Lions trounce Argos to keep faint playoff hopes alive

Bryan Burnham had three touchdowns and his B.C. Lions trounced the Toronto Argonauts 55-8 Saturday.

Bryan Burnham scores 3 TDs as B.C. offically eliminates Toronto from post-season

Bryan Burnham, left, of the Lions celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Mike Reilly during B.C.'s 55-8 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press )

It might be late in the CFL season, but the B.C. Lions are finally clicking.

The Leos (5-10) posted their fourth victory in a row on Saturday, trouncing the Toronto Argonauts 55-8.

"We're turning into the team that I think we all expected to be," said B.C. quarterback Mike Reilly, who had a career-high five touchdown passes in the win.

"We're certainly not perfect and in the game tonight there were certainly things that we could have and should have done better and we'll take a look at that tomorrow. But we've just got to keep taking it one game at a time."

Reilly completed 21-of-27 attempts and threw for 276 yards on Saturday, a performance that propelled him to the top of the league's leader board. He now leads all quarterbacks with 3,891 passing yards and is tied with Toronto's McLeod Bethel-Thompson for passing TDs (20).

WATCH | Lions devour Argos to keep playoff hopes alive:

Mike Reilly threw for 5 touchdowns, three of which to Bryan Burnham, as the B.C. Lions crunched the Toronto Argonauts 55-8. 0:57

Danny O'Brien came in to relieve Reilly midway through the fourth quarter, finishing two-of-three attempts for seven yards.

Lions receiver Bryan Burnham also put up a stellar performance in the win, tallying 145 receiving yards, making some highlight reel-worthy catches and hauling in a career-high three major strikes.

The 29-year-old now leads the CFL in receiving yards with 1,300 on the year and is tied with Hamilton's Brandon Banks for receiving TDs (nine).

Burnham's most sensational play of the night came midway through the first quarter after the Argos fumbled the ball away for the second time and B.C.'s Gary Peters ended up with it at the bottom of a heap.

Reilly completed the ensuing drive, sending a long pass into the end zone where Burnham, under pressure from a pair of Argos defenders, made a one-armed catch and managed to keep a foot on the field to chalk up another major strike.

"Mike gave me the opportunities. Like I've said all season, I go out and I just try to make all the plays I can," Burnham said, adding that he thinks he could have made some of his catches a little easier.

"But you've got to make them any way you can."

Defensive stance

While the Lions dominated the Argos offensively, B.C.'s defence also limited Toronto to just 167 offensive yards and 16:36 in possession time.

The Lions' defensive core has been riding the momentum of recent wins and carrying good performances from one game to the next in a bid to take pressure off the offence, Peters said.

"That's the onus for us — take everything and put it on our back. Don't take stupid penalties, don't give up big plays and just play fundamental ball," he said.

"When we're playing really well on defence ... Mike gets more comfortable and you can see what they do when they get comfortable."

The Argos' only points of the game came with just six seconds left on the clock when Amanti Edwards caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Bethel-Thompson.

Edwards also caught a three-yard toss for the two-point conversion.

Toronto quarterback James Franklin completed 6-of-9 attempts for 32 yards with an interception. He was replaced by McLeod Bethel-Thompson in the third quarter, who connected on 9-of-14 attempts for 94 yards, including a touchdown.

"They were the much better team tonight. Not just better but much better in all phases," said Argos coach Corey Chamblin.


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