Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Sizzling Nathan Rourke leads BC Lions into Calgary

Field Level Media
13 Aug 2022, 11:40 GMT+10

What does Nathan Rourke do for an encore?

The BC Lions quarterback broke his own single-game record for most passing yards by a Canadian quarterback last week in a 46-14 destruction of Edmonton, when he completed a remarkable 34 of 37 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns.

To put it another way, his passes found the end zone more than they found the ground.

Rourke's next appearance doesn't figure to be quite as easy Saturday night when BC visits Calgary in a West Division matchup that suddenly has enhanced urgency. Since previously unbeaten Winnipeg ate its first loss Thursday in overtime at home against 3-6 Montreal, the Lions can move into the Blue Bombers' shadow while matching them in the loss column.

The Lions (6-1) owe much of their sparkling record to Rourke. Through seven games, he already has 2,418 yards and 21 touchdown passes while purring along at an 81.3 percent completion rate.

He's on pace to break the CFL record for completion percentage and also has an outside chance to top Doug Flutie's single-season yardage record of 6,619, set in 1991.

His 345.4-yard average is the best in the CFL in 30 years.

Edmonton coach Chris Jones called Rourke's game against Edmonton, "about as good a performance as I've ever seen."

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Rourke's game against the Elks was that -- after a second quarter incompletion -- he completed his last 24 attempts. His 91.9 completion rate is the third best in a game in league history among quarterbacks with a minimum of 20 attempts.

Meanwhile, Calgary (5-2) won last week in a much different way, leaning on its defense to earn a 17-3 decision in Ottawa. The Stampeders were without head coach Dave Dickenson because of COVID-19 protocols, leaving assistant Mark Kilam in charge.

"I thought it was a full team win," Kilam said. "Each phase did some things."

"What can you say about the defense? They got their hands on a lot of balls ... they sealed the win for us."

Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell hit just 13 of 27 passes for 137 yards in Ottawa but needs only six yards to break Henry Burris' career franchise record for passing yardage at 32,191.

--Field Level Media

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