B.C. Lions’ Joel Figueroa (61), Shaq Johnson (88), Emmanuel Arceneaux (84) and Bryan Burnham (16) celebrate Johnson’s touchdown against the Montreal Alouettes during the first half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday June 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

QB Jennings leads Lions to 22-10 win over Alouettes

B.C. wins CFL home opener over Montreal

VANCOUVER — Jonathon Jennings completed 20-of-24 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns as the B.C. Lions beat the Montreal Alouettes 22-10 in the 2018 season opener for both teams Saturday night.

Jennings also rushed for 57 yards as the Lions won their season opener for only the second time in the past six years. The Als lost after winning their past two season openers.

Ty Long’s 27-yard field goal with 2:44 left in the third quarter, which gave the Lions a 12-10 lead, ultimately decided the outcome.

B.C. got its touchdowns from Shaquille Johnson and Cory Watson, while Long provided the other points on two field goals, two punt singles and two converts.

Als quarterback Drew Willy completed 22-of-32 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown. Eugene Lewis scored Montreal’s lone major as he fell on a loose ball in the B.C. end zone following a Chris Williams reception, but Willy was still credited with a touchdown pass on the play. Meanwhile, Boris Bede kicked a field goal and a convert.

Both teams entered the game looking to make good on sub-par 2017 seasons. The Lions missed the playoffs for the first time in two decades while going 7-11, and the Alouettes were a dismal 3-15.

READ MORE: Lions’ rebuilding plan to be put to the test

Willy overcame some early adversity to stake the Alouettes to a 7-0 lead on an unusual 67-yard scoring play during their first drive, seven and a half minutes into the game. He threw 56 yards to former Lion Williams, who lost control of the ball near the goal line before Lewis plopped on it in the end zone for a touchdown.

The TD came a few plays after Willy’s would-be 52-yard scoring pass to B.J. Cunningham was nullified by a holding penalty on Phillip Blake.

The Lions rebounded on their next drive as Jennings threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Johnson. But the Als went ahead 10-7 in the final minute of the opening quarter on a 30-yard Bede field goal.

Both quarterbacks were perfect on their passes in the first quarter. Jennings, who threw a league-high 19 interceptions compared to just 16 touchdowns last season, went 7 for 7. Willy, who is looking to revive his career with his fourth CFL club, completed all three of his passes.

Long accounted for all of the second-half scoring as he booted punt singles of 50 and 54 yards, leaving the Als with a precarious 10-9 half-time lead.

Long’s decisive field goal was aided by a Jennings QB sneak on third down from the Montreal 24-yard line and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Montreal’s Jamal Westerman. Long extended the Lions lead to 15-10 on a 30-yard field goal 1:42 into the fourth quarter.

B.C. cemented the win on Jennings’ 11-yard touchdown strike to Watson at 8:27 of the final period.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

CFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

A group of Abbotsford secondary principals’s and vice-principals are at a retreat in Whistler this weekend. (Whistler.com photo)
Abbotsford principals attending retreat in Whistler despite COVID-19 gathering restrictions

Unclear how reported group of 20 will be following COVID-19 protocols during Whistler Pro-D event

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of Abbotsford student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

John Redekop, with wife Doris, was the 2019 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from UFV. (Photo courtesy of UFV)
Nominations open until Oct. 30 for UFV’s Betty Urquhart Awards

Award recognizes ‘significant impact’ of volunteer work by an individual or group

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read