NEWS
10/22/2016 18:38 EDT | Updated 10/23/2017 01:12 EDT

Arceneaux scores two touchdowns to lift Lions over Eskimos 32-25

VANCOUVER — Emmanuel Arceneaux caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, including a brilliant 70-yard score, as the B.C. Lions defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 32-25 on Saturday.

Jonathon Jennings connected on both TDs to Arceneaux and ran in another for B.C.

Mike Reilly threw one touchdown to Adarius Bowman and scored another on a run for Edmonton. John White also scored on a TD scamper for the visitors.

Richie Leone connected on 3-of-4 field goals for the Lions. Sean Whyte was perfect on his only attempt for the Eskimos.

The Lions (10-6) entered play having lost three of four, including last week's crushing 35-32 defeat to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers that saw them blow a 10-point lead with under seven minutes to go. B.C. turned the ball over an eye-popping six times in that one, but played a clean game on Saturday.

The Eskimos (8-8), meanwhile, saw their three-game winning streak snapped while coming off a bye in a key West Division showdown.

The Lions took a 26-19 advantage into the fourth quarter and tried to extend that lead on a 53-yard field-goal attempt from Leone that had the distance, but just hooked left. Edmonton's Troy Stoudemire returned the ball 50 yards only have it stripped by Jason Araki and recovered by Lions teammate Charles Vaillancourt at the Eskimos' 49.

An illegal contact penalty on Edmonton kept the B.C. drive going, and Leone connected from 39 yards out to make it 29-19 with 9:29 to play.

Leone then added his third field goal of the night, this one from 41 yards, to give B.C. a 13-point edge with under four minutes to go.

The Eskimos scored a late touchdown when Reilly hit Bowman from 11 yards out, but Whyte's convert attempt hit the upright for a 32-25 score.

Things went from bad to worse for Whyte when his onside kick attempt with 34 seconds left sailed out of bounds. 

B.C. led 11-5 late in the first half when Arceneaux hauled in a pass from Jennings before breaking two tackles on the way to scoring his second touchdown of day for B.C.'s longest play from scrimmage in 2016. The sixth-year slotback, who now has 10 TDs on the year, also scored on a 68-yard strike in the team's first meeting back in September.

Arceneaux had given his team an 11-3 lead on an acrobatic four-yard touchdown catch with just over nine minutes left in the half. B.C. went for two on the play, with Jennings finding Bryan Burnham in the back of the end zone.

The Eskimos inched closer when Phillip Hunt sacked Jennings for a safety a few minutes later before Arceneaux struck on his long catch-and run score to electrify the crowd at B.C. Place Stadium.

The Lions grabbed a single on the opening kickoff of the second half to go up 19-5, but the Eskimos drove back down the field, and Reilly scored on a short plunge after a pass interference call set Edmonton up at the one-yard line to cut the B.C. lead to seven.

But the Lions responded to go up 26-12 on Jennings' 20-yard scamper that saw the seas part in the Eskimos' secondary for the second-year quarterback.

Edmonton again hit late in the third quarter to cut the lead to seven on White's 31-yard TD run that saw him bounce off B.C. linebacker Adam Bighill's attempted tackle at the point of attack.

The Lions, Eskimos and Blue Bombers (10-6) have already qualified for the playoffs, but where they wind up behind the powerhouse Calgary Stampeders (15-1-1) is still very much in doubt.

B.C. finishes up the season with a home-and-home set against Saskatchewan, which has already been eliminated from playoff contention, while Edmonton plays at Hamilton and hosts Toronto. Winnipeg, which was off this week, welcomes Ottawa next weekend before travelling to the nation's capital to finish off the regular season.

The Lions won the season series against Edmonton by way of point differential following the Eskimos' 27-23 home win over B.C. last month, while Winnipeg swept B.C. in 2016.

Notes: Mike Benevides, who was head coach of the Lions for three seasons from 2012 through 2014, is Edmonton's defensive co-ordinator. ... Members of the Lions and Eskimos had to be separated before the opening kickoff after some of Edmonton's players ran through B.C.'s pre-game introductions. ... Attendance was a season-high 22,831.

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