The good news for the B.C. Lions last week was that they clinched a CFL playoff berth without having to win a game.
The bad news was they lost decisively at home to the Calgary Stampeders, a potential playoff opponent, and were reminded again how much they miss quarterback Nathan Rourke.
Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
Thanks for signing up!
A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.
The next issue of NP Posted will soon be in your inbox.
B.C. will try to get back into the win column when it hosts the struggling Ottawa Redblacks, a team that would love to have the Lions’ issues right now, Friday night in Vancouver.
B.C. (9-4) wrapped up its first postseason spot since 2018 when Ottawa and Hamilton lost. But with Rourke (foot sprain) still out of the lineup, the Lions were spanked 25-11 and didn’t score a touchdown until garbage time.
Rourke’s replacement, Vernon Adams, was brilliant the week before when B.C. won in Calgary. He absorbed five sacks in the rematch and completed 12 of 24 passes for 151 yards before being taken out late in the game.
But coach Rick Campbell said Adams, who guided Montreal to a playoff appearance last year, remains his quarterback with Rourke on the shelf.
“He’s proven we can win games with him,” Campbell said. “We wanted to keep going with him.”
While Campbell vows to maintain the temporary status quo for B.C., Ottawa’s quarterback quandary continued last week in a 45-15 drumming at Toronto’s hands. Nick Arbuckle and Caleb Evans combined to toss five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Two others were converted into touchdowns and the fifth became a field goal.
At 3-10, the Redblacks would be on the clock for the first overall pick in the CFL Draft if the season ended now.
“Every time we started to do something, there would be a critical error,” Ottawa coach Paul LaPolice said. “We didn’t perform close to our standards. I’m disappointed. We’re a frustrated bunch.”
This will be the second meeting of the Lions and Redblacks this year. B.C. won 34-31 on June 30 in Ottawa as Rourke accounted for 446 total yards, 359 through the air.
–Field Level Media
Check out our sports section for the latest news and analysis. Care for a wager? Head to our sports betting section for news and odds.