Rourke led the Lions to their greatest begin since ’07 in a win over the Roughriders, BC

REGINA — After some down time, the BC Lions offense nonetheless held its personal in Friday’s 32-17 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Lions trailed 17-4 within the second quarter however rallied for 28 unanswered factors to enhance to 5-1 and the Knights dropped to 4-4.

Nathan Rourke, who continues to shine in his first season because the beginning quarterback, stated regardless of considerations a couple of gradual begin, he is assured the Lions can discover their means as the sport progresses.

“There was nothing particular (within the rotation). They have been simply there and we simply needed to (a) play at the next degree. “We’re very assured that if we do our greatest, no one can stand in our means however us,” Rourke stated.

“Due to Saskatchewan, they made some nice performs early, however we discovered a means. I am very happy with the fellows who’re doing this.”

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

“Regardless that we’re down and the ambiance is sweet, the way in which the No. 12 performs, we all know we’re at all times within the sport. We have not actually modified something defensively. We had a few changes to make and simply attempt to reset and attempt to do no matter we might to get our offense again, and we did that,” Betts stated.

BC entered the sport with simply 4 sacks by means of its first 5 video games. Anthony Lanier and Charleston Hughes gave the Knights sacks early within the sport, however the Lions’ offensive line recovered and offered Rourke with spectacular protection the remainder of the sport.

“They did a fantastic job. They will not blink at first of the sport. It was a tough begin and so they’ll be the primary to inform you that. However they undoubtedly got here collectively,” Rourke stated.

“It is a very gifted line of defense in Saskatchewan. . . We knew our offensive line was going to be full and so they dealt with it and received higher as the sport progressed. That was a giant key for us to show issues round.”

The Lions, who’re chasing the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the highest spot within the West Division, have not gone 5-1 in a season since main the division in 2007 with a 14-3-1 report.

Friday’s sport was the primary of three scheduled conferences between the groups in 5 weeks. Rourke wasn’t able to admit that Friday’s win provides the Lions a leg up for the subsequent two video games.

“I feel each sport we play, whether or not it is West or East, is necessary, however the video games within the West are particularly necessary,” Rourke stated. “It isn’t straightforward to beat a group as soon as, not to mention thrice in a season.”

Rourke continued Friday’s hype, finishing 27 of 33 passes for 336 yards. He was 153-of-193 passing for 1,941 yards and 16 touchdowns.

The Lions have some gifted receivers and that can solely get higher with the return of veteran Brian Burnham, sidelined since June 25 with damaged ribs and a punctured lung.

The riders are heading into their bye week after a troublesome few weeks. They have been hit by an outbreak of COVID-19 after a July 16 sport in opposition to Toronto in Halifax, which left them in need of final week’s return sport in opposition to the Argos. Additionally they needed to cope with high-profile suspensions of defensive finish Garrett Marino (4 video games) and receiver Duke Williams (one sport).

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who missed final week’s sport as a result of Covid protocol, injured his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in Week 2 and has worn a big brace each sport since.

Regardless of these points, the Lions weren’t underestimating Fajardo.

“Fajardo is an efficient defender on this league. He is a fantastic athlete, in order that’s how I deal with him. . . If he is there, he needs to be able to roll and be the man that provides them the perfect probability to win. In order that’s how we approached him,” Betts stated.

The Lions received touchdowns from Rourke with a 15-yard run by Jevon Cote and a 14-yard catch by Dominique Rimes. Kicker Shaun White had discipline objectives of 16 and 39 yards and a 46-yard discipline aim. Stephan Flintoft hit two singles within the opener. The Lions additionally had a security within the second quarter when Marcus Sayles ran for Raiders operating again Jamal Morrow.

Betts had two sacks, and Obum Gwacham and Thibault Debail every collected one. Former Rider Loucheise Purifoy was an interception for the Lions.

Fajardo ran for one yard and Tevin Jones scored on an eight-yard reception for Saskatchewan. Brett Lauter made a 28-yard discipline aim.

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