After beating themselves last Thursday en route to a loss to the Toronto Argonauts at home last week, the BC Lions’ stellar second-half performance Saturday evening at Mosaic Stadium sent Rider fans back home to the gloom they have become accustomed to, prevailing 40-27.
It was a sloppy first half for BC, but they managed to outscore Saskatchewan 30-4 in the second half after trailing 23-10 at halftime.
BC’s D shot themselves in the foot multiple times through the first two quarters, leading to an abundance of points on the board for the Riders.
In particular, defensive tackle Mic’hael Brooks’ return to the field after sitting out Week 3 with a leg injury was ugly to say the least. Arguably the best defensive lineman for BC, Brooks had three roughing the passer calls against him, which kept key drives alive for the opposition.
TSN’s Farhan Lalji said it best:
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) July 17, 2016
If you’re a CFL fan, at this point you’ve become immune to hearing “Darian Durant is heading to the locker room with an apparent injury”. Just last year, Durant was forced out of the 2015 season when he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the Riders’ first regular season game. Additionally in 2014, Durant missed the last eight games of the season nursing an elbow injury.
The Riders faithful had reason to worry once more thanks to Mic’hael Brooks, as one of his roughing the passer penalties was a dirty low blow to Durant early on in the second quarter. Check it out for yourself.
Durant threw a 31-yard touchdown to Rob Bagg in the end zone on the following play to put the Riders up 10-7, but that was the last pass he threw in the game.
Abilene Christian University’s very own Mitchell Gale replaced Durant for the remainder of the game and held his own up until halftime completing 7/8 passes for 108 yards. Afterwards however, the Lions defence adjusted properly and limited Gale for the majority of the second half. He was sacked three times as well, two of them by the 2014 Most Outstanding Player, Solomon Elimimian.
Initial reports say that Durant’s ankle injury is not serious after his x-rays for a broken bone have come back negative, but to the Lions, that doesn’t matter. His presence, or lack there of, was huge in BC’s comeback victory.
📽 POST GAME
— BC Lions (@BCLions) July 17, 2016
Tonight we witnessed the Jonathan Jennings that we fell in love with last year! Although Jennings had trouble countering the Riders blitzes Saskatchewan head coach Chris Jones’ initially threw at him, the Saginaw State Valley standout ultimately got comfortable in the pocket and had a career day, throwing for 429 yards and three touchdowns on 25/4o passing. Also impressive: Jennings didn’t throw a single interception all game.
I’ve been waiting for a Nick Moore breakout game for a while now, and he finally came through. Moore only had three receptions, but for 88 yards, one of which was a 30-yard hookup from Jennings to give the Leos a three-point fourth-quarter lead.
Shawn Gore continued his red-hot start to the season, with his second 100+yard game of the year. Gore’s easily on track for the best campaign of his career.
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) July 17, 2016
Six-foot-six, 325 lb. veteran BC offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye hauled an eight-yard pass for his first career touchdown! Big man touchdowns are the absolute best!
This play from Anthony Allen takes the cake though. On the first touchdown of the game for the Lions, Jennings handed the ball off to tailback Anthony Allen who was initially stuffed, but had both the football smarts and guts to lateral the ball back to Jennings who made a quick dash to end zone for the score. This play will surely make it onto TSN’s Sportscentre highlights of the night.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 16, 2016
The 3-1 Lions are officially on their bye week, and won’t play again until Friday, July 29th. BC will be roaring into Calgary on that date with a ton of momentum to build off of when they square off against the Stampeders at the always well-attended Mcmahon Stadium.
— BC Lions (@BCLions) July 17, 2016