Game Pix Take | S 29 SSK 34

They almost pulled off an amazing fourth quarter comeback in a hostile environment, but it wasn’t to be as the BC Lions fell to 7-3-0 with a 34-29 rout at the hands of the 5-5-0 Saskatchewan Roughriders on a stormy night at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium. With the loss, the Lions fell to second place in the Western Division, two points behind the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Now some games take after a wild and bizarre affair.

Come back kids come a little

Four turnovers and two big completions by Saskatchewan quarterback Jake Duligala were the catalysts as the home side jumped out to a 31-13 lead with just ten minutes to play. Vernon Adams Jr. and the Visitors refused to say death as the Lions’ pivot, fighting hard despite missing a series before halftime after looking down his leg, resulting in long scoring attempts that led to touchdowns from Keon Hatcher and Lucky Whitehead to get it. within five.

Then with a chance to take the lead with less than three minutes to play, Adams Jr. just missed Hatcher stretched into the corner of the end zone before settling for a Shaun White field goal. It was as close as they could come when they sacked Adams Jr. on third down on their next chance before a Brett Luther goal clinched the goal.

Adams Jr. was a star for the most part, finishing with 455 passing yards and three touchdown passes against one interception.

“It’s tough or rough. We fought hard, but I can’t go too late,” the quarterback said after the loss.

“It hurts, man. You hear the locker room, we’re feeling down. We’re all brothers, man, and we’re going back to work. I can’t start too late. We start early, at halftime, giving ourselves a better chance.”

I’m proud of the way he (Adams) fought to the end, and I’m glad our team fought to the end. We almost made it and came up short,” added coach Rick Campbell.

As for digging the big hole for themselves, Campbell gave the opponent full credit.

“They were playing more than we were, especially in the first half and then we had to fight our way back into the game, which we did,” the coach explained.

“In this league you have to play good football for 60 minutes in order to beat people. I think today we showed signs of playing good football but we didn’t get it through the full 60 minutes and they beat us.

Adams Jr. added, “It’s never over until it’s over. We had a chance there at the end. I missed a couple of throws, on that sack, I probably could have missed or something. It was tough.”

Defense promises to be better

They weren’t helped by a couple of short fields for Dolegala and the Riders to work through, but this Lions defense had some difficulty getting off the field and may have been a bit unlucky after failing to draw some balls that could have been intercepted. Dolegala finished 18/29 for 239 yards and three touchdowns while also being backed up by two circus catches by his receivers.

Mathieu Betts had Leos’ lone sack and is ready to improve the unit, just as they have in every loss this season.

“I’m excited for next week, we’ve been talking a lot about playing western opponents for five weeks in a row. We’re playing against a new opponent in Hamilton, I watched their game on Thursday. For us it will be about righting the mistake we made in this game and going out and playing well in BC Bliss next Saturday.”

Bates also endured adversity, returning from a finger injury in the late stages. The defensive line was cut short for much of the night after Nathan Cherry injured his left knee early on. It will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Vancouver.

Key numbers

455- Season high in passing for Adams Jr. in a valiant comeback attempt.

161- It was a career high in receiving yards for Hollins who scored the first Lion Major in the second quarter to give them a 10-7 lead.

122- Whitehead’s season best with his late arrival on a 78-yard touchdown before he was stopped by Dom Davis on the two-point attempt that would have made it a three-point game.

465- Black net attack in this.

17- The Raiders totaled more than the four points they forced in an insane opening half: They gained a touchdown after an Adams Jr. fumble on the opening series, a 53-yard Luther field goal after an interception by Jeremy Clarke and a Terry Williams fumble touchdown on a late second quarter penalty return.


The team came home for the mile with the 3-6-0 Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday from World Vision. The ride begins at Save-On-Foods Field at BC Place at 4:00 p.m. Join us for SuperHero Night as we salute the first responders and armed forces. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased here.

Matt Baker: