BC Lions extend Riders losing streak to four
The Saskatchewan Roughriders continued their losing slide against the BC Lions falling 33-26 Friday night, marking their fourth consecutive loss of the year.
The Riders had a similar look last week when they tried to make a lake fourth quarter comeback but fell short. The team scored two touchdowns in under two minutes to go in the game but their late successful drives were not enough once again this week.
“We didn’t score enough points to come out with a win at the end of the game, despite putting a couple of plays and drives together. That’s something we need to be doing for all four quarters of the football game,” said receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker.
“My job is to score one more point than them, we didn’t do that tonight. It’s frustrating when you’re that close. We know we can beat this team, we know we can hang with this team. We can’t keep doing this ‘too little too late’ nonsense,” said quarterback, Jake Dolegala.
“We have our moments but we haven’t been able to put together 60 minutes. We play well at times but we make mistakes at critical times and allow teams to score too easily,” said Craig Dickenson, head coach.
The Lions did not take long to get on the board with a 13-yard field goal to make it 3-0 just over three minutes into the game.
Saskatchewan was 0-3 on second down conversions in their first three possessions but a 67 yard punt from Adam Kosak resulted in a single to make it 3-1 with 5:46 to go in the first quarter.
With 2:20 left in the quarter, the Riders’ defense forced the Lions to settle for another field goal on their possession to make it a 6-1 ball game.
After one quarter the Riders had only 25 passing yards compared to the Lions 181.
BC continued to ride the field goal train as their first possession of the second quarter landed them another three points to make it 9-1 with just over 13 minutes to go.
The Riders’ offense began to make some strides in the second quarter after a 20 yard gain from Frankie Hickson then 30 yards from Shawn Bane Jr. on back to back plays.
On the same drive Sam Emilus made a massive catch for 32 yards to put the team in first and goal position. Short yardage quarterback, Antonio Pipkin, successfully made his way into the end zone for the Riders first touchdown of the game. After a successful extra point, they cut BC’s lead to one. It was now a 9-8 game with just under four minutes to go until half time.
Lions kicker, Sean Whyte, continued to be a powerhouse for his team’s scoring as he knocked back a 50 yard field goal with 2:08 to go. He was 4/4 on the night so far. BC now had a 12-8 lead over Saskatchewan.
Brett Lauther then matched Whyte’s accuracy on Saskatchewan’s side of the ball with a successful 48 yard field goal. It was back to a one point difference. But that slim margin did not last long as the Lions finally found some success on the touchdown front. Vernon Adams Jr. landed a deep pass to Keon Hatcher for a 34 yard touchdown. After the extra point the Lions now deepened their lead to make 19-11 heading into the half.
“There’s three or four plays each game that if you make them you have a chance to win and if you don’t you lose. I thought that touchdown before the half gave them momentum and took momentum away from us,” said Dickenson.
After two quarters the Riders had 167 passing yards and just 12 rushing yards. The Lions recorded 276 passing yards and 28 rushing yards.
A 71 yard touchdown from BC wide receiver Alexander Hollins opened the scoring in the second half. The extra point was good for the Lions to go up 26-11 with a little over seven minutes to go in the third quarter.
Another BC touchdown and extra point made it a 22 point ball game as the Lions now lead 33-11 in the dying seconds of the third quarter.
After three quarters the Lions had 422 passing yards compared to the Riders 183.
“He’s (Vernon Adams Jr.) a good football player. If you don’t play really well he can hurt you. I have to give him credit,” said Dickenson on BC’s quarterback’s performance.
Saskatchewan had a lot of ground to make up in the fourth quarter and the uphill battle continued for the team as Lauther missed a 32 yard field goal. It was now 33-12 with under 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The hopes of any form of a comeback were slowly diminishing for the Riders as they were on a potential scoring drive that was intercepted in the endzone by TJ Lee with 4:44 to go. The turnover marked the team’s second of the night.
Saskatchewan’s only touchdown in the second came from running back Thomas Bertran-Hudon with 1:19 to go in the game. The TD marked Bertrand-Hudon’s first in the Canadian Football League. (CFL) It was now 33-19 for the Lions.
The Riders attempted an onside kick following the scoring plat and successfully got the ball back with 1:13 to go. Saskatchewan did prove they would not go down without a fight as Kian Schaffer-Baker hauled it in for yet another touchdown, however BC challenged for offensive pass interference and after review the play had to go again. Bertrand-Hudon once again scored and with the extra point it was 33-26 with 10 seconds remaining.
The Riders were not successful on their second onside kick attempt. 33-26 final. Dolegala threw for 409 yards on the night.
Saskatchewan now falls to 6-9 on the season.The team started the season 4-3, since then have fallen to 2-6.
“No one likes losing, I hate it especially. But you can’t dwell on it and beat yourself up over it. There’s no such thing as a loss, there’s lessons from it. So we’re going to be right back into it the next game, learning from our mistakes and how we can get better,” said Schaffer-Baker.
“We have to start finding some confidence. We knew this was a good opponent, but they’re beatable. We’re going to see them here in a couple of weeks, I have a good feeling about that,” said Dolegale referring to the potential west semi-final matchup against the Lions.
Saskatchewan will face Hamilton at home next week.
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