Argonauts, Lions to battle for chance to start 2-0

The Toronto Argonauts and BC Lions each will seek to make it back-to-back victories to start the season when they meet Saturday night in Vancouver.

BC (1-0) is coming off a resounding 59-15 win over the Edmonton Elks in its season opener. Quarterback Nathan Rourke completed 26 of 29 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns in the win, and running back James Butler had 17 carries for 108 yards and two scores.

The Lions led 42-6 at halftime and never looked back.

“It’s definitely great to see,” said BC wide receiver Lucky Whitehead, who had a team-high 110 receiving yards on six catches in the opener. “As you’ve seen at the end of last season, we started to get that run game going.

“JB is a great workhorse and it’s nice to see our offensive line and all the boys just clicking together. … We’ve got well-rounded guys at receiver, O-line and at the quarterback position.”

Toronto (1-0) also hopes to build upon its early-season momentum after holding on for a 20-19 win over the Montreal Alouettes in its first game. Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed 22 of 31 passes for 269 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Running back Andrew Harris led the Argonauts with 18 carries for 87 yards. Kicker Boris Bede chipped in three field goals with a long of 38 yards, but he missed two other opportunities from 26 and 45 yards.

Argonauts defensive end Shawn Oakman earned the team’s ceremonial championship belt after the game. Teammates cheered as Oakman accepted the wrestling-style accessory.

“(He gave) a great effort all night, giving us a push up the middle,” Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said.

BC head coach Rick Campbell also took note of Oakman and teammate Ja’Gared Davis on the Argonauts’ defensive line.

“They’re a veteran group of guys that know how to win and they have another group of guys that are second-year guys and they’re a good football team,” Campbell said. “Watching the Toronto-Montreal game last week, which obviously either team could have won, that’s because they’re both good football teams.

“We just want to make sure we’re as ready as possible for Saturday night.”

–Field Level Media

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Author: Sportsnaut

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