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B.C. Lions rally from early deficit to beat Roughriders 32-17, match best start since 2007

It took a short while, however the B.C. Lions’ offence continued to roll in a 32-17 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday evening.

The Lions fell behind 17-4 within the second quarter, however responded with 28 unanswered factors to enhance their file to 5-1 whereas dropping the Riders to 4-4.

Nathan Rourke, who continues to shine in his first season because the beginning quarterback, mentioned that whereas there was some concern in regards to the sluggish begin, the Lions had been assured they might discover their method as the sport progressed.

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“There was nothing particular (to the comeback). They had been simply there making some performs and we simply wanted to execute at (a) greater degree. We’re very assured that after we execute to the perfect of our skills, no one can get in our method besides ourselves,” mentioned Rourke.

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“Credit score to Saskatchewan, they made some nice performs early on however we discovered a method. I’m extraordinarily happy with the fellows for doing so.”

Like Rourke, defensive lineman Mathieu Betts was assured the Lions had the time and talent to show the sport round.

“The vibe was good though we had been down, however the best way Quantity 12 can play, we all know we’re all the time within the sport. We actually didn’t change something defensively. We had a few tweaks that we needed to do and simply attempt to reset and do our greatest to attempt to give the offence the ball again and that’s what we did,” mentioned Betts.

B.C. entered the sport with solely 4 sacks allowed in its first 5 video games. Anthony Lanier and Charleston Hughes picked up sacks for the Riders within the early going, however the Lions offensive line regained its composure and supplied Rourke with excellent safety for the remainder of the sport.

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“They did an awesome job. They didn’t blink early within the sport. It was a tough begin they usually’d be the primary ones to inform you that. However they definitely obtained collectively,” mentioned Rourke.

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“That’s a really proficient defensive position in Saskatchewan . . . We knew our offensive line was going to have their palms full they usually did a extremely good job dealing with that and getting higher as the sport went on. That was a giant key to us turning issues round.”

The Lions, who’re chasing the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers for first place within the West Division, haven’t began a season at 5-1 since 2007, once they topped the division with a 14-3-1 file.

Friday’s sport was the primary of three scheduled conferences between the groups in a five-week stretch.

However Rourke wasn’t able to admit that Friday’s victory provides the Lions a leg up on the Riders heading into the 2 upcoming video games.

“I believe each sport that we play, whether or not it’s East or West, are vital (however) the West video games are particularly vital,” mentioned Rourke. “It’s not simple to beat a workforce as soon as, by no means thoughts thrice throughout a season.”

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Nonetheless, Rourke continued to stay as much as the hype 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.

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The Lions have a proficient group of receivers which can solely get higher subsequent week with the anticipated return of veteran Bryan Burnham who has been sidelined since June 25 with fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

The Riders are heading right into a bye week after working by means of a few tough weeks. They had been hit with a COVID-19 outbreak following their July 16 sport in Halifax in opposition to Toronto that left them undermanned for final week’s return sport in opposition to the Argos. Additionally they needed to take care of excessive profile suspensions of defensive deal with Garrett Marino (4 video games) and receiver Duke Williams (one sport).

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who missed final week’s sport due to COVID protocols, suffered injury to his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in Week 2 and has been carrying a big brace in each sport since.

Regardless of these points, the Lions weren’t about to underestimate Fajardo.

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“Fajardo is an effective quarterback on this league. He’s clearly an awesome athlete, in order that’s how I’m treating him . . . If he’s on the market, he have to be able to roll and be the man to present them the perfect probability to win the sport in order that’s how we handled him,” mentioned Betts.

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The Lions obtained touchdowns from Rourke on a one-yard run together with a 15-yard reception from Jevon Cottoy and a 14-yard catch by Dominique Rhymes. Kicker Sean Whyte had discipline objectives of 16 and 39 yards and added a single on a miss from 46 yards. Stefan Flintoft had two singles on kickoffs. The Lions additionally obtained a security when Marcus Sayles tackled Riders operating again Jamal Morrow in the long run zone within the second quarter.

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

Fajardo, on a one-yard run, and Tevin Jones, on an eight-yard reception, scored touchdowns for Saskatchewan. Brett Lauther added a 28-yard discipline objective.

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