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BC Lions Blow Another Fast Start

Winnipeg (CP) – Drew Willy passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns on an injured knee as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers snapped a two-game losing skid with a 23-13 victory over the B.C. Lions on Thursday night.

Willy, who injured his right knee in a loss to Edmonton last Saturday, ran five times for 72 yards and completed 17 of 25 pass attempts with no interceptions.

Bombers kicker Lirim Hajrullahu was good on field goals from 19, 20 and 26 yards and both his convert attempts to help Winnipeg even its record to 3-3.

Travis Lulay was 22-of-33 for 254 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions as the Lions (2-3) lost their second straight game.

Bombers rookie receiver Justin Veltung, replacing injured Nick Moore, scored his first CFL touchdown with an eight-yard catch. Winnipeg also got a 56-yard touchdown reception from Darvin Adams. He finished with four catches for 127 yards.

Courtney Taylor caught a 17-yard throw for B.C.’s lone TD.

Lions rookie Richie Leone kicked field goals from 23 and 22 yards, keeping him perfect on all 12 field goals he’s attempted this season. He was also good on his convert.

B.C. led 7-0 after the first quarter and 10-7 at halftime.

The Lions opening drive took up more than half the first quarter, with Taylor capping off a 14-play, 95-yard march.

Willy was part of a seven-play, 78-yard drive that led to Veltung’s second quarter touchdown at 4:13. With the convert, it was 7-7.

Blue Bombers linebacker Sam Hurl had his first CFL interception off a tipped ball, but Winnipeg’s offence couldn’t capitalize — despite an 11-yard run by Willy where he was stopped head-on instead of sliding.

B.C. settled for Leone’s 23-yard field goal with 1:44 left in the first half after they were called for offensive pass interference and facing third down and five.

Willy ran three times for 54 yards in the first half, more than his running backs Paris Cotton (11 yards) and Cameron Marshall (seven yards).

Andrew Harris had 16 carries for 83 yards in B.C.’s first half of production. He finished with a career-high 24 carries for 117 yards.

Troy Stoudermire helped set up Adams’ touchdown 36 seconds into the third quarter after he took a kickoff 44 yards. On the next play, Willy sailed the ball to Adams, who eluded two defenders for his 56-yard catch-and-run score and 14-10 lead.

Winnipeg made it 17-10 at 11:01 of the third and got the ball right back when cornerback Johnny Adams stretched out in front of receiver Manny Arceneneaux to intercept a throw.

The Bombers ended up turning the ball over on downs and B.C. copied on its next series.

Hajrullahu’s 20-yarder at 3:26 of the fourth doubled Winnipeg’s lead to 20-10 and Leone kicked his 22-yarder with just under six minutes left in the game.

Hajrullahu made it 23-13 with his 26-yarder and defensive back Demond Washington intercepted Lulay with 1:55 to help seal the victory.

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