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Sunday, August 26, 2018

FAMOSO RECAP: ROUGHRIDERS 24 LIONS 21

Photo: CFL.ca/Jimmy Jeong
VANCOUVER - The B.C. Lions know they're facing an uphill slog in the second half of the season after dropping yet another close game.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-4) squeezed out a 24-21 win Saturday night, handing the Leos (3-6) their first home loss of the season.

Riders quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 215 yards, while B.C.'s Travis Lulay put up 231.

But offensive missteps continue to plague the Lions. Head coach Wally Buono said he was disappointed with the number of balls his team dropped.

"You've got to catch balls to continue drives, you've got to catch balls to create plays, you've got to got catch balls to score touchdowns. You can't just kick field goals,'' he said.

B.C. kicker Ty Long opened the scoring with a 20-yard field goal less than three minutes in.

It was the first of five he made throughout the game, including a 48-yard kick in the final minute of the first half.

Buono noted that if one of those field goals had been a touchdown, the Lions could have walked away with a much-needed win.

"It is what it is. We've created this situation the way that it is. We had high hopes for our offence, but at the end of it, it's not scored enough points, it's not taken advantage of enough opportunities and it's created too many miscues,'' he said.

The coach hinted that some roster adjustments may be in the works, saying he'll sit down with Lions general manager Ed Hervey in the coming days to talk about players.

"When you can't make plays, you must not have the right guys,'' Buono said.

Riders coach Chris Jones said his team also has room to improve, despite Saturday's win.

"Nothing was perfect, certainly. We gave up a couple of big plays defensively that resulted in points. We gave up a kick-off return that gave up points. And offensively we stubbed our toe there in the middle of the game,'' he said.

The victory marks Saskatchewan's second win in a row. Last week they handed Calgary its first loss of the season.

A pair of wins boost the team's confidence, but there's still work to be done heading into next week's match up with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Jones said.

"We've put ourselves in a position where it's much more favourable now,'' he said. "But Winnipeg's a dangerous football team. They're very explosive, have a lot of trick plays. ... So we've got our hands full in a week here.''

The Lions have a bye next week and won't play again until Sept. 7 when they host the Redblacks.

Lulay said his team needs to use the break to ``take a deep breath during the bye week and figure out how to win games in the fourth quarter.''

Last week the Lions dropped a 24-23 decision in Toronto, despite being up by 10 in the third quarter.

The losses are tough, but the team should take confidence from the close games and not dwell going into the final nine games of the season, Lulay said.

"The back half of the season, we've got to scratch and claw and fight like heck to give ourselves an opportunity,'' he said.

"We're 3-6. It's not where we hoped to be or expected to be at the halfway point. But the second half of the season is what you make it.''

B.C.'s kicker, Long, is hoping his team can get on a run after the bye week.

"We just need to sharpen up a few things in all areas,'' he said.

"We're close. That's the thing that's a little frustrating for all of us. We're close to figuring it out and we're close to winning all of these games. We just need to put it together.''

But is there still time to atone for the Lions sloppy start to the season?

"It's the CFL, anything's possible,'' he said.

NOTES: Lions slotback Manny Arceneaux went down with an apparent knee injury in the second quarter and didn't return to the game ... Attendance at B.C. Place was 22,873, including a healthy dose of vocal Roughriders fans ... The Lions and Riders have now played 21 games since 2011, with B.C. winning 14.

POSTGAME COMMENTS FROM CHRIS JONES

- A lotta heart in that locker room right there. They've played together a lot and there's tremendous character in that room. They're a joy to be around.

- They only scored 21 points. I don't know what they had at halftime. We played a lot of 9-man drop zone and made him throw it underneath. We made 'em punt a lot. I think they only got a field goal in the second half.

- You've gotta play solid football on the road. We hit a skid in the 2nd and 3rd quarter offensively, but that big return resulted in a field goal. We won't be able to weather that every week so we'll have to shore that up.

- Tre is explosive, first of all. He's a young guy with a lot of pop in his legs. Late in the game, he looked like the freshest guy on the field.

- Anytime you can play in the Labour Day Classic, it's one of the biggest games of the year. They've got a great team over there with a lot of great players and are well-coached. We'll have our hands full.

RP
@rodpedersen

(With files from the Canadian Press)

10 comments:

Scott Thompson said...

Big win in a place we don’t win often! Defense and special teams were outstanding. Still need more touchdown on offense, but it was enough for a win. We’re really rollin’! Go Riders!

Lok said...

Tough to win on the road. Big win for the Riders.

Dennis Campbell said...

Tough battle out there, nice to be on the wining side. now go kick some bomber a$$.

Helix said...

Another big defensive battle won by the Riders! Love it, look out Loserpeg you’re next!

Bill Wilkinson said...

Winning big western road games is always a sign of a good team.

John Waynes Holster said...

Hold on a minute there Bubba louie. We are starting to see chinks in the armour and the old Zac Collaros is starting to rear his head. He is not lighting up the games, is not going to win many games for the Riders. When D starts to doing a little less than they are we are going to be in trouble. This offense will not lead us to Elvis.

3RD and 1 said...

Although the game was hard to take at times. That tackle by Webster coming all the way across the field on kick returner Rainey after he had made all the coverage on the Riders right side of the kick look inadequate was basically a game saving tackle.
Also Collaros, no more INTs in the 4th Qtr. It’s great that we have a solid defence.
The rivalry we have with the Winnipeg fans is awesome. Instead of calling names on here to our rival fan base. Maybe if one side starts showing respect. To the other with as little as stoping the name calling.
Also getting rid of Banjo Bowl name. I lived in Vancouver for 7 years and they think it’s ridiculously hilarious that both Manitoba and SK agree to call themselves basically inbred Mongoloids. How about the Labour Day back to back series.

Football Fan said...

Big win. Good game by the D and ST. O did enough, but will need to do more against Winnipeg. Did everyone see Crezdon Butler run down Chris Rainey?! Rainey ran a 4.37 40 at the NFL combine and has long had a rep as one of the fastest guys in the CFL, but Crezdon Butler RAN HIM DOWN FROM BEHIND! I had no idea Butler was that fast!

Ted S said...

Mongoloids?? Get some manners. That’s an offensive term that was used 40 years ago to describe mentally handicapped people. Get with the 1990’s!. And who in Vancouver gives a crap about the CFL? 22,000 is season high attendance?

SWC said...

@ 3rd and one;
Who gives a crap what the folks in Vancouver think?
I like the name 'Banjo Bowl'. If you can't have fun with something like that then you're no fun at all.
It's the first game of the back to back that's misnamed.
It's called 'The Labour Day Classic' and it's played the day before Labour Day.
See what you can do about that.