Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Buck still laying body on the line

Throws big block to spring Logan for TD

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VANCOUVER -- Buck Pierce had a big night offensively Friday, but it was a play he made without the ball that helped drag the B.C. Lions out of their late-season swoon.

The 31-year-old quarterback with a history of concussions threw a key block near the goal-line on Stefan Logan's 54-yard touchdown run in the second quarter as the Lions rebounded from an early 12-1 deficit to defeat the Edmonton Eskimos 43-22 and snap a three-game losing streak.

"You need that type of play. You look at the good quarterbacks in this league and that's the way that they play. That's the CFL," said Pierce, who finished with three touchdowns through the air and another on the ground. "I've had so many knocks on me for doing stuff like that throughout my career. But I'm a football player.

"I've been in this league for nine years and if they're expecting me to change now, it's not going to happen."

'I've been in this league for nine years and if they're expecting me to change now, it's not going to happen'

-- B.C. quarterback Buck Pierce

Pierce replaced the ineffective Thomas DeMarco at the start of the second quarter and connected on two short TDs to Andrew Harris and a long bomb to Emmanuel Arceneaux for the Lions (10-7), who were already locked into the third seed in the CFL's West Division playoff picture coming into the game.

Despite those numbers, it was Pierce's block that everyone was talking about.

"That gives your sideline a tremendous boost," said Lions coach Mike Benevides. "He's a guy that's gone to war and understands the value of it."

With one game to still go in the regular season, B.C. will visit either the Saskatchewan Roughriders or the Calgary Stampeders in the semifinal round on Nov. 10.

"Buck came in and he was lights out. I thought he did a phenomenal job of orchestrating the offence," said Lions defensive end Keron Williams. "(Buck) has that grit, he has fight in him. He makes plays out of nothing."

Mike Reilly, who signed with the Eskimos (3-14) in the off-season after three years with B.C. as a backup, was 20-of-34 passing for 321 yards and two TDs to Adarius Bowman, but was also intercepted twice.

Bowman finished with six catches for 199 yards. Backup quarterback Jonathan Crompton ran in another late score.

Former Lions kicker Hugh O'Neill finished 2 for 2 on field goals as the Eskimos dropped their fifth straight game.

Re-acquired by the Lions last month from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Pierce entered the game at the start of the second quarter trailing 12-1 after conceding a safety and went to work after defensive back J.R. Larose picked off Reilly for the first interception of his career.

Logan scored on the very next play, taking a handoff and running right before reversing his field and picking up Pierce's block down the left sideline to make it 12-8.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 27, 2013 B11

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