VANCOUVER – Emmanuel Arceneaux is back.
After missing parts of training camp and the first few weeks of the season, the Lions’ go-to receiver was nothing short of a force, hauling in three touchdown passes in a dominant 41-5 BC win over the Montreal Alouettes.
Arceneaux finished the day with 8 receptions for 145 yards . He, along with a stout BC defence helped avenge a Week 2 loss to the Als.
In fact BC’s defence was so good, Troy Smith simply did not have an answer – finishing just 5 of 17 for 45 yards and one interception.
For a pair of teams that only meet twice a year, they have certainly built up a rivalry in short order in 2014. A Week 2 meeting saw the Alouettes hand the Lions a one-sided 24-9 loss which led to some belief that Montreal had run up the score.
The fireworks started early – in fact before warm-ups even began. With players going through their early-out routines and stretches, an argument broke out between Alouettes DB Mike Edem and Lions DL Khreem Smith. The two jawed back-and-fourth before it appeared that Smith attempted to throw a punch just prior to the two being separated.
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With Travis Lulay still on the shelf until Week 7, Kevin Glenn made the start again under centre and got a personal accolade out of the way early. On the second play from scrimmage, Glenn completed a 14-yard pass to Courtney Taylor, who sat down underneath the Als coverage. The gain put Glenn up over 40,000 yards passing on a career which has spanned 14 years.
Following Taylor’s reception, Glenn handed off to Andrew Harris who powered down the sidelines, breaking a tackle and setting up a 30-yard Paul McCallum field goal to open up the scoring.
Harris, who was relatively quiet when the season began, carried the Lions last week in their win over Saskatchewan to the tune of 200+ yards from scrimmage.
Harris finished with another impressive stat line with over 140 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
After the Leos forced Alouettes Smith to a two-and-out, Glenn went back to work, finding Taylor, Ernest Jackson and Shawn Gore before looking deep for Arceneaux. The Lions’ big-play receiver hauled in a tough catch and stepped into the endzone for a 35-yard touchdown. Arcenueax’s first major of the year gave the Lions a quick 10-0 lead.
With all the momentum on BC’s side, the Als promptly responded with a solid ground attack. Running back Brandon Whitaker took a pair of handoffs for a combined 41 yards to help set up a 42-yard Sean Whyte field goal.
While Glenn put up points early, the story of the first quarter was the Lions defence which shutout Smith in the passing game. At the end of the quarter the Lions held a 109-0 advantage in passing yards.
Both defences tightened up for some time in the second quarter before Glenn led a drive which included completions of 24,15,12 and another 15 yards to a host of receivers to put McCallum in position to hit a chip shot 16-yard field goal. The three-pointer gave the Leos a 13-3 lead with 3:48 left in the half.
With the Lions defence holding Smith in check, it was a pair of hulking defensive lineman that generated the game’s next big play. While playing on punt return, Khreem Smith got his hand on a Sean Whyte punt, his block landing into the hands of Eric Taylor who rumbled down to the Montreal 29 yard line.
A trio of completions by Glenn led to a 1-yard touchdown plunge by QB Travis Partridge to extend the lead to 20-3 with 1:44 left in the half.
As the team’s broke for halftime, Smith continued to look for answers in the passing game, going just 2 of 10 for 9 yards in the half. Despite only posting three points, the bright spot for the Als was on the ground where Whitaker generated 50 yards on 7 carries.
Compounding issues for the Alouettes was the loss of star receiver SJ Green who left in the first quarter with an injury.
|Lions defence roars|
The BC Lions were as active as ever, holding Montreal to just 117 yards in total offence ... View Game Stats
As the third quarter got underway, Glenn looked to his no. 1 receiver yet again to put the game out of reach. Facing a third and very long after taking a pair of penalties, Arceneaux went up and snagged a 35-yard pass for a first down. Glenn then rifled one into Arceneaux for 10 yards before the two capped off a 9-play 80 yard possession.
With a comfortable lead, the only area of concern for the Leos was Glenn who left the game – perhaps in precaution – with a strained rhomboid muscle.
He finished with 301 yards and 2 touchdowns on 23 of 31 passing.
John Beck entered at quarterback with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter but that didn’t slow down the potent BC attack led by their stud receiver. Beck marched the Lions down into Montreal territory and hit Arceneaux on a post route for his third touchdown of the game, this one from 27-yards out to give BC a commanding 34-3 lead.
Meanwhile, the Lions chased Troy Smith out of the game in the fourth quarter after he was shut down by an inspired BC defence.
The exclamation point on Smith’s day was an interception thrown into the waiting hands of DB Ryan Phillips who returned it deep into Alouettes territory. The Lions refused to take their foot off the gas following the turnover, allowing Harris to take a screen pass 13 yards for a touchdown.
The score with 13:30 left, put the Leos up 41-3.
The Alouettes earned a safety as Marsh and Partridge closed out the games for their respective teams.
Montreal now heads to their first bye week of the year as the Lions stay home to host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers next Friday night.