B.C. Lions’ John White IV (3) runs the ball in for a touchdown past Montreal Alouettes’ Greg Reid, bottom right, during the second half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday September 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Lions’ John White IV (3) runs the ball in for a touchdown past Montreal Alouettes’ Greg Reid, bottom right, during the second half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday September 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Reilly leads B.C. Lions to gritty 25-23 win over Alouettes

QB tosses for 309 yards as Leos keep faint playoff hopes alive

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Lions kept their faint playoff hopes alive on Saturday, posting a gritty 25-23 win over the Montreal Alouettes.

Mike Reilly had 309 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Lions (4-10).

He connected with Bryan Burnham and John White for TDs, and Sergio Castillo added four field goals, including a 48-yard kick.

Matt Shiltz filled in at quarterback for the Als (7-6), throwing for 177 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The 26-year-old Butler University grad also rushed for 62 yards and brought in a TD of his own.

Montreal’s usual starter, Vernon Adams Jr., was suspended after a helmet swinging incident against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.

Anthony Pipkin and Eugene Lewis also found the endzone for the Alouettes.

Solid defensive performances from both sides limited the scoring to a string of field goals in the first half.

Castillo made three successful field goals for the Lions in quarters one and two, including a pair of 41-yard kicks, and Als kicker Boris Bede made a 16-yard attempt.

Castillo added another 48-yard field goal for the Lions midway through the fourth quarter.

The offensive dam broke less than a minute into the third frame when Shiltz connected with a wide-open Lewis midfield.

The receiver collected the pass and ran, uncontested, 69 yards into the end zone.

B.C. sputtered after the major strike, taking unnecessary offensive penalties that hemmed the Lions in their own zone and miscommunicating on defence.

Midway through the third quarter, the Lions defence split directly in front of Shiltz, clearing the quarterback’s path for a 29-yard run.

READ MORE: Reilly throws for 353 yards as Lions rout Redblacks 40-7

The play put the Alouettes on the goal line and Pipkin capitalized with a one-yard QB sneak to widen Montreal’s lead.

B.C. responded before the end of the third when Reilly sent an 18-yard pass sailing to Burnham just inside the end zone, cutting the Als lead to 17-15.

With seconds to go in the quarter, Reilly then found Lemar Durant deep in Montreal’s end for a 61-yard pass that set up a big scoring drive.

The five-play, 87-yard drive ended with White rushing four yards for another touchdown. The running back celebrated by climbing into the stands and handing the ball off to a child wearing an orange Lions toque.

Shiltz kept the game tight, however, after he was left wide open deep in the Lions end with just over five minutes to go in the game.

The quarterback ran seven yards for the major strike, but the Als couldn’t capitalize on a two-point conversion attempt that would have evened the score.

The Lions held off Montreal’s late-game push after Als running back William Stanback put his team in scoring position.

B.C.’s strong presence along the goal line and an apparent fumbled snap on Montreal’s third down prevented the visitors from crossing over into the end zone.

The loss prevents Montreal from clinching a playoff spot this week.

NOTES: Field judge Brian Chrupalo was led off the field in the third quarter after he was flattened by a player. … Castillo leads the league in percentage of field goals made with 91.4. … Shiltz made just his second CFL start on Saturday. His last came on Nov. 3, 2017 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CFL

Just Posted

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that brain surgery can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
$25 million Indigenous cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar Nuu-chah-nulth project

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made right here on Vancouver Island

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

To each their own pipe. The new sewer main during staging in James Bay before it was installed in 2018, to convey waste to the McLoughlin Point treatment facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘End in sight,’ for Victoria’s annual sewage overflows

Wastewater projects underway should end sewage overflows

The garage door doesn’t look like this anymore, and neither do my sister (left) and me. (Family photo)
Simpson: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at the same address for 43 years, I have not

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor. (Photo by Bernard Thibodeau)
Island MP touts national dental care program

Millions of Canadians don’t visit the dentist every year because they can’t afford to

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Most Read