September 30, 2023

Adams Jr. throws for CFL season high as Lions win

Jimmy Jeong/

VANCOUVER — Vernon Adams Jr. continues to find ways to put up numbers, and wins, in 2023.

The BC Lions starting quarterback completed 27 of 36 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns in the 33-26 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders at the BC Place on Friday.

That’s three more than the 455 yards he had in Week 11 against these same Roughriders and more than any other quarterback had in the CFL this season.

More important than the yardage total was the fact that the pivot didn’t commit a single turnover after tallying five total giveaways over the past two weeks.

“This week my accuracy was a big focus for me,” said the veteran after the game. “These last two games I threw five interceptions together. I was going to the right person but my accuracy was just missing and at practice this week I was really focused on that.”

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His focus paid off as the Lions cruised to a 33-12 lead in the second half before two late scores by the Riders completed the final score. Two beneficiaries of the quarterback’s pristine accuracy on Friday were receivers Keon Hatcher with 10 catches, 172 yards and a score and Alexander Hollins with three catches for 83 yards and two majors.

A strong group of receivers got even stronger with the return of veteran pass-catcher Dominique Rhymes who added 92 yards on five receptions in his first game back in the lineup since Week 9.

“(Dominique Rhymes) is one of the guys who stuck with me through thick and thin,” said Adams Jr. “He has always been there for me. He’s a great energy to the team, a great leader for us. When it’s him versus someone else one on one I expect him to go get it.”

The veteran quarterback has put up numbers in his first full season as the starter for BC that have put him in the conversation for Most Outstanding Player.

Adams Jr. could add to that resume next week when he faces another candidate for the award in Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros.

“I want to win a championship, that’s the most important thing,” said the pivot, who went on to praise his opponent ahead of their upcoming matchup. “(Collaros) is on another level.”

If it’s up to one of his favourite targets, Adams Jr. and his arsenal of long touchdown passes will eventually get him the recognition.

“Big-play V.A.,” said Hatcher when asked who he would vote for if he had the chance. “Nobody else is ‘big play’ for a reason. But you have to finish it out.  I feel like if we finish it out, (Adams Jr.) continues to do what he does, everything will fall into place.”

The big-play quarterback and his arsenal of receivers will stay home in Week 18 to face the Blue Bombers on Friday, October 6, as both teams battle for first place in the West Division.

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