car­ries and scored two TDs in last week’s 33-25 home win

over Toronto. The good news for Win­nipeg is B.C.’s de­fence is al­low­ing 5.6 yards per rush­ing at­tempt.

Con­versely, Win­nipeg’s de­fence is ranked first against the run (41.7 yards per game) and de­fen­sive back T.J. Heath has a league-lead­ing four in­ter­cep­tions. Pre­dic­tion – B.C.

Mon­treal Alou­ettes ver­sus Ot­tawa Red­blacks (tonight)

It’s been a rough start for Ot­tawa (0-3-1), which has lost its games by a com­bined six points. What’s more, the club is in the midst of play­ing three games within 11 days, which gives it pre­cious time to heal and prac­tise. The Red­blacks held Mike Reilly to 265 pass­ing yards in last week’s 23-21 road loss to Ed­mon­ton but Tavon Van ran for 103 yards on 18 car­ries against his for­mer team. Mon­treal (2-2) is com­ing off a 30-23 home win over Cal­gary, its fourth straight vic­tory at Mol­son Sta­dium against the de­fend­ing West Di­vi­sion cham­pion. Dar­ian Du­rant threw for 296 yards and a TD against the Stam­ped­ers but also had two in­ter­cep­tions.

Pre­dic­tion – Ot­tawa.

Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos ver­sus Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats (Thurs­day) Pre­dic­tion – Ed­mon­ton. Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers ver­sus Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers (Satur­day) Pre­dic­tion – Cal­gary. Ot­tawa Red­blacks ver­sus Toronto Arg­onauts (Mon­day) Pre­dic­tion – Toronto.

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