VANCOUVER — It’s the Canadian Soccer League’s model of a complete eclipse.
For as a lot as Mike Reilly and Travis Lulay have been round over the previous decade, it’s a uncommon sight, certainly, to see the 2 quarterbacks sq. off towards each other in a sport.
However the stars are aligning Thursday at BC Place Stadium, the place Reilly’s Edmonton Eskimos will put a three-game profitable streak up towards Lulay’s B.C. Lions, who sit final within the West Division standings after dropping 4 of their final 5.
The 2 former teammates, who performed collectively in Vancouver from 2010-12, will sq. off towards one another as starters for simply the fourth time since Reilly was traded to Edmonton forward of the 2013 season.
“They’re each from the northwest. After they have been right here, they have been very aggressive however but they have been nice mates,” mentioned Lions head coach Wally Buono. “And I nonetheless suppose they’re nice mates.
“Has Travis helped Mike? Has Mike helped Travis? It’s form of just like the hen and the egg factor.”
Within the CFL paradox, Lulay got here first, arriving in 2009, one yr forward of Reilly.
However of their time as starters within the league, the comparability is placing, each in good occasions and unhealthy.
“We’ve each been via lots in our careers,” Reilly mentioned. “Each received Gray Cups, each received MOPs, we each missed vital time from a knee harm.
“And I’ve been fortunate sufficient to form of keep wholesome outdoors of the primary half of that 2015 (season), to not say I haven’t skilled what he’s gone via to a point. However he’s a man that could be a nice chief for his soccer group.”
Each on the sphere and off.
Sadly for Lulay, all of the accidents he’s confronted in his profession meant he’s needed to be off it most of the time every time the Lions have confronted Reilly.
“I’m excited to see him on the market on the sphere enjoying,” Reilly mentioned. “We haven’t obtained to play as a lot towards one another as I believe each of us needed to again once I first obtained to Edmonton.
“He’s had a number of accidents. In ’15, I had an harm that stored us from enjoying towards one another, but it surely’s all the time nice to battle towards him. He’s probably the greatest within the league, in my view. I all the time let you know guys I wish to play towards the very best and he’s certainly one of them, however I all the time wish to see him wrestle when he performs towards us, too.”
All joking apart, the truth that Lulay’s been in a position to bounce again a number of occasions from probably career-ending accidents is a victory in itself.
“There have been a few occasions the place I’ve puzzled if I’d ever see him play once more,” Reilly mentioned. “I received’t say that I’m stunned that he’s nonetheless enjoying as a result of I do know him nicely sufficient that he’s going to struggle via something that he presumably can, however there have been some devastating issues which have occurred, and lesser guys most likely wouldn’t nonetheless be enjoying.”
The place bragging rights are involved, it comes all the way down to who’s received extra head-to-head video games.
“We’ve solely had a handful, proper?” mentioned Lulay, who was a groomsman at Reilly’s marriage ceremony. “It’s enjoyable, stuff we talked about years in the past and we’ve simply had a handful of occasions to get after it. I believe in ’13, we performed towards one another a pair occasions, however up till final yr, we hadn’t immediately squared off.
“They obtained us at house final yr, so we’ve obtained Mike coming into our home this week. I owe him one.”
So, who’s obtained the higher hand?
“I don’t know,” Reilly mentioned, whose lone regular-season win towards Lulay got here in Week 6 final yr by a rating of 37-26. “I don’t know what the win-loss document is towards one another.
“I keep in mind that I beat him in a pre-season sport early in my profession as an Edmonton Eskimo, and he by no means heard the top of that till he beat me in a regular-season sport, after which it was like, ‘OK, I don’t need to speak about this anymore.’
“I don’t know what the document is, I’m positive that they’ve all been fairly good video games. I bear in mind enjoying towards him, having an excellent battle in Edmonton, it was enjoyable to observe him play nicely, have me play nicely and have it come all the way down to the top.”
Lulay’s reminiscence isn’t any higher, both.
“I assume the quick reply’s ‘no’ as a result of I don’t comprehend it off the highest of my head,” mentioned the Lions quarterback, who holds a 2-1 regular-season benefit over Reilly by a mixed rating of 74-60, because of back-to-back wins in 2013. “I do know he received the final one and I do know tomorrow is honest sport, in order that’s what I’m apprehensive about.”
E-mail: [email protected]
On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge