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December 9, 2021

Clean BC ⚡️ Charged Up Plays of the Year ⚡️

Before the 2021 CFL season officially wraps up this Sunday, let’s look back on five outstanding plays from the Lions offence, defence and special teams. Below, cast your vote for the Charged Up play of the year.

In a rollercoaster 2021 BC Lions season, there were some glimpses of phenomenal plays from several electrifying playmakers on both sides of the ball. Although the rest of the league are aware of Lucky Whitehead’s breakaway speed as a return specialist, no one expected him to put up a MOP type of performance at the beginning of the season other than himself. On the other hand, there’s is a lot of hope in the young Canadian quarterback, Nathan Rourke’s ability to lead this team in the future. Rourke showed off his talent with the amount of playing time he received this season. Even though many were eager to see him taking more snaps under center, his time will come — eventually.

On the defensive side, a few rookies surfaced to the spotlight like linebacker Jordan Williams, defensive backs like KiAnte Hardin and Jalen Edwards-Cooper. Williams, the sideline-to-sideline tackling machine could be on his way to becoming the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2021. He and veteran Bo Lokombo are a pair that can’t be separated in years to come. And the secondary was led by T.J. Lee, who once again finished the season with four interceptions. He was accompanied by Hardin and Edwards-Cooper who are also ball-hawks themselves.

Bryan Burnham leaping score

This guy has countless highlight reels in his CFL career. This one is just as good as any other catches. In a hostile Saskatchewan crowd, the Lions tried to climb back from a double-digit deficit. It didn’t matter whether Michael Reilly or Nathan Rourke was under center, the offence was solely focusing on scoring while trailing 33-23 in the 4th quarter. Before Burnham’s spectacular touchdown grab, Rourke lasered two completions each to Dominique Rhymes and Burnham. With 1:41 on the game clock and Burnham with the hot hands, Rourke delivered a throw where only Burnham could catch.

KiAnte Hardin’s First-CFL INT

It happened on a night where the Lions defence went all out on the field by forcing Bo Levi Mitchell to throw four interceptions. With the Stampeders trailing 15-6 in the 4th quarter with 11:27 left on the game clock, Calgary began their drive with completions from Mitchell to Josh Huff, Kamar Jorden and Ante Milanovic-Litre. It was perceived to be a promising offensive drive from the Stampeders, until an offside penalty that pushed the sticks back to 2nd & 11. on the following play, Mitchell stepped out of the pocket and took a shot at the end zone, but great communications from the Lions’ secondary led to Hardin’s beautiful interception.

An all-around special teams effort: Lucky 119-yard field goal return

While the Lions were already up by two scores in the second quarter against the Ottawa REDBLACKS at home, a missed field goal gave Lucky Whitehead a chance to show off his speed. The guys in orange and black sealed off the left hash to the boundary for Whitehead. Lucky then made one cut to the left and turned on the jet while every other Lion stayed on their blocks and made way for Whitehead. Bo Lokombo did the extra work taking out two Ottawa players and it was daylight for Whitehead within orange and blacks surrounded by him.

Shaq Johnson 53-yard bobble catch

How do the Lions respond while being down 10-0 in Toronto? A sensational catch in front of the Argos bench should pick the rest of the team-up. Michael Reilly looked to Shaq Johnson earlier in the first quarter but was taken away by Argos’ Jeff Richards. But Reilly came right back to Johnson a few possessions later. Johnson, with the defender in front of him, reached for the ball and tipped the ball towards him as he and the defender were falling toward the turf. A gentle bounce had the ball dropping straight to Johnson’s open arms before Argos’ Chris Edwards pushed him out of bounds. Johnson got up confidently knowing that catch would be running on TSN all night long.

Lokombo tipped pass, Gwacham cruised to the house

In a closely contested battle between the Lions and Argos, Bo Lokombo and Obum Gwacham came up with a huge play. McLeod Bethel-Thompson attempted to dump the ball to John White, but the Lions’ pressure arrived early with Bo jumping up to tip Bethel-Thompson’s pass. Then Gwacham came right behind Lokombo to secure the ball before it hit the turf. The big defensive end out of Oregon State was once a tight end and track athlete as well. Once Gwacham secured the ball, there was no way the Argos offensive linemen could catch him.

Fan Poll
Who wins the best charged up play of 2021?
Burnham leaping TD
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Hardin First Interception
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Lucky 119-yard Return
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Shaq Johnson bobble catch
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Gwacham to the House
Vote