B.C. Lions slowed by penalties in win over Saskatchewan Roughriders

The B.C. Lions are on top of the West in the CFL, but a chance to show off their high-flying offence was grounded by penalties and an injury to their starting quarterback on Saturday.

The Lions (5-1) knocked off the Saskatchewan Roughriders 19-9 as both teams committed a number of fouls and offensive miscues.

B.C. starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. went off injured in the first quarter after Roughriders defensive end Pete Robertson found space around the outside to bring him down with an awkward tackle.

Adams later tried to use the recumbent bike on the sideline to assess his fitness to return but immediately got off.

Backup quarterback Dane Evans came in led the Lions to a touchdown on an 84-yard first drive. It was his first touchdown of the season.

“You never want to see a leader of the team go down like that,” he said. “When you come into that situation, it’s hard. I just try to make positive plays. Thankfully we strung together enough plays to get a win.”

Lions head coach Rick Campbell said he didn’t have a definitive timeline of how long Adams would be out for, adding he was waiting on an assessment first.

Neither team dominated on offence with the Riders finishing with 283 yards, while the Lions (5-1) had 231 as penalties and interceptions derailed many attempts to move the ball forward.

“It was a momentum killer. We were having great productive plays on first down and then we had to walk backwards. I don’t want to say it was deflating but it sucks,” said Evans. “But when it mattered we put it together.”

Campbell agreed, saying it wasn’t the prettiest of wins rather it was a “grind it out” style of win. In fact, it was the Lions first win at home against the Green and White in six games.

“Both defences were playing really well. We made some timely plays when they needed to be made,” he said.

He acknowledged the miscues on offence as well as the amount of penalties conceded — the Lions had seven penalties for 66 yards, while the Riders had six for 56 — but said he saw positives.

“My message to the team is I’m really proud of them. We’ve beaten every Western team. That’s my message,” Campbell said.

Saskatchewan’s Mason Fine finished 32-for-41 with two interceptions in his first start of the season.

“I think there’s a lot of plays he’d like to have back. I think it was fast for him,” said Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson. “It was a tough first game playing against arguably the best defence in league.”

That tag of “best defence,” is hard-earned says Lions cornerback Garry Peters.

“It’s not something that just started. We’ve been building this for years,” he said.

The Lions led 7-3 at halftime and took a 10-6 lead into the final quarter.


Saskatchewan travels to Halifax, N.S., to take on the unbeaten Argonauts (5-0) on July 29 in the Touchdown Atlantic game, while B.C. takes on the winless Elks (0-7) on the same day in Edmonton.

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