QB Reilly leads Lions to wild win in 100th start

A rouge with no time left on the clock gave B.C. its first win of the season

Lions QB Mike Reilly
Mike Reilly won his first game as the starter for the BC Lions after rejoining the team last offseason, beating the Argos on Saturday night. CFL

Mike Reilly earned his first win in his second stint with the B.C Lions in his 100th career start in the CFL, surviving an Argonauts comeback for an 18-17 victory on a rainy Saturday night in Toronto.

Lions kicker Sergio Castillo missed a 42-yard field goal with no time left on the clock, but Argos receiver Chris Rainey stepped out of the back of the end zone for a single point to seal the B.C. win after Reilly took the Lions 35 yards in the final 40 seconds.

Reilly went 23-for-34 for 272 yards with a touchdown and an interception, improving his career record to 55-45 as a CFL starter. He became the 26th quarterback since 1950 to make 100 starts under centre.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Reilly of the milestone. “I remember when I was just trying to get my first career start. It doesn’t seem that long ago, so I definitely don’t take it for granted.”

Lemar Durant was Reilly’s favourite receiving target, racking up 125 receiving yards and his fourth touchdown of the season. John White IV had a big game on the ground, rushing for 138 yards and a TD.

In his fourth start for the Lions (1-3) since returning to B.C., where he began his career from 2010 to 2012, Reilly struggled early but started to find his rhythm as the game went on.

“The first half, we were sputtering quite a bit,” Reilly said postgame. “I do think we picked it up in the second half.

“What was nice was that we responded once with a touchdown drive and then at the end of the game we needed to get into field goal range and we did.”

On one early drive, the QB kept the offence on the field with his legs, running for back-to-back first downs.

However, his passing game was non-existent in the opening quarter, going 2-for-5 for -1. The second quarter didn’t start much better when he was intercepted on the opening drive.

An Anthony Thomas pick back on the ensuing drive led to a 14-yard field goal from Sergio Castillo to tie the game at three.

Momentum shifted to the Lions early in the second half when they recovered an Argonaut fumble and turned it into a 29-yard, Reilly-to-Durant touchdown.

Durant has built a strong relationship early in the season with his new quarterback, leading to a dangerous on-field partnership.

“We’ll talk outside of football. We’ll make sure that if we notice little things. If he sees something, he’ll tell me about it,” said Durant, who has caught four of Reilly’s five TD passes this season. “If I see something in the coverage, we’ll talk about it so we’ve just got that relationship that we just keep talking about things and I feel like that’s helping us with our success.”

After the Argos closed to within one, Reilly marched the Lions up the field, extending the lead to 17-9 with a three-yard touchdown run from White.

The Argonauts tied the game in the final minute before the Lions marched up the field to seal the game with the bizarre single.

“I always assume that we’re going to have to go out onto the field and make something happen,” Reilly said. “I’ve just been in this league too long, over 10 years, I’ve seen too many games and been a part of them … so I know anybody is capable of [a comeback] at any time.”

Coach DeVone Claybrooks, with his first win on the sidelines, was happy with the effort put in.

“Anything worth having in life is worth working for and those guys work for it. We finished. I mean, it got a little dicey in the end,” said coach DeVone Claybrooks. “After last week, I think anything’s possible.”

Next week, the Lions head home to take on the Edmonton Eskimos, while the Argos will look to get their first win on the road when they visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Next week, the Lions head home to take on the Edmonton Eskimos, while the Argos will look to get their first win on the road when they visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.


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Posted: Jul 7 2019 11:31 am
Filed under: Sports