The B.C. Lions had some good moments last night in Calgary, but eventually lost to the defending champion Stampeders 35-23. The Lions have now lost 4 of their last 5 games and will be outside of a playoff spot after the Alouettes-Blue Bombers game on Sunday.
Rene Paredes kicked field goals from 37 and 39 yards on Calgary’s first two drives of the game to get the Stampeders on the board early, while Lions quarterback John Beck continued to perform defectively in B.C.’s already needy offence. Beck left the game late in the 2nd quarter with a right pectoral muscle injury after getting hit hard by Calgary’s Freddy Bishop III.
Rookie QB Jonathan Jennings replaced Beck, and the Saginaw Valley State product completed 15 of 26 pass attempts for 251 yards in relief. Jennings showed some inexperience, getting intercepted three times, including twice in the end zone by Calgary’s Keon Raymond. He also fumbled midway through the fourth quarter, giving Calgary the ball on B.C.’s 19-yard line, eventually emanating into a touchdown for the Stamps which broke the game open for good.
Meanwhile, Bo-Levi Mitchell passed for 268 yards and a pair of touchdown throws for the Stamps. He found the CFL’s leading receiver Eric Rogers multiple times, for a total 115 receiving yards.
While the Stamps continue to protect their perfect home record to success, the Lions may have found a spark plug going forward. Signed in late August, Chris Rainey scored two touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns. He finished with 334 all-purpose yards, the most in a single game in the CFL this season.
Rainey played college football with the University of Florida, winning the 2008 SEC Championship and the 2009 BCS National Championship. During his career as a Gator, he played in 52 games, compiling 2,464 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns.
Blessed with great speed, Rainey ran a 4.36 second 40-yard dash during the 2012 NFL Combine, and was a 5th round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There is definitely something to build on here for Jeff Tedford’s squad, but it doesn’t get any easier when B.C. faces the Eskimos on the road next Saturday. Edmonton is 2nd in the West Division and boasts a superb record (5-1) at home.