REGINA — Andrew Harris was dominant, registering 203 total yards, while Kevin Glenn rebounded in fine form, as the BC Lions earned their first win of the 2014 season, 26-13 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders
In one of the most impressive outings of his career, Harris carried the ball 18 times for 138 yards and a touchdown, while tacking on five receptions for 65 more yards through the air.
Glenn, meanwhile, completed 16 of his 27 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly, however, he managed to not throw an interception for the first time this season.
Having thrown six interceptions heading into Week 3, Glenn’s focus was on making sure that he gave the Lions ample opportunity to put points on the board early on against a stingy Riders defence.
After a single by Ricky Schmitt, a field goal by Paul McCallum, and some solid work by BC’s defence, Glenn, along with a determined Harris went to work on extending their slim lead late in the opening quarter.
With 24 seconds left until the conclusion of the first frame, Harris broke out for a massive 58-yard romp towards the endzone, giving the Lions an 11-0 lead.
After being shut out in the first quarter the Riders were looking to turn the momentum in their favour.
It wouldn’t take the home team long to answer, as Chris Milo capped off a 10-play drive with a 15-yard field goal to get the Riders on the board.
It proved to be exactly what the Riders needed as the momentum was clearly shifting in their direction, while lady luck seemed to move further away from the visiting Leos.
After being plagued in the last two weeks with dropped passes, the Lions saw the pattern continue in the second quarter.
Despite some good play from Glenn, the receivers were not able to hold on to the ball and the Lions would be forced to punt on their first drive of the quarter.
On their next possession, the Riders continued to find success through the air, with a 36-yard catch by Taj Smith putting them within sight of the endzone.
Harris leads the way
Andrew Harris had just 63 rushing yards on the ground heading into Saturday’s contest, but he turned in a stellar performance against the Roughriders, racking up 203 yards and a TD.
Just as it seemed like the Riders were set to get their first touchdown of the night on a pass to Hugh Charles, Adam Bighill came in to knock the ball loose from Charles preventing a touchdown.
After a challenge that confirmed the call, Milo booted a 10-yard field goal to cut BC’s lead to just five.
The Lions continued to be out-played by the Riders defence in the second quarter, with drives stalling abruptly, and Glenn unable to get on the same page with his receivers.
Saskatchewan continued grabbing momentum, after a 43-yard punt return Marshay Green put the Riders in great field position.
A 19-yard pass to Rob Bagg, followed by a 23-yard run by Charles took deep into BC territory, and set them up for what would prove to be their biggest play of the half.
Sitting at the Lions’ five-yard line, Durant managed to find Smith wide open in the endzone to give Saskatchewan a 13-11 lead.
But when everything seemed to be going their way, a fumble by Charles deep in his own end with just seconds remaining in the half offered the Lions a perfect opportunity to reclaim their lead.
As the half closed out McCallum kicked a 41-yard field goal to give the Lions a 14-13 lead as both teams headed into the locker room in a tight battle.
As the teams came out for the second half, the defences continued shutting down the opposing offences.
A conceded safety was the only scoring play in the third quarter, giving the Lions a 16-13 lead heading into the final frame.
The fourth quarter played out much like the third, until the Lions offence started showing signs of life.
After BC extended their lead to six thanks to a 30-yard field goal by McCallum, the Lions caught a massive break.
On their second possession of the quarter the Lions lined up for a 40-yard field goal, only to see the Riders get flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty, giving the Lions a second chance to add six points on the board.
They did just shortly after, as a 20-yard catch-and-run from Glenn to Courtney Taylor increased BC’s lead to 13 with less than three minutes left in the game.
The Riders tried climbing back into the fight on their next possession but Durant saw his pass intercepted by Josh Johnson, who jumped a route on Rob Bagg for the interception to put the ball back in the hands of Glenn and the Lions.
Next week, the Lions will return home to face the Montreal Alouettes, while the Roughriders will take some time to reflect on their last two games on a bye.