Football

Alouettes drop 1st home game in 14 starts

Smiles replaced frowns at the B.C. bench Friday night as the Lions snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 38-17 drubbing of the Montreal Alouettes.

Printers stars in Lions' win with 235 passing yards, 2 TDs before injury

The Story

Little offence to speak of, numerous turnovers and a lack of quarterback protection.

It was an apt description of the B.C. Lions' first eight games this Canadian Football League season in which they dropped seven in a row leading up to a Friday night matchup against East-leading Montreal.

But it was the Alouettes, minus injured quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who turned in a listless effort on this night and showed little punch until the final minutes of a 38-17 loss, their first at home in 14 starts.

It was Lions quarterback Casey Printers who led the charge, making up for a poor performance against Calgary a week ago by throwing for 235 yards and two touchdowns — a first this season — before leaving late in the third quarter with a reported calf injury.

The Line

Lions

       
  • Casey Printers (QB): 14/28, 235 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
  •    
  • Paul McCallum (K): 3 FGs, 4 converts
  •    
  • Korey Banks (DB): 47-yard fumble recovery for TD, INT

Alouettes

       
  • Chris Leak (QB): 15/27, 135 yards, 2 INT
  •    
  • Jamel Richardson (SB): 9 catches, 109 yards
  •    
  • S.J. Green (SB): 4 catches, 33 yards, 2 TDs

The oft-injured Printers missed four games this season with a knee injury, returning against the Stampeders and connecting on just 10 of 26 passes for 191 yards in a 48-35 setback.

But he stepped up his play Friday at Molson Stadium, finding Geroy Simon for a 20-yard touchdown strike to extend the B.C. lead to 14-3 in the second quarter.

Lions wide receiver Steven Black, playing his first CFL game, also had a five-yard TD reception to cap a seven-play, 56-yard scoring drive midway through the third.

Former American college quarterback Chris Leak, who led Florida to a Bowl Championship Series title over Ohio State in 2007, made his first CFL start in place of Calvillo, who is nursing a bruised sternum.

The third-string signal caller looked poised but rarely stretched the B.C. defence and didn't move the ball down the field with any consistency.

He also coughed up the football, three times in the third quarter alone, with Korey Banks the main beneficiary. The Lions defensive back picked off Leak at the B.C. 31-yard line to set up a Yonus Davis 10-yard run for a major.

Banks also returned a Leak fumble 47 yards for a 35-3 Lions advantage.

Montreal posted a season-high six turnovers after giving up the ball nine times in its first eight starts of 2010.

B.C.'s victory came at a cost as centre Dean Valli suffered a broken right leg and cornerback Dante Marsh separated his shoulder.

What it means

With their first victory at Montreal in four years, the Lions see their losing streak end at seven games and improve to 2-7 but remain last in the four-team West Division. Edmonton (2-6) takes on provincial rival Calgary on Monday. The 6-3 Alouettes sit atop the East after their first defeat on home turf since Oct. 26, 2008.

Game-changers

The big catch — After a couple of big receptions by Paris Jackson, fellow Lions slotback Geroy Simon hauled in a 20-yard pass from quarterback Casey Printers for his fourth touchdown of the season to kick-start the B.C. offence in the second quarter.

The big turnover — Alouettes third-string quarterback Chris Leak was getting into a rhythm early in the third quarter, having completed four passes in as many attempts. But he was denied a fifth straight completion when his pass down the middle deep in B.C. territory was intercepted by safety Tad Crawford, who returned the ball 40 yards to the Lions' 54-yard line, setting up receiver Steven Black's first CFL touchdown.

What they said

"It's a long time coming. Week One was the last time we felt like this as a team. We rallied, we stayed with each other and we showed what kind of team we are." — defensive end Keron Williams.

"We lost as a team and it starts with me. Anyone who thinks we didn't have the right quarterback, that's ridiculous." — Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman.


Game notes:

The crowd of 25,012 was the 100th straight sellout at Molson Stadium, by far the longest such streak in the CFL …

Lions kicker Paul McCallum's 10 points moved him past Dave Cutler's 2,237 career points and into seventh place all-time …

And Lions receiver Paris Jackson got the 53 yards he needed to pass Ryan Thelwell (4,991) for ninth place all-time and pass the 5,000-yard mark for his career.

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