The BC Lions received a taste of their own medicine by running into a defensive buzzsaw on Monday night in Toronto. The opportunistic Boatmen intercepted Vernon Adams Jr. six times including one returned for a touchdown to put the final exclamation point on a 45-24 result. The Leos fall to 3-1 on the young season while Toronto improved to 3-0. Now for some game takes.
Argonaut D Stands Tall
Let’s get it out of the way. This one will not go down as Adams Jr.’s finest hour as the interceptions would lead to no less than 34 of Toronto’s points in what was a roller coaster evening for the quarterback who also managed to sprinkle in a few good throws to keep the visitors in striking distance into the fourth quarter.
A real backbreaker came late in the third with the score 28-17 and the Lions knocking on the door deep in Toronto territory only to see the fourth interception of the night returned 79 yards which led to a touchdown from AJ Ouelette. Always a pro no matter what the result, Adams Jr. owned it after the loss.
“Obviously, you’ve got to just take care of the ball, man. I think everybody played hard out there, they played their butts off. Defence did a great job, too. Before that last pick-six, we were still down 11. Like I said, I’ve just got to take care of the ball, be better for my team,” said the quarterback.
“I’ll just continue to be me, come to work every day, lead by example, go hard in practice and never let something like this happen again.”
Adams Jr. completed 24 of 39 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns. They refused to quit after a topsy-turvey first half but it wasn’t enough to start 4-0 for the first time since 2007.
Special Teams Score Sets Up Roller Coaster Opening Half
The Lions seemed to be in good shape up 7-0 after the first of two Adams Jr. touchdown strikes to Dominique Rhymes. The defence was also looking locked in once again. And then it was the special teams coverage that would make open the floodgates as Toronto’s Javon Leake returned a punt 91 yards to the end zone to tie things up late in the first quarter.
The vaunted Leos’ D then allowed its first touchdown in 40 possessions dating back to week one when Chad Kelly was granted a short field after Adams Jr. tossed the first interception of the night to Robertson Daniel. Daniel would have three of the takeaways including the touchdown return to seal it. After a slow start, Toronto’s offence took advantage of the Lions’ mistakes as Kelly finished 23/29 for 249 yards and a touchdown pass.
“They are disappointed in losing because they’re competitive guys. At the same time, I told them, I’m not falling out of love with this guys because we had a bad day at the office,” said head coach Rick Campbell after the loss.
“Also, credit to Toronto. They’re a good team and they made the plays necessary to win the game and we had too many negative things to overcome. I like that we kept battling. Too much negative football to overcome but we’ve got a short week and we talked about it even when we played Winnipeg last week, we can’t get too high and too low on these games because we’ve got a long road to go.”
34- Argonaut points scored off the six interceptions. A championship-caliber squad will make you pay.
104- a game-high in receiving yards for Keon Hatcher who also found the end zone in his first game of the season.
413- Adams Jr. and the offence managed to put up a solid net offence total.
2- sacks for Mathieu Betts to extend his CFL-leading total to seven on the year.
106- total rushing yards for the Argos who lead the league in that category. Ouellette had 84 on the ground to go with his touchdown score.
The Lions are back home to host the 2-1 Montreal Alouettes on Sunday, July 9 at Save-On-Foods Field at BC Place. Kickoff is at 4:00 pm. Famfest is the theme of the day as there will be plenty of activities for young kids, including the chance to meet some famous mascots. Secure your tickets HERE.