Lions hang on to beat Tiger-Cats 36-29
VANCOUVER – A short memory has served Kevin Glenn throughout his career, and it did the trick again on Friday night.
The veteran quarterback survived two more interceptions to throw for 407 yards and a touchdown as the B.C. Lions overcame an up-and-down performance to defeat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36-29.
Glenn has been picked off 11 times in seven games this season, but has the Lions at 4-3 in the CFL’s ultra-competitive West Division.
“As a quarterback you have to be able to get over (interceptions). It’s going to happen. You don’t want it to happen as much as it has been happening,” said Glenn, who also rushed for a TD. “What I think the biggest thing is what you do when you come back out — overcoming — and having that mindset to forget about it.”
The 35-year-old finished 22-of-36 passing in the seventh 400-yard game of a nomadic career that has seen him bounce around the league despite having solid numbers.
“The thing about Kevin is he’s resilient. He’s a 14-year pro. He’s a winner,” said Lions head Mike Benevides, who hugged his quarterback in a jubilant Lions locker room. “Everybody understands his character. He’s very composed, he’s very level headed, and at the end of it he competes. He’s a competitor.”
Emmanuel Arceneaux caught Glenn’s touchdown pass and finished with four receptions for 103 yards as the Lions did just enough to fend off Hamilton.
“We left a lot of plays out there,” said Arceneaux. “We had a few lull moments where we started to wane for a little bit, but the team was able to keep its composure and put together the drives we really needed.”
Andrew Harris also had a rushing TD for the Lions before leaving with an undisclosed injury, while Paul McCallum kicked five field goals.
Shawn Gore added five catches for 117 yards for a B.C. team that was coming off a 25-24 come-from-behind road victory against the Calgary Stampeders.
Brandon Banks returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown for the Tiger-Cats, who dropped a heart breaking 27-26 decision to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.
Dan LeFevour threw for 298 yards on 23-of-34 passing as Hamilton dropped to 1-5, while Justin Medlock booted five field goals.
“Every loss is a hit in the stomach,” said LeFevour, who also rushed nine times for 103 yards. “But we’ll get over it.”
B.C. led 27-26 heading into the fourth quarter and Glenn engineered a drive that resulted in McCallum’s 32-yard field goal to stretch the advantage to four, but the Tiger-Cats answered with a field goal of their own as Medlock connected from 40 yards.
Glenn marched B.C. down the field again thanks to a 43-yard hookup with Gore that got the Lions down to Hamilton’s four, but they had to settle for McCallum’s 20-yard effort with 2:32 left that made it 33-29.
The Lions then forced a punt and McCallum nailed a 41-yard attempt — his fifth of the night — to seal a hard-fought victory that was anything but pretty.
“I knew it was going to be a battle today against that team over there,” said Benevides. “At critical times we made drives, we made plays. I knew that Kevin would have grind, the whole group would have to grind, and we found a way.”
Hamilton led 19-17 at halftime and got the ball near midfield early in the third quarter after Glenn was picked off by Tiger-Cats linebacker Frederic Plesius, but they couldn’t capitalize on the great field position.
Glenn then hit Arceneaux for a 38-yard catch and run to set up a 47-yard field goal by McCallum that almost nicked the crossbar to make it 20-19.
On B.C.’s next possession, Hamilton took roughing the passer and objectionable conduct penalties on the same play to move the Lions into Tiger-Cats territory before Harris scored from the four-yard line to push B.C.’s lead to 27-19.
After taking that body blow, the Tiger-Cats marched back into Lions territory, with LeFevour diving over from a yard out to cut the deficit to one. The key play on the drive came on a pass interference call in the end zone that initially went undetected before being overturned following a Hamilton challenge.
Lions No. 1 quarterback Travis Lulay dressed for the first time this season after undergoing surgery to his throwing shoulder in November. The veteran pivot had hoped to be ready to start the season, but had to wait until Week 7 to suit up as Glenn’s backup.
Down 17-3 after one quarter, the Tiger-Cats started to get going in the second thanks to a big play on special teams.
Medlock booted his second field goal from 31 yards out to cut the lead to 11 before Banks collected a booming punt from B.C.’s Ricky Schmitt, made a couple of Lions miss, and raced 97 yards for touchdown to make the score 17-13.
Medlock followed that up with a 32-yard field goal to cut the deficit to just one.
A Lions offence that had looked so sharp in the first quarter was out of sorts in the second, and things got worse when a Glenn pass was deflected at the line and intercepted by Tiger-Cats linebacker Taylor Reid in B.C. territory.
The home side’s defence held strong, but Medlock’s 38-yard field goal — his fourth of the half — gave Hamilton its first lead of the game at 19-17.
Things were a lot rosier for the Lions in the early going after McCallum opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal and Glenn hooked up with Arceneaux on a 10-yard touchdown.
Medlock responded with a short field goal, but the Lions extended their advantage when Glenn ran in his touchdown in from 19 yards out on a designed play that gave his team a 17-3 edge that wouldn’t last.
“We want to win every game and we strive to try to be perfect,” said Glenn. “Everybody’s human so you know you’re not going to be perfect, but as long as you strive to be perfect you’ll end up on the positive side most of the time.”
Notes: B.C. visits Hamilton on Oct. 4. … The Tiger-Cats host Calgary next Friday, while B.C. travels to Toronto to take on the Argonauts on Aug. 17. … Attendance at B.C. Place Stadium was 24,236.