CALGARY - The B.C. Lions picked a bad time to lose two games in a row for the first time this season.
With B.C. looking to secure a home playoff berth, the Lions (9-6) suffered a 40-26 setback to the CFL leading Calgary Stampeders (12-3) at McMahon Stadium on Friday.
"We didn’t make enough plays," said B.C. coach Mike Benevides. "That’s a good football team over there and we couldn’t get it done."
A week earlier at home, the Lions lost 31-17 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5), another West Division foe with whom they’re battling for playoff positioning.
The last time the Lions dropped back-to-back decisions was in July of 2012 when they lost to the Riders and the Edmonton Eskimos six days apart.
After that two-game losing skid, the Lions went on a streak of eight straight times of being able to follow up a loss with an immediate bounce-back win.
"We’ve got some veterans here," Benevides said. "We’ve got some guys who’ve been around a lot and guys that know what it takes to win. They understand what’s at stake. It’s about character people and character individuals finding a way to fight together. It’s tough to win these games."
The Lions were facing a 19-4 deficit in the second quarter on Friday before Courtney Taylor hauled in a 27-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Thomas DeMarco.
After Marquay McDaniel caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Calgary quarterback Kevin Glenn early in the second half, the Lions responded with a one-yard TD run by DeMarco later in the third quarter.
DeMarco then tossed a seven-yard touchdown strike to Moore at 6:47 of the fourth quarter before tying the game at 26-26 by passing to Taylor in the end zone for a two-point convert.
"Calgary’s one of the best teams in the league and we feel like we’re one of the best teams too," Taylor said. "At that time we just felt like, you know what, these guys are not that much better than us. We’ve got to go out and play. We’ve got to execute and make plays. That’s what we did up until that point. They made more plays at the end of the day."
The Stamps bounced right back as Glenn threw a seven-yard TD pass to Clifton Smith, before Chris Randle picked off an errant pass by DeMarco and ran it back 65 yards into the B.C. end zone to put an exclamation point on the win for Calgary.
"You don’t want to keep giving the ball to their team especially at home," said DeMarco, who completed 23-of-39 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. "You want to make sure that you put everybody in a good situation and I wasn’t able to do that today."
Next up, the Lions travel to Regina for a rematch against the Riders on Oct. 19 before returning home to Vancouver for their final two home games of the season against the Eskimos and the Stamps.
"It’s going to be the same way now," said Taylor in regards to finding a way to bounce back with a road win against the Riders. "Nothing changes. This is professional football. You get paid to do a job and our job is to win.
"It’s right back to the drawing board and it’s time to get out of the funk. We don’t like to lose. It’s time to get out of the funk and win a football game."
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