June 23, 2023

Defence steps up for Lions against Bombers in West Division battle

The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — The BC Lions defence doesn’t shy away from a challenge.

Tasked with stopping the hottest offence in the CFL after two weeks in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Lions stepped up and held them to two field goals in a 30-6 win at IG Field on Thursday.

The dominant defensive performance had BC registering seven sacks on Zach Collaros and a Bombers offence that were coming off two explosive performances against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders in the first two weeks.

Defensive lineman Mathieu Betts led the team with three sacks in yet another disruptive performance.

Quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. led the offence to 30 points as the Lions improved to 3-0 for the second consecutive year.

» Depth Chart: BC | WPG
» Box Score: Lions, Bombers by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Lions at Bombers
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» Lions get elusive road win over Bombers on Thursday

Defensive lineman Mathieu Betts now has four sacks in the last two games for the Lions (Daniel Crump/

Defensive back T.J. Lee said his team treated this game like any other matchup, knowing it’s only Week 3 and there is a lot of football left to play.

“We stepped into it normally against these guys,” Lee told TSN’s John Lu. “We got three games against them. We came ready to battle and this is only one game.”

The Bombers came in bolstering a five-year undefeated streak at home against West Division teams, having lost their last one in 2018 to the Riders.

Despite the Lions treating the game like a normal matchup, they knew this was a highly anticipated battle between the two teams at the top of the West Division standings.

“That was our biggest test,” said the veteran.

Collaros and the Bombers scored 87 points in Weeks 1 and 2 with a lethal aerial attack that features wide receivers Dalton Schoen, Nic Demski and Drew Wolitarsky.

The Lions were aware of the numbers and all that firepower before taking the field in Winnipeg.

“I’m pretty sure they averaged 43 points going into this game and we kept them to six,” said the defensive back. “We kept them out of the end zone for the most part.”

BC on the other hand has allowed only 21 points in three games so far this season, including a shutout against the Edmonton Elks in Week 2.

That fierce defence and the rest of the Lions squad now travel to Toronto to face the Argonauts on July 3 at BMO Field in Week 4.

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