The B.C. Lions opened their Canadian Soccer League season in dramatic vogue Saturday, trouncing the listless Edmonton Elks 59-15.
Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke proved he’s prepared for the starter’s spot, connecting on 26 of 29 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. The Victoria, B.C., native added two extra dashing TDs. Backup Michael O’Connor got here in late for the Lions and added a dashing landing of his personal.
James Butler was a drive for the Lions (1-0) with 4 TDs, together with one on a 21-yard run. Keon Hatcher additionally hauled in a serious for the house aspect and Sean Whyte added a late 13-yard area objective.
Edmonton QB Nick Arbuckle struggled, connecting on 20 of 29 makes an attempt for 254 yards and three interceptions. The previous Toronto Argonaut was sacked thrice, all by Lions’ rookie defensive lineman Sione Teuhema.
Tre Ford made an look below centre for the Elks (0-1) late within the second quarter and registered eight passing yards and an interception.
Kai Locksley notched Edmonton’s lone landing of the night time, and kicker Sergio Castillo related for 3 area objectives, together with a 37-yard strike.
The Lions dominated from the very starting, opening the sport with a near-perfect nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive.
Rourke _ who takes over the No. 1 spot from retired QB Michael Reilly _ had ample time to search out his targets and completed the collection with a brief toss to Butler, who darted 10 yards into the top zone for his first main of the sport. Whyte added an additional level and the Lions took a 7-0 lead lower than 5 minutes in.
The Elks responded with 35-yard area objective by Castillo.
Lee arrange the subsequent drive of the night time, selecting off an Arbuckle move supposed for Elks vast receiver Jalin Marshall at B.C.’s 50-yard line.
Rourke and the Lions labored the ball up the sphere and Butler escaped site visitors to streak 36 yards into the top zone for an additional TD. The additional level from Whyte gave B.C. a 14-3 cushion heading into the second quarter.
Castillo minimize the benefit to 14-6 with a 37-yard area objective to open the second body, however the Lions maintained their stranglehold on the sport.
Rourke delivered an enormous toss early within the quarter, sending a 31-yard bomb to Hatcher close to the far sideline. The younger QB adopted the play up by scrambling out of the pocket for an 11-yard rush, then dished the ball to Butler on the subsequent play. The Iowa product evaded the Elks’ defence and sprinted 21 yards into the top zone for his third TD of the night time.
Butler recorded his fourth main earlier than halftime, dashing six yards to place B.C. up 28-6.
Rourke briefly appeared to chalk up an enormous dashing landing however the play was referred to as out of bounds. As a substitute, he settled for a two-yard sneak on a 3rd down that elevated the Lions’ result in 35-6.
After seeing Arbuckle sacked by Teuhema and and not using a landing on the scoreboard, the Elks opted to carry on Canadian Tre Ford at quarterback to shut out the second quarter.
With lower than a minute to go within the half, Lee dove to select off a move from Ford to receiver Mike Jones. The veteran Lions defensive again rolled, then sprinted 48 yards down the sphere and leapt into the top zone with a ahead roll. His landing was shortly referred to as off, with officers ruling the ball was useless at Edmonton’s 42-yard line.
However the play arrange yet one more scoring drive for B.C., with Rourke discovering Hatcher on the objective line with a six-yard move. As he was being hauled to the bottom, Hatcher stretched out and touched the ball into the top zone, marking the fourth consecutive TD drive for the house aspect.
The Lions took a 42-6 lead into the locker room, tying a franchise file set in 1981 for many factors scored in a half.
Arbuckle returned at quarterback for the Elks to begin the third, a transfer that gave Edmonton some early momentum.
Simply over 4 minutes into the quarter, Locksley accomplished a one-yard quarterback sneak to provide the Elks their solely landing of the sport. Edmonton went for the two-point convert, however Arbuckle’s move to Jones fell incomplete.
The Elks tried to construct on the scoring drive, pushing steadily down the sphere on their subsequent possession earlier than Teuhema as soon as once more sacked Arbuckle, this time for a nine-yard loss. Edmonton settled for a 30-yard area objective and whittled its deficit to 42-15.
Rourke boosted the house aspect’s lead with a 17-yard dashing TD and Teuhema closed out the quarter together with his third sack of the sport.
Whyte gave the Lions a 52-15 benefit with a 13-yard area objective late within the fourth quarter earlier than the Lions took yet one more chew out of the Elks’ offence.
With simply over three minutes left within the sport, B.C.’s Loucheiz Purifoy leapt up and picked off Arbuckle’s move, then raced 40 yards, deep into Edmonton territory to arrange one other Lions scoring drive.
O’Connor muscled the ball over for a TD, sealing the rating at 59-15.
Edmonton will host the Saskatchewan Roughriders subsequent Saturday. The Lions have a bye week and shall be again on June 25 after they entertain the Toronto Argonauts.
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