Last Saturday night’s game in Vancouver, British Columbia at BC Place Stadium was a day for 2 football clubs that wanted to find their respected team’s identity to start the 2022 season after having a dismal season in 2021. Both the BC Lions and the Edmonton Elks were 2 football clubs that wanted to show no signs of rust for 2022 as a way of having a bounce-back season from 2021. Unfortunately, only 1 team showed up, while the other faltered in a humiliating fashion.
New BC Lions Owner Amar Doman was behind a big plan in attracting more attendance for the 2022 season. And let’s face it. There is no doubt that average attendance figures have been bad for the 3 big cities in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal respectively. And he did just that. OneRepublic headlined the night in an in-game experience prior to kickoff. Tailgating seemed more of an attended event in years past. Add this all up, and it was announced hours prior that attendance would be estimated between 33,000 – 35,000 attending the BC Lions home opener.
At the opening kickoff, it was announced that a crowd of 34,082 had attended the game. And BC Place Stadium was rocking.
The BC Lions hit the ground running on their opening drive starting from their 42-yard line and capping off an 11-play drive with a Nathan Rourke TD pass to James Butler. From the start, the Edmonton Elks defense appeared not to be in sync in an attempt to counter the BC Lions game plan. Although there were flashes in the 1st quarter, it appeared that the BC Lions were winning the battle in the trenches with the offensive line out muscling the Edmonton front 7 in a very productive way in the form of opening big holes, downfield blocking, and in pass protection for Nathan Rourke.
At the end of the 1st half, the BC Lions were in a commanding lead with a whopping 42 – 6 lead. It as if it was like the BC Lions was having a field day in preying on the Edmonton Elks. The Elks were unable to find any way to stop the Lions offense in which RB James Butler had already scored 4 TDs, along with Nathan Rourke dissecting the Edmonton defense at will. The Edmonton defense already looked too shellshocked and outclassed in the 1st half.
At the beginning of the 3rd quarter, Edmonton Elks appeared to look a lot more effective in engineering some offense. It resulted in an opening quarter drive that consisted of a 9-play drive resulting in a TD by QB Kai Locksley coming in for a short-yardage play in a 1-yard run.
Also in the 3rd quarter was an 8-play drive resulting in a field goal by Sergio Castillo. This was the best quarter played by the Edmonton Elks offense when you consider the lack of productivity in both the offense and defense from the team 1st half performance. The defense got some minutes of much-needed rest on the bench. However, aside from giving up a 17-yard run by QB Nathan Rourke, it was a better showing in the whole game thus far in both the Edmonton defense and offense.
In the 4th quarter, the reality was no more apparent in which the BC Lions outclassed the Edmonton Elks. The BC offense continued to wear down the Edmonton defense in which long drives were still prevalent in taking down the Elks. BC struck Edmonton with a 9-play drive concluding with a Sean Whyte field goal. This was then followed up by an interception by Loucheiz Purifoy and returning it 40 yards late in the game which then set up a 1-yard TD run by backup QB Michael O’Connor.
There is no doubt that one team came to play, while the other did not show up. It is without a doubt one of the worse defeats in Edmonton Elks history resulting in a BC Lions 59-15 whipping towards the Edmonton Elks. The BC Lions were so dominant vs. the Edmonton Elks in which they consistently executed their plays to near perfection. Edmonton was unable to match the pace and intensity that BC was throwing at them on a majority of series and plays throughout the duration of the game. We can talk about how the game balls would go to either Nathan Rourke going 26 out of 29 passes completed, with 3TD passes and 282 passing yards followed up with 1 TD run; or with James Butler having a field day going scoring 4 combined TDs in the running and passing game. However, the game ball for consideration would have to go to the BC Lions offensive line. From the drop of a hat, they gave Nathan Rourke a lot of time to look at reads, and execute plays. Furthermore, they blew out Edmonton’s defensive line off the line of scrimmage on a consistent basis. Edmonton looked defeated from halfway through the 2nd quarter in which there were unable to tackle anyone at the line of scrimmage on a regular basis and already looked fatigued. The Edmonton defense was totally outclassed and pushed around by the BC Lions offensive line. The BC running game was able to practically be untouched on numerous amounts of plays with big holes being opened, along with downfield blocking anchored by the BC offensive line.
The positive of this for the Edmonton Elks is that it was 1 loss at the start of the season. The season is always a marathon and not a sprint. Having said that, sometimes a whipping is the best thing for a team in facing adversity from the get-go. Edmonton will be more prepared for their next game vs the Saskatchewan Roughriders in which they are at home for their home opener. Although this will be a challenging game for the Elks, it will be a much more improved outcome on Saturday, June 18th, 2022 at 9:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.
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