B.C. Lions running back Chris Rainey (2) celebrates his touchdown during CFL football action against the Edmonton Eskimos in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. Lions clinch playoff spot with 42-32 win over Eskimos

WR Posey has 3 touchdowns for Leos

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Lions are officially headed to the playoffs.

Receiver DeVier Posey had a trio of touchdowns for the Lions (9-8) as they beat the Edmonton Eskimos 42-32 on Friday, guaranteeing B.C. a spot in the post-season.

Edmonton’s record falls to 7-9 with the loss, further dimming the Eskimos’ playoff chances.

B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay had a slow start in Friday’s game, notching just 37 yards in the first half but he ultimately tossed for 251 yards and four touchdowns.

Mike Reilly threw for 245 yards and a touchdown for the Eskimos, moving him up to a league-leading 5,219 passing yards this season.

The Lions had a sloppy start to the game, with offensive penalties marring scoring chances in the first quarter. Edmonton capitalized, turning the mistakes into points.

Eskimos kicker Sean Whyte put his team on the board first, making a 47-yard field goal. Reilly added a touchdown to put the Eskimos up 12-0.

With less than four minutes to go in the opening frame, Lions returner Chris Rainey swung the momentum, collecting a kickoff return deep in his own zone and rushing 95 yards for B.C.’s first touchdown of the night.

It was the first time since September 2015 that the 30-year-old has scored off a kickoff return.

Minutes later, Lulay connected with receiver Bryan Burnham in the endzone for another touchdown, giving the Lions a 14-12 lead to end the quarter.

The Eskimos responded in the second, with Reilly finding receiver Bryant Mitchell wide open in the endzone and tossing a 23-yard rocket for a touchdown.

The pair connected again later in the frame, with the Edmonton quarterback throwing for 51-yards on a play that allowed the Eskimos to set up at B.C.’s seven-yard line. But the Lions’ defence held tough, preventing the touchdown and forcing Edmonton to go for a 14-yard field goal.

The Eskimos went into the half up 22-17, but the Lions came back out of the locker-room fired up and ready to claw their way back.

Lulay connected with Posey for touchdowns three times in the third quarter, including a 65-yard, catch-and-dash.

Edmonton put up a final push late in the fourth quarter, with defensive back Aaron Grymes intercepting a B.C. pass and returning it 57-yards for a touchdown.

Whyte made a 40-yard field goal with less than two minutes, bringing the Eskimos within seven points.

Lions kicker Ty Long sealed the game by making a 40-yard field goal with just 13 seconds left on the clock.

RELATED: Lions look to cement playoff spot

The CFL’s playoff bracket has yet to be set with two weeks of regular season games still to go.

The Calgary Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Ottawa Redblacks and Hamilton Ticats have all secured post-season berths, while the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Allouttes have officially been eliminated.

The Eskimos now have a bye week before hosting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Nov. 3 for both teams’ final match of the regular season.

The Lions will head to Regina where they face the Riders on Oct. 27.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

 

B.C. Lions fans wear a pumpkins on their heads as they supports their team during CFL football action against the Edmonton Eskimos in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

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