Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lions reveal weaknesses for defending Grey Cup champs

The BC Lions collected their first win of the CFL season on Saturday evening in Regina, delivering a solid pounding of the Grey Cup champion Riders, making quick work to quiet down the usually boisterous faithful at Mosaic Stadium

With a pair of losses to kick off the 2014 season, the rumblings in Vancouver had already started to echo across the province as fans of the Lions started to fret that perhaps Wally Buono had gotten it all wrong in the off season, signs of a year of struggle already starting to offer up more clouds than a November morning on the West Coast.

Just in the Nick of time arrived a breakout performance for 2014 from Andrew Harris, as the Lions running back took to full gallop early in the game, breaking tackles along the way to a 58 yard touchdown. The first highlight reel run of the evening that delivered 222 total yards for a nights work.

With Harris providing the pace, the Lions took the game to the Riders, winning battles on the line and at times finding gaps in coverage and open field to ramble down,  all of which helped to propel them on to number one with a 26-13 victory.

For Kevin Glenn, week number three was clearly a much more rewarding experience than the start of the season, Glenn completed 16 of his 27 passing attempts for a total of 170 yards, with one TD toss to add to his collection.

One of the main contributing factors for the Leos was a turn around in the turn over game, with BC playing a near flawless game of ball control, a much different scenario than that which played out in the first two games.

For Saskatchewan, some of the same problems that popped up in week two arrived once again, an inability to make the key adjustments required in a timely manner provided the Lions with the momentum on the day.

The Riders offence let opportunities slip by at pivotal points of the game, statistically Darian Durant had  one of those nights that best be filed away, making just 15 completions of 34 pass attempts for 191 yards.

Time an time again Saskatchewan would lose any momentum that they found through turnovers,  while discipline issues would haunt them as the final moments ticked off the clock, with a roughing penalty in the course of a Paul McCallum field goal attempt providing a new set of downs for the Lions.

Kevin Glenn made good opportunity of the Riders temper issues, connecting with Courtney Taylor on a 20 yard passing play to push the Lions lead to 13 points.

The Riders continued to self-destruct in the final moments as a Durant pass destined for Rob Bagg was picked off by Josh Johnson, turning the game over one more time to the Lions who made sure that was the final bit of drama for the night.

A glimpse of some of the background to the Saturday night Lions victory can be found below:

Regina Leader Post-- Darian Durant's thoughts on the loss to B. C.
Vancouver Province-- Harris carries Lions over the hump
Vancouver Sun-- Harris a dynamo in B. C.'s 26-13 win over Roughriders
TSN.com-- Lions top Riders for first win of season 

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