VANCOUVER -- Travis Lulay threw for a touchdown and ran for another as the B.C. Lions beat the Montreal Alouettes 36-14 in CFL action Sunday.
B.C. improved to 7-4 while avenging a last-second loss in Montreal on Aug. 22. The Alouettes, who were held scoreless in the first half and trailed throughout, fell to 4-7. Montreal suffered its 13th loss in its last 14 visits to Vancouver.
Shawn Gore caught Lulay's touchdown pass while Andrew Harris scored on a one-yard run. Marco Iannuzzi caught a TD pass from B.C. backup quarterback Thomas DeMarco late in the game. It was the first scoring strike of DeMarco's two-year CFL career.
B.C.'s other points came on a conceded safety and Paul McCallum's two field goals and four converts.
Montreal's points came on touchdown receptions by S.J. Green and Brandon London. Both TD passes were thrown by Josh Neiswander, the third Alouettes quarterback used in the game.
The Als recovered two fumbles, by Lulay and Harris, and also had an interception in the first half, but could not convert the turnovers into decent field position, let alone points. Jerald Brown's interception was hampered by two unnecessary roughness penalties on the play. On one, Shea Emry unwisely nailed Lulay from behind as he was running down field.
The Lions got on the scoreboard first as Montreal punter Sean Whyte conceded a safety. B.C. went 5-0 on a Paul McCallum 22-yard field goal in the first quarter increased its lead to 8-0 on another in the second quarter from 43 yards.
After McCallum's second field goal, Alouettes starting quarterback Jesse Marsh, who had burned the Lions in a last-second loss in Montreal in their previous meeting Aug. 22, was pulled in favour of Troy Smith, who won the 2006 Heisman Trophy.
But Smith did little on only two running plays before B.C. got the ball again, and would be replaced by Marsh soon afterwards.
Lulay completed a 58-yard pass to Courtney Taylor, who managed to stay in bounds after Chip Cox turned him around on the sideline but could not bring him down. One play later, Lulay threw a 14-yard touchdown strike to Gore, staking the Lions to a 15-0 lead.
Two plays later, Jerome Messam dropped the ball on a forced fumble and B.C.'s Cord Parks recovered. The Als gained a reprieve when Harris fumbled on a reverse on third-and-one to nullify a B.C. scoring drive with 28 seconds before half-time. But the Als ran out of time before they could get in scoring range.
Lulay completed 18 of 22 passes in the first half for 198 yards. Marsh was good on just five of 11 for 54 yards.
Lulay's second interception of the game, by Mike Eden, set up Montreal's first points late in the third quarter. Neiswander connected with Green on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Green.
But more miscues on the Als' next offensive series, in the closing seconds of the third quarter, aided B.C.'s cause. Adam Bighill intercepted a Neiswander pass and returned it 44 yards. Messam brought him down shortly before the goal-line with a horse-collar tackle, and the penalty gave B.C. the ball at the Montreal one-yard-line.
Harris promptly took a Lulay hand-off into the end zone, enabling the Lions to go up 22-7.
Another Neiswander interception cost the Als again with just under five minutes gone in the fourth quarter as Marsh intercepted a pass thrown behind the receiver and took it into the end zone. However, Eric Taylor was called on an illegal block on the play, so B.C. had to settle for possession on Montreal's three yard-line.
After getting sacked on the next play, Lulay took the ball into the end zone to stake B.C. to a 29-7 advantage.
Montreal closed the gap to 29-14 on its next series after Neiswander threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to London. But with the outcome not appearing in doubt, B.C. coach Mike Benevides decided to pull Lulay, who was shaken up when hit while scoring his touchdown.
DeMarco reached his personal milestone as he found Iannuzzi for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Notes: Defensive lineman Chris Wilson played his first game for B.C. after signing as free agent last week. It's Wilson's second stint with the Lions. ... CFL commissioner Mark Cohon attended the game as part of a tour of CFL cities that he has been on lately. He said discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement with players will begin next spring. The current one is due to expire the day before training camps open. Cohon again faced questions about the CFL's handling of concussions in wake of the NFL's $765-million settlement of a lawsuit with former players. Contending protocols have long been in place, he said player safety remains an ongoing agenda item at CFL board of governors meetings. ... Legendary Lions receiver Willie Fleming and former radio play-by-play broadcaster J. Paul McConnell were among former B.C. greats honoured at half-time for their induction into the B.C. Football Hall of Fame. McConnell now lives in France and made the trip from Europe for the occasion.