20/07/2024

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Rourke leads Lions to win over Roughriders, B.C. off to best start since ’07

Rourke leads Lions to win over Roughriders, B.C. off to best start since ’07

REGINA — It took a little although but the B.C. Lions offence ongoing to roll in a 32-17 victory in excess of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday.

The Lions fell powering 17-4 in the next quarter but responded with 28 unanswered factors to strengthen their record to 5-1 even though dropping the Riders to 4-4.

Nathan Rourke, who carries on to shine in his initial year as the starting off quarterback, explained that though there was some issue about the gradual commence, the Lions were being self-assured they could find their way as the game progressed.

“There was very little specific (to the comeback). They ended up just there producing some performs and we just desired to execute at (a) bigger amount. We are quite self-assured that when we execute to the most effective of our qualities, nobody can get in our way other than ourselves,” explained Rourke.

“Credit to Saskatchewan, they designed some wonderful performs early on but we located a way. I’m incredibly very pleased of the fellas for executing so.”

Like Rourke, defensive lineman Mathieu Betts was self-confident the Lions experienced the time and potential to transform the match all over.

“The vibe was great even although we had been down, but the way Range 12 can engage in, we know we are always in the activity. We definitely did not adjust everything defensively. We experienced a couple of tweaks that we had to do and just attempt to reset and do our greatest to try to give the offence the ball back again and that’s what we did,” mentioned Betts.

B.C. entered the recreation with only four sacks authorized in its initial five online games. Anthony Lanier and Charleston Hughes picked up sacks for the Riders in the early going, but the Lions offensive line regained its composure and supplied Rourke with exceptional defense for the rest of the sport.

“They did a fantastic job. They failed to blink early in the recreation. It was a rough commence and they’d be the to start with types to notify you that. But they absolutely got alongside one another,” stated Rourke.

“That’s a very gifted defensive line in Saskatchewan . . . We knew our offensive line was heading to have their arms total and they did a really very good occupation managing that and finding better as the sport went on. That was a massive key to us turning things all around.”

The Lions, who are chasing the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers for to start with place in the West Division, have not began a period at 5-1 due to the fact 2007 when they topped the division with a 14-3-1 history.

Friday’s game was the very first of three scheduled meetings between the teams in a 5-7 days stretch. Rourke was not completely ready to admit that Friday’s victory presents the Lions a leg up on the Riders heading into the two future online games.

“I believe every match that we participate in, whether or not it really is East or West, are crucial (but) the West game titles are primarily important,” claimed Rourke. “It’s not simple to defeat a group after, by no means intellect a few times throughout a time.”

Rourke continued to reside up to the hoopla Friday by finishing 27 of 33 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 1,941 yards on 153-of-193 passing with 16 touchdowns.

The Lions have a gifted group of receivers which will only get far better future 7 days with the predicted return of veteran Bryan Burnham who has been sidelined considering the fact that June 25 with fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

The Riders are heading into a bye week soon after doing the job by means of a couple of rough months. They were being hit with a COVID-19 outbreak pursuing their July 16 recreation in Halifax versus Toronto that still left them undermanned for previous week’s return activity towards the Argos. They also experienced to offer with superior profile suspensions of defensive deal with Garrett Marino (four game titles) and receiver Duke Williams (a single match).

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who missed very last week’s activity simply because of COVID protocols, experienced destruction to his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in Week 2 and has been sporting a significant brace in just about every recreation considering that.

Irrespective of all those challenges, the Lions were not about to underestimate Fajardo.

“Fajardo is a superior quarterback in this league. He is clearly a fantastic athlete, so which is how I am dealing with him . . . If he is out there, he have to be all set to roll and be the person to give them the best possibility to get the recreation so that is how we treated him,” stated Betts.

The Lions bought touchdowns from Rourke on a one particular-garden run along with a 15-lawn reception from Jevon Cottoy and a 14-property capture by Dominique Rhymes. Kicker Sean Whyte had discipline aims of 16 and 39 yards and added a one on a miss from 46 yards. Stefan Flintoft experienced two singles on kickoffs. The Lions also obtained a security when Marcus Sayles tackled Riders operating back Jamal Morrow in the end zone in the next quarter.

Betts had two sacks with Obum Gwacham and Tibo Debaille accumulating just one sack every. Former Rider Loucheiz Purifoy experienced an interception for the Lions.

Fajardo, on a just one-garden run, and Tevin Jones, on an 8-yard reception, scored touchdowns for Saskatchewan. Brett Lauther additional a 28-yard field aim.