June 9, 2023

Adams Jr., Lions show their teeth to open ’23 CFL season

Dave Chidley/CFL.ca

CALGARY — Vernon Adams Jr. and the BC Lions offence picked things up right where they left off.

The veteran quarterback scored three touchdowns and showed the league their offence remains just as dangerous as last year as the Lions beat the Calgary Stampeders 25-15 on Thursday at McMahon Stadium to open the 2023 CFL season .

Adams Jr. completed 27 of 35 passes for 270 yards and two passing touchdowns, adding 35 yards and another score on the ground.

“We were prepared,” said the 30-year-old to TSN’s Farhan Lalji. “We had a great week, defence held up their end of the bargain and did a great job.”

» Box Score: Lions, Stamps by the numbers
» Rhymes, Adams Jr. lead Lions to opening night win over Stamps
» Gallery: Lions at Stamps images

Wide receiver Dominique Rhymes finished with eight catches for 100 yards and two touchdown catches and fellow pass catcher Alexander Hollins had 85 yards on six receptions.

It was a total team effort for BC, who also got a big contribution from first-year running back Taquan Mizzell with 81 rushing yards and another 12 through the air.

“My guy (Mizzell) did his thing,” added Adams Jr. “He was good in protection, ran well, good out of the backfield, I’m very excited for him.”


Despite a fast start by the offence, it was the Leos’ defence that dominated consistently throughout the game, holding quarterback Jake Maier to 160 yards, a touchdown and an interception. More importantly, BC kept star-running back Ka’Deem Carey in check, allowing only 42 yards on seven rushes.

That meant Adams Jr. and the offence had the opportunity to keep the clock going late in the game to prevent Calgary from putting together a comeback, and that they did.

“Yes we just got to give our defence some rest,” said the quarterback about the last drive of the game that sealed the win. “Like I said they held up their end of the bargain. I have to move the ball more, get these guys the ball, take some time off the clock, flip the field, get some points.”

It is the second game in a row that the quarterback scores three touchdowns against the Calgary Stampeders, having matched that feat in preseason a week ago.

The veteran signal-caller knows, however, that it’s just the beginning of a long season ahead.

“Just want to keep getting better. It’s one game,” Adams Jr. told reporters after the game. “We have to watch the film and get better from it and I think we will.”

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