The Edmonton Eskimos nearly dug a hole they couldn't get out of.
Sean Whyte kicked a pair of late field goals as the Eskimos came from behind for a 27-23 victory over the B.C. Lions on Friday to snap a three-game losing skid.
"They got up on us early, we didn't make plays early in the game," said Eskimos head coach Jason Maas, whose team overcame an early 14-0 deficit.
"We sure made up for it in the second quarter and the second half. I couldn't be prouder of the guys in our locker room to hang in there after three tough losses. We got jumped on early, but no one was complaining or worried. You could see the fight in their faces. You could see how bad they wanted this game."
Backup running back Shakir Bell was a factor for the Eskimos (6-7), recording 108 yards on 23 carries and scoring one touchdown.
"We did the little things we need to do to get the win," he said. "It's just the starting blocks for us. We feel that we could do a lot better than we have and we are going to work to do a lot better."
Meanwhile, the Lions (8-4) had a three-game winning streak come to an end.
"They are a desperate team that wanted to win and they came and played like it. They just played a little harder than we did tonight," said Lions quarterback Jonathon Jennings.
"We just didn't execute. Penalties, holding calls and turnovers late in the game didn't help us. We just didn't finish."
After a fairly slow start to the game, the Lions broke the scoreless deadlock with three minutes remaining in the first quarter as Jennings completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Arceneaux. The two-point convert attempt was stopped short.
The Lions started the second quarter in similar fashion as Jennings found Arceneaux wide open downfield and he scampered 68 yards for the TD and a 14-0 lead following a two-point convert run by Jeremiah Johnson.
The Eskimos finally got going on their next possession when quarterback Mike Reilly capped off a long drive with a one-yard TD plunge.
Edmonton was pressing again, but Reilly was picked off on the B.C. 31-yard line by Lions defensive back Anthony Gaitor to end the threat.
However, the Eskimos would tie the game late in the first half as a 59-yard pass to Adarius Bowman set up a three-yard TD run by Bell. The Lions got a punt single to lead 15-14 at the half.
Edmonton grabbed its first lead 4:30 into the third quarter on a 22-yard TD reception by Bowman.
The Eskimos conceded a safety to make it 21-17 before Richie Leone booted a 42-yard field goal for the Lions to cut the lead to one point.
The Lions inched back ahead midway through the fourth quarter on an 18-yard Leone field goal.
Edmonton then went ahead 24-23 on a 19-yarder from Whyte with four minutes left in the game.
The Eskimos defence came up big on the next play as Deon Lacey picked off Jennings, leading to a 33-yard Whyte field goal with 36 seconds left to give Edmonton the victory.