It’s a score that’s all too flattering for the Roughriders.
The green and white were utterly outworked by the B.C. Lions throughout the whole game save the last four or so minutes when the game was so out of hand the Riders decided to give Brandon Bridge the ball.
The young Canadian quarterback took full advantage of his opportunity though, putting it in the end zone not once, but twice.
The first, a beautiful 46-yard bomb to Duron Carter in the end zone, and the second a 45 yarder to Naaman Roosevelt who scampered another 28 yards to pay dirt.
A two point convert from Kienan LaFrance – the first we’ve seen of him this season – gave the Riders 15 points with one minute and 21 seconds left in the game.
Too little too late, but it salvaged some dignity.
“(Bridge) did a great job moving around in the pocket. The element of him being able to move is what makes him dangerous,” said head coach Chris Jones, but noted the Lions were not playing their top defensive game at that point.
“I’ve been in that situation 100 times myself where you’re not going to sit there and blitz the guy, you’re not calling the normal game.”
The game was all Travis Lulay’s. Making his third straight start in relief of an injured Jonathan Jennings he threw for 338 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 36 yards.
He mastered drive after drive down the field, buoyed by long bomb after long bomb.
Defensive back Jovon Johnson said there was nothing for him to assess about this game. The defence just didn’t play well.
“They had 500 yards offence,” Johnson sighed. “Basically they came out, they were the better football team and they took it to us and we got to be better.”
“There’s not really a reason for why it happens, it just happens. You give up one play and you give up another play and it’s a domino effect.”
After the Lions first drive ended in a field goal, the Riders managed a couple of first downs before the Lions defence sacked Kevin Glenn on second down leaving them out of field goal range.
On the next drive, the Lions settled for a field goal again, but that was after Lulay hit Chris Williams with a 49-yard pass to set it up. Those types of passes were littered in the B.C. offence all night.
The Roughriders’ next drive was stalled by a penalty by Derek Dennis and Josh Bartel was sent out for second of seven punts.
With the ball back with the B.C. offence again Lulay connected with Emmanuel Arceneaux and Bryan Burnham for 26 and 35 yards respectively. The Lions completed their drive to the end zone on the first play of the second quarter when Burnham collected a 13-yard pass in the endzone.
On the next drive, Glenn marched the offence 61 yards down the field only to be intercepted on the B.C. 13-yard line by Anthony Thompson. It was the first of two interceptions for Glenn who also had a tipped ball to Cameron Marshall land in the hands of Chandler Fenner at the start of the fourth quarter.
Glenn was at a loss when asked to explain what happened to the offence.
“I don’t have a clue on this one,” he said. “We moved the ball, but we just came up with a turnover or we were pushed back on second and long and then they played pretty good defence on second and long and we couldn’t get anything going … in the red zone we came up with nothing.”
Glenn did get enough yards for another big career milestone, however. The quarterback moved to sixth overall in CFL career yards, beating Ron Lancaster. His final line Saturday night was 19 of 27 for 186 yards.
“It’s cool (but) it’s tough. You pass another milestone as an individual and you lose. I want to win games as well as have the individual accolades,” Glenn said.
In the end, the Lions were unable to take advantage of that Thompson interception and settled for a rouge that put them up 15-0. B.C. tacked on another field goal before halftime and gave themselves an 18-0 lead as the teams headed to the locker room.
The third quarter didn’t go much better for the Roughriders. The offence managed a couple of first downs but wasn’t even able to get into field goal range. Meanwhile, the Lions upped their lead to 22-0.
A crazy start to the fourth quarter saw the Lions and Riders trade fumbles, but the ball still ended back in the hands of the Lions when it was over.
First, Bakari Grant was stripped of the ball by Steven Clark and it was scooped up by Loucheiz Purifoy.
On the very next play, the Henoc Muamba forced a fumble which was grabbed by Mike Edem, but the next play was when Fenner got his interception and the Riders lost the ball all over again.
The Lions converted their turnover into touchdown courtesy of Burnham, extending their lead to 29-0.
A quick two and out saw the end of Glenn and Marshall’s nights in favour of Bridge and LaFrance who took over with about four minutes left to play.
Bridge went 6 for 6 for 114 yards and two touchdowns as the time ticked down on the game.
“It was very reminiscent of the Calgary game. We play a very good football team in their building … we just got to do a better job early in the game. That’s three weeks in a row we dropped behind early and had to come back and you can’t keep doing that,” Jones said.
The Roughriders will have a little more than a week to regroup before they play B.C. again, this time at home, on Sunday, Aug. 13.
“We still got a little bit of growth to do,” said Muamba. “But the positive is we still got next week so we’re going to take it one game at a time.”
ODDS AND ENDZONES
- Duron Carter was the Riders top receiver with 5 receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown
- Naaman Roosevelt was not far behind with 3 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown
- Bryan Burnham was B.C.’s top receiver hitting 131 yards and a touchdown
- Samuel Eguavoen – who saw his first start Saturday at Sam linebacker – lead the team in defensive tackles with six.
- Henoc Muamba had four defensive tackles and a forced fumble.
- Willie Jefferson got the Riders only sack of the night.