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Lions backup quarterback Jarious Jackson (7) passes downfield in a 40-22 victory over the Eskimos on Thursday. ((Jimmy Jeong/Canadian Press))

Unfazed by the loss of starting quarterback Buck Pierce, the British Columbia Lions won big behind backup Jarious Jackson.

Jackson replaced the injured starter and passed for four touchdowns as the Lions mauled the Edmonton Eskimos 40-22 at Commonwealth Stadium on Thursday night.

"You have to be ready at all times," Jackson said. "I have been doing this since I came in here … this is something I have become accustomed to."

Pierce looked sharp at the outset, completing three of four pass attempts for 37 yards and a 2-0 lead, but he was hit on the helmet by Eskimos defensive back Elliott Richardson on a scamper up the middle at 5:21 in the first quarter.

Enter Jackson, who passed 45 yards to slotback Geroy Simon at the Eskimos' one-yard line on his first play from scrimmage and handed the ball to running back Martell Mallett for his first CFL touchdown on the next.

Rookie kicker Sean Whyte, making his CFL debut in place of the injured Paul McCallum (right knee), booted the convert for his first pro point.

Two plays, two milestones.

Jackson then capped an eight-play, 85-yard drive with a 33-yard TD toss to Simon that extended B.C.'s lead to 16-0 less than four minutes into the second.

Jackson later found slotback Paris Jackson in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard TD strike that made it 23-14 midway through the third.

Less than three minutes after that, the pivot stumbled as he took the snap but regained his feet in time to launch a 40-yard bomb to Simon for the former CFL MVP's second TD catch on the night.

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Simon Says:

"It was a good feeling to come in and play that way. That is the way we feel we should be playing every week." — Lions slotback Geroy Simon on B.C. avoiding an 0-3 start.

But Jackson wasn't done yet as he hooked up with receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux for the rookie's third TD catch as a pro, a 26-yarder that put B.C. ahead 37-13.

"It feels good to come on in this kind of situation and have a game like that," Jackson said.

Jackson completed 19 of 24 pass attempts for 362 yards before giving way to third-stringer Travis Lulay with five minutes remaining.

"We aren't a team with just one quarterback," Lions general manager and head coach Wally Buono said. "We have good quarterbacks, whether it is Buck, Jarious, Travis or Zac Champion.

"We have confidence that all our quarterbacks, given the opportunity, can get the job done."

Paris Jackson led all receivers with nine catches for 126 yards, followed by Simon with 122 yards on four receptions for B.C. (1-2).

"We have all the confidence in the world in Jarious and feel good when he comes into a game," Simon said.

'We sputtered and stalled'

Edmonton (1-2), which has been outscored 17-3 in first quarters this season, trimmed a 16-point deficit to two on a couple of TD tosses from Ricky Ray in the second quarter.

Ray passed 12 yards to wide receiver Maurice Mann for a major and, five minutes later, connected with running back Calvin McCarty on a 23-yard catch and run. 

Trailing 40-14, McCarty completed the scoring with a two-yard TD run, followed by a two-point convert, in the waning seconds.

"We aren't hitting the panic button yet," Eskimos rookie head coach Richie Hall said. "We just have to get back on track or get on track.

"At times, we looked like a pretty good football team and, at times, we looked like it was the first time we had assembled out there. It is like we had sugar in our gas tank — we sputtered and stalled."

Edmonton was equally inconsistent in its previous outing, a 50-16 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

With files from The Canadian Press