The BC lions put a wrap on their season with a dominant win over the Edmonton Elks. Although the season did not go the way that they had planned, the whole season was not a waste. All of the games were competitive and some young talent got a chance to show they have what it takes to make a difference next season.
The Lions end the season with a 5-9 record and no hope of a playoff berth. The year started off strong with a mid-September record of 4-2. Postseason chatter began, and the team may have gotten too complacent, going on a 7 game losing steak which put an end to any hopes of a post-season run.
There were some bright spots in the season during that stretch of losses. Most notably rookie Quarterback Nathan Rourke got a chance to shine in the final game of the season where he threw for 359 yards, going 23 for 34, one passing touchdown, and two interceptions in a 43-10 win over the Edom Elks.
“It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means. There were two interceptions and you can’t have that in the CFL, teams are too good. So gotta learn from that,” he said after the game.
Wide Receiver Jevon Cotty stepped up big this year after injuries at the position gave him the chance to shine. Finishing the season with 39 receptions for 519 yards and three touchdowns. His total receiving yards put him just behind Bryan Burnham and Lucky Whitehead for most of the year.
Rookie Linebacker Jordan Williams set the single-season record for defensive tackles by a rookie with 81 tackles in 12 games this season. Williams was selected as the Lion’s first pick of the 2020 draft after attending college at East Carolina University in 2017. However, because of COVID-19 precautions postponing the 2020 season, he did not get his chance at his rookie season until 2021.
There has never been a rookie to lead the league in tackles since the first season in 1987. Williams is determined to improve on his proven success.
“The Canadian game is faster so I can improve on getting the guys lined up better and put into position to make plays,” he said. “I think I can also be better being a voice and a vocal leader on the team.”
Too many games in the 2021 season were lost to poor defense. In each of the 5 winning games of the season, the Lions held their opponents to two touchdowns or less, while in games they lost by an average of just over two touchdowns.
If the Lions can use their losing record to their advantage in the offseason, by cutting the weak links from the team and using their excellent draft position in the 2022 draft to pick up some defensive talent, they can build a strong team for the postseason.
The Lions have a chance to rebuild in the offseason, trade, and draft for some new talent to shore up their weak defense, and put together a winning game plan for the 2022 season where fans should expect to see them put on a much more competitive season than they saw this year.