With files from The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER -- The final box score read like so: BC Lions 24, Saskatchewan Roughriders 22.
But while the matinee affair ended in a positive result for the guys wearing Orange and Black, it took a while for momentum to swing in their favour…especially on the offensive side of the ball.
QuarterbackThomas DeMarco’s first career CFL start didn’t start off exactly as he would have hoped.
While he did complete five of his first six passes for a combined gain of 41 yards, DeMarco quickly cooled off, leading the Lions to five-straight two-and-outs before being temporarily yanked in favour of backup Buck Pierce.
This week, he’ll head into another hostile environment in Winnipeg’s Investors Group Field, and knows what he’ll have to do right off the bat.
“Getting off to a good start is always important. I’m getting back out there and getting more reps this week and getting ready for the game. It’s just exciting to be able to get out there and hopefully we can go out there and have a good start,” DeMarco told BCLions.com
“We just got to come out and play our game, we got a great game plan and we have to make sure we execute on offence and stay on the field and help our defence and move the ball down the field and put points on the board,” he added.
While Friday’s clash will be an important one for DeMarco, the tilt is equally significant for his backup, Pierce, who will be making his return to Winnipeg just three weeks after being traded to BC.
But a flu bug going around the BC locker room might make prevent Pierce’s return to Investors Group Field.
Pierce, who is still slated to return to Winnipeg after a trade earlier this month, was sick Wednesday and stayed away from practice.
"It's the first time I've taken this many reps since training camp,'' said backup QB Joey Elliott. "So it was good to actually get back in there.''
Elliott, who was released by the Bombers after last season, is making sure that he is prepared just in case.
"If Buck is down, I'll be ready to go,'' said Elliott. "But with it just a basic cold, Buck should be ready to go, and I know he's really excited to be heading back to Winnipeg.''
Max Hall is slated to get the call for Winnipeg, which has had many struggles at the quarterback position this season. But the Lions are also preparing for Justin Goltz, who started against them at B.C. Place in August.
Head coach Mike Benevides said the team has studied Hall mostly, because he has seen most of the action between the two. But nickleback Korey Banks said it does not matter which quarterback they face.
"We're past that now,'' said Banks. "We're into the point now where we're going to prepare for ourselves. ... If we're on our Ps and Qs, we're gonna win.''
With files from BC Lions.com