EDMONTON – Steven Shott’s 38-yard field goal with just eight seconds to play was the difference as the B.C. Lions defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 14-11 on Friday in a CFL pre-season game.
The Lions finished one spot ahead of Edmonton in the Western Division last season, tied with Saskatchewan at 11-7.
The Eskimos are hoping a ton of off-season changes, including bringing in Chris Jones as the new head coach, will help them improve on a disappointing 4-14 record in the 2013 season.
Edmonton started the scoring with 5:45 remaining in the opening quarter as quarterback Mike Reilly capped off a long drive with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Fred Stamps.
B.C. responded with a 37-yard Ricky Schmitt field goal three minutes later to make it 7-3 for Edmonton heading into the second quarter.
John Beck replaced Kevin Glenn as the Lions quarterback for the second half. He had a couple of decent drives fall short as B.C. could only add a punt single to its side of the score column before turning the ball over at the Edmonton nine-yard line on a third down gamble with just under two minutes to play in the first half.
Edmonton got a late interception from Dexter McCoil at the Lions’ 35, leading to a Grant Shaw field goal and a 10-4 lead for the home team at the mid-mark.
The slow pace to the game continued into the third quarter as Edmonton got a single point on a missed 37-yard field goal attempt by Zackary Medeiros.
It just wasn’t Medeiros’ day as he got a second chance from the 36 late in the third quarter and hit the uprights to keep the score at a humdrum 11-4.
The Lions were pressing to tie the game with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining, but a pass from third string QB Travis Partridge was picked off in the end zone by Edmonton’s Ryan Hinds.
B.C. was finally rewarded on one of their drives with just 2:43 remaining in the fourth quarter as Partridge hit Brian Burnham with a 23-yard TD pass into the end zone to knot the game 11-11.
The Lions got the ball back at the Edmonton 25 with 47 seconds left on Alex Ellis-Hoffman’s recovery of a Mark Dell fumble, leading to the game-winning field goal.
Notes: Both teams close out the pre-season with games next Friday as the Eskimos travel to Regina to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Lions head home to host the Calgary Stampeders. The two teams will then face each other again to start the regular season on Saturday, June 28 in Vancouvera The Esks came into the game with losses in their four previous pre-season games and just one win in their last sevena It was the first game for first-year head coach Chris Jones at the helm of the Eskimos after coming to the team following a stint as an assistant with the Toronto Argosa Edmonton quarterback Matt Nichols played in his first game after missing all of last season with a knee injury. He was 9-for-12 passing for 107 yardsa Lions star quarterback Travis Lulay remains on the mend after undergoing shoulder surgery last November and may not be able to return by the start of the regular seasona Among those vying for a spot as pivot with the Lions this year is former NFL quarterback John Becka The announced attendance was 25,963.