Rourke continues success, guides Lions past Reds and Blacks to stay unbeaten

Nathan Rourke lived up to the hype on Thursday night as the young Canadian quarterback led the BC Lions to their third straight CFL win with a 34-31 decision over the Redblacks in Ottawa at TD Place Stadium.

Rourke finished the game completing 23 of 31 passes for 359 yards, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and two interceptions, the first of his career.

Ottawa’s Jeremiah Masoli was much less efficient with 13 of 26 for 159 yards with a rushing touchdown as the Rougenoirs lost their third close game in as many outings.

The Rougenoirs are the first to hold the undefeated Lions (3-0-0) below the 40 point mark this season.

WATCH | The Lions remain undefeated with a victory over the Reds and Blacks:

Lions stay perfect with win over Redblacks as Rourke leads the way

BC beats Ottawa 34-31 to start its season with three straight wins, Victoria-born Nathan Rourke throws for 359 yards.

Trailing 14-6 to start the second half, the Redblacks gained momentum when Money Hunter intercepted Rourke and headed the ball to the Lions 16-yard line. Three plays later, William Powell, playing his first game of the season, ran for a five-yard touchdown. Ottawa hadn’t scored a touchdown in its last nine quarters. Two penalties and three two-point attempts later, it was a draw, 14-14.

On BC’s next possession, Hunter had another interception, pushing the ball 56 yards to the Lions seven-yard line. Masoli ran for six yards and landed a one-yard TD. Lewis Ward missed the convert on a rare occasion and Ottawa took a 20-14 lead.

Ward has missed just six of 46 career conversion attempts.

The lead didn’t last long as Rourke then connected with Keon Hatcher for a 71-yard TD pass and with the convert regained a 21-20 lead.

BC extended its lead after James Butler capped a six-play streak with a five-yard run into the end zone, giving the Lions a 28-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Ward added a 38-yard field goal midway through the fourth, while Sean Whyte had field goals from 32 and 15 yards for the Lions to make it 34-23.

In the last minute of the game, the Redblacks managed to walk down the pitch and reach the one-yard line, thanks to a pass interference call and Caleb Evans hit a TD. A two-point convert made it 34-31 with 29 seconds left.

Rourke made his presence felt from the start. After not having a single brace last week, the Rougenoirs gave Rourke his first on the first practice.

On BC’s next possession, on a third and short bet, Rourke ran in for a 50-yard touchdown and took a 7-0 lead.

Rourke joined Hatcher in the second quarter and brought the Lions to the Ottawa three-yard line. James Butler then ran in an eight-yard TD to make it 14-3.

Ottawa’s first-half goal came from 35 and 28 yards from Ward.

WATCH | Rourke rushes for a 50-yard TD:

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Canadian QB Nathan Rourke rushes for a 50-yard touchdown against the Redblacks

Victoria-born Nathan Rourke scores the first touchdown of the game for the BC Lions in the first quarter against the Ottawa Redblacks.

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