The B.C. Lions picked up a costly 28-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday night as starting quarterback Nathan Rourke went down with a foot injury early in the fourth quarter.
Rourke suffered the injury when he was sacked by Riders defensive lineman Pete Robertson.
Rourke wore a walking boot when exiting the field at the end of the game. A first-year starter, the Canadian has become a contender for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player this season.
Rourke completed 22 of 31 passes for 375 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as the Lions improved to 8-1 and extended their winning streak to five games.
He also rushed for 63 yards on three carries, including a 36-yard run in the third quarter that set up an 11-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Burnham.
WATCH l Burnham’s phenomenal touchdown leads Lions past Riders:
Rourke set the tone for the Lions in the first half, going 16-of-22 passing for 285 yards and one touchdown. Both his interceptions also came in the opening half.
With continuous attacks downfield, the big play came with 1:58 left in the first half when Rourke connected with Lucky Whitehead on a 90-yard touchdown to give the Lions a 21-3 lead. Three Saskatchewan defenders focused on a short curl route by Burnham, allowing Whitehead to run free on a deep route.
Lions backup quarterback Anthony Pipkin added two touchdowns on quarterback sneaks. QB Michael O’Connor, who replaced Rourke, finished 5-of-5 passing for 36 yards.
WATCH l Rourke leaves game with injury:
Saskatchewan QB Cody Fajardo went 8-of-13 passing for 41 yards and two interceptions before Riders head coach Craig Dickenson pulled him in the second quarter.
Fajardo, who has been struggling with a knee injury, was replaced by backup Mason Fine who drove the Riders down the field on his first drive, connecting with Justin McInnis on a four-yard touchdown pass. Fine completed three of four passes on the drive for 47 yards.
The Riders got interceptions from Larry Dean and Derrick Moncrief. Robertson, who returned to the Riders lineup after suffering a foot injury on July 8, collected his eighth sack of the season.
McInnis had six receptions for 111 yards to go along with his one touchdown.
Former Rider Loucheiz Purifoy, Ben Hladik and Marcus Sayles each had interceptions for the Lions. David Menard and Oburn Gwacham had two sacks apiece for B.C.