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B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

VANCOUVER — A touchdown by David Watford powered the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a 13-10 win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday.

The Lions (1-9) were plagued by the same issues that have dogged the team all season, including a weak offensive line that allowed quarterback Mike Reilly to be sacked seven times by the Ticats (8-2).

B.C. has now lost six games in a row for the first time since 2010.

Reilly still managed to throw for 286 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also reached a new milestone, hitting 30,062 passing yards in his CFL career.

Hamilton quarterback Dane Evans tossed for 194 yards and two interceptions.

Despite the final score, the Lions put up a gritty defensive performance, keeping the East Division-leading Ticats off the scoreboard for much of the first half.

B.C. also had more offensive yards (393), more possession time (34:26) and first downs (22) than the Ticats but ultimately couldn’t finish — an issue that’s been a trend for the team all season.

It was Hamilton who had the first opportunity to score on Saturday when kicker Lirim Hajrullahu lined up for a 40-yard field goal near the end of the first frame.

The kick sailed wide of the uprights into the arms of B.C.’s Ryan Lankford, who returned it for 23 yards.

Moments later, disaster struck when Lions running back John White limped off the field. The apparent ankle injury came after White had amassed 53 yards on four carries.

Hamilton had another good opportunity to put points on the board about five minutes into the second quarter when Evans sent a long pass to Bralon Addison deep in B.C.’s end. The receiver made the catch but couldn’t hold on as he fell to the turf around the five-yard line.

READ MORE: Lions preach finish, toughness against ferocious Tiger-Cats

It was Lions kicker Sergio Castillo who finally opened the scoring more than nine minutes into the second quarter with a 45-yard field goal.

He had an opportunity to add to the lead with a 47-yard attempt later in the quarter but the attempt went wide.

Hajrullahu made a 52-yard field goal for Hamilton to tie the game at 3-3 going into halftime.

Watford widened the Ticats lead midway through the third quarter, smuggling the ball through a crowd on the goal line for a one-yard touchdown.

A 29-yard field goal by Hajrullahu capped Hamilton’s scoring.

The Lions made a late push, capped with a three-yard touchdown pass from Reilly to Bryan Burnham with just 30 seconds left on the clock, but the home team simply could not make up the deficit.

Both teams now get a bit of a break. Hamilton will be back in action on Monday, Sept. 2, hosting the Toronto Argonauts in a Labour Day classic.

The Lions have a bye week before visiting the Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 6.

NOTES: Hamilton defensive end Adrian Tracy was in uniform for the game but did not play, instead standing on the sidelines with his arm in a sling. … The last time the Lions started the season 1-9 was 1969. … B.C. honoured former Lions Darren Flutie and Geroy Simon at half time on Saturday, inducting the pair into the club’s hall of fame.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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