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Sagging B.C. Lions fall to 1-10 after 21-16 loss to Montreal

MONTREAL — Quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. rushed for two touchdowns as the Montreal Alouettes beat the last-place B.C. Lions 21-16 on Friday night to extend their winning streak to three games.

Adams also went 18 for 25 for 232 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Alouettes (6-4), who snapped a seven-game losing skid versus B.C.

Fully recovered from a heel injury, running back William Stanback added 78 yards on the ground.

Mike Reilly completed 20-of-29 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown as the Lions (1-10) lost their seventh straight game. Kicker Sergio Castillo added three field goals for the visitors, who equalled their worst start to a season since 1969.

It is the fourth time this season the Lions lost a game by five points or fewer.

READ MORE: Struggling B.C. Lions dismiss offensive line coach Bryan Chiu

After a scoreless defensive battle in the first quarter, the Alouettes jumped to a 14-0 lead through identical back-to-back rushing touchdowns by Adams in the second.

Adams capped off a 63-yard drive with a QB sneak from one yard out at 2:44. A 24-yard pass to wide receiver DeVier Posey followed by an 8-yard rush by Stanback brought the ball to the one-yard line.

Six minutes later, Adams had the Lions seeing double when he again punched the ball in from the one. A 25-yard pass interference penalty on Branden Dozier in the end zone set Adams up for his second QB sneak of the quarter.

With his 10th rushing touchdown, Adams set a new franchise record for most rushing TDs by a quarterback in a single season. He also leads the CFL in that category, surpassing Saskatchewan Roughriders running back William Powell.

The B.C. Lions cut the deficit to 14-7 on a lightning-fast 27-second scoring drive. Starting at Montreal’s 54-yard line, Reilly needed just three plays to find the end zone. The final play of the drive was a 40-yard pass to Bryan Burnham, who broke Greg Reid’s tackle before crossing the plane for his fourth touchdown of the year at 13:41.

The Lions put together a dominant 67-yard drive that lasted more than seven minutes near the end of the third quarter but they were forced to settle for a Castillo field goal.

Castillo made it 14-13 with another field goal at 2:04 of the fourth quarter but a 4-yard touchdown pass by Montreal’s Quan Bray — capping off a 75-yard drive — made it 21-13 with 7:17 remaining in the game.

Castillo converted a consolation 47-yard field goal with 2:56 on the clock.

It was the first game for new Lions offensive-line coach Kelly Bates. B.C.’s league-worst O-line allowed two sacks to Montreal, both by veteran John Bowman.

Notes: The Lions dropped to 1-3 versus East-Division teams. … Both teams were coming off a bye week. … Attendance at Percival Molson Stadium was 17,047.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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