Week 3 of the CFL season concluded with the B.C. Lions staying hot to start their 2022 campaign by routing the (1-1) Toronto Argonauts 44-3 at B.C. Place. A historic and record-breaking Saturday night in Vancouver for the CFL’s newest superstar Nathan Rourke, and a humbling evening for last year’s East Division champion Argonauts.
The Lions and Nathan Rourke picked up right where they left off from their home opener. Clicking on all cylinders, while in contrast, the Argonauts were demoralized from the outset, failing to capitalize on their early opportunities, and falling into a deep hole, that they weren’t able to crawl out of.
Nathan Rourke would complete over 86 percent of his passes for 436 yards and four touchdowns. The Lions outgained the Argos 583 to 242 yards, despite losing WR Bryan Burnham, and RB James Butler to injury.
The Lions will make their first road trip of the season as they head to Ottawa next Thursday to face the 0-2 Redblacks. The reeling Argos will head back to the Six as they host the reigning CFL champion Blue Bombers Monday, July 4th, at BMO Field.
The Argonauts at 1-1, despite being tied for first place with Montreal. And currently above winless Hamilton (0-3), and Ottawa, have a lot work to do to repair the damage done in the early part of their season.
CFL Week 3: Toronto Argonauts @ B.C. Lions Game Recap
British Columbia’s offence picked up right where they left off in week one by marching down the field 66 yards on eight plays. And scored the game’s first touchdown when Nathan Rourke connected with Bryan Burnham from 19 yards out to give the Leos an early 7-0 lead.
The Argos offence would respond to BC’s score on their first drive by driving deep into Lions territory. McLeod Bethel-Thompson would start off hot, connecting with four different receivers for first downs. The big connection was a 48-yard hookup to DaVaris Daniels. One play later, MBT would hit Brandon Banks on a slant down to the one-yard line.
However, the Argos’ red zone issues would rear their ugly head when Toronto would fail to score on three straight downs from the one-yard line. One Andrew Harris run and two Austin Simmons sneaks fell short of the goal line. A demoralizing sequence for the Boatmen.
The Lions’ offence would continue to click, despite taking over pinned against their end zone. BC would drive near midfield, and Nathan Rourke, who opened the game connecting on ten of his first eleven pass attempts, would complete a pass down the field for 46 yards to Dominque Rhymes.
Toronto’s defence would hold BC to a field goal to stop the bleeding. But the quarter would end with the Lions up 10-0.
Looking to respond, the Argos would try to strike downfield to Brandon Banks; the pass would fall incomplete. But Ryan Dinwiddie would successfully challenge that Banks was interfered with. The penalty netted the Boatmen 37 yards to put them in Lions territory. The drive would bog down but it would lead to Toronto’s first score of the game when Boris Bede connected from 23 yards out.
The Leos offence led by Nathan Rourke would continue to stay red hot on their next possession. BC would drive down the field with ease against a nonexistent pass rush by the Boatmen, and spotty secondary play. Rourke would find Dominique Rhymes from 19 yards out to extend BC’s lead to 17-3.
With the score 17-3 in favor of BC, both teams’ defenses would tighten up in the latter stages of the first half, forcing the opposing offenses to trade multiple punts.
In the final moments of the first half, the Argos’ poor clock management on offence, punting the ball away with 15 seconds still on the play clock, would leave BC enough time to sneak in a 44-yard field goal by Sean Whyte, to extend the Leos lead to 20-3.
Nathan Rourke First Half Stats Vs. The Argos
Toronto’s second-half verse was the same as the first. The Argos would move the ball well to start the third quarter, but Andrew Harris would fumble the football during a gang tackle. BC would recover and take over on offence at midfield.
The Argos would get the ball back a few plays later when David Mackie fumbled the football after attempting to hurdle Toronto defenders. However, the Argonauts were unable to capitalize and would have a quick two and out on offence.
The Leos would mount another strong drive but they would have to settle for a field goal after a blitzing Wynton McManis sacked Nathan Rourke. Sean Whyte would connect from 50 yards out to extend the Leos lead to 20.
Down 23-3, Toronto’s offence would continue to remain in quicksand. Thanks to an Obum Gwacham sack on second and long.
The third quarter would come to an end with BC once again driving into Toronto territory with ease.
The Lions would continue to toy with the fallen prey as the 4th quarter approached. Nathan Rourke would smell blood and connect with Jevon Cottoy from 29-yards out to give his team a commanding 30-3 lead.
The hits would keep coming in the fourth quarter as Nathan Rourke would hook up for another major with Dominique Rhymes from 24 yards to make it a 37-3 Lions lead.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson would end his brutal evening with an interception. Chad Kelly would come on late in mop-up duty. But the story of this game was Nathan Rourke, the second-year CFL pivot would set the record for most passing yards by a Canadian quarterback.
The Leos would pile onto their lead with a late David Mackie td run to bring their point total up to 44 points. One game after scoring 59 against Edmonton in their opener.
CFL Week 3: Lions 44 Argos 3 Box Score
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