VANCOUVER — A trio of touchdowns from William Powell helped the Saskatchewan Riders to a 45-18 win over the listless B.C. Lions on Saturday.
The Riders (3-3) dominated the game from the outset, with the offence scoring early and often, and the defence keeping the Lions (1-6) penned deep in their own end.
The defeat extends B.C.’s losing streak to three games.
Kick returner Ryan Lankford provided a rare bright spot for the Lions, scoring a pair of touchdowns with impressively long drives.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo put in yet another solid performance for the Riders, tossing for 169-yards. He completed 21-of-26 attempts, including one touchdown.
Mike Reilly put up 66 passing yards for the Lions, completing just eight of 19 attempts. Late in the fourth quarter, he was replaced by Danny O’Brien, who did not make a successful pass.
B.C.’s trouble started in the first minute when Reilly was sacked on the second play of the game by former Lion Solomon Elimmian.
A spotty offensive line has been a troubling pattern for B.C. this season. The team has a league-high 25 sacks, including four on Saturday.
The Riders first big strike of the night came midway through the first quarter, with a kickoff return. Defensive back Louchez Purifoy collected the ball and made an 87-yard drive for a the first touchdown of the night.
The only Lion to get close to stopping him was Castillo, who nearly caught up with Purifoy along the sideline.
Saskatchewan’s series of incomplete passes left B.C. without a first down until the final minutes of the first quarter.
Castillo got the B.C. on the board early in the second frame with a 35-yard field goal.
But the Riders quickly widened their lead as Fajardo connected with a wide-open Kyran Moore in the endzone for a 22-yard touchdown pass.
The quarterback later got a handoff to William Powell, who snuck through the pack and sprinted 42-yards down the field for yet another TD.
Lankford was able to inject some life into the Lions with just 30 seconds to go in the first half.
— BC LIONS (@BCLions) July 28, 2019
The Riders set up for a field goal late in the second quarter, but the ball sailed wide of the goal posts. Lankford collected it and drove down the entire length of the field for a 118-yard touchdown.
Despite the play, B.C. was down 26-10 going into the half.
The Riders opened the third frame with a rogue, thanks to a out-of-bounds punt from Jon Ryan.
Powell dug the Lions hole a little deeper midway through the quarter, taking a handoff from Fajardo and bulldozing through a scrum for an eight-yard touchdown.
But Lankford responded for B.C., this time on a punt return. The 27-year-old native of Jacksonville, Fla., dashed 89-yards into the Riders endzone, weaving in and out of opposing players, to put up another touchdown for the Lions.
Reilly connected with wide receiver Bryan Burnham for the two-point convert.
The Lions continued clawing, but simply couldn’t muster a comeback.
Powell stuck another dagger into their hopes of redemption late in the final quarter, muscling a one-yard rush over the goal line for his third touchdown of the night.
The running back then rushed three yards for the successful two-point convert.
Gabriel Ferarro rounded out the scoring for Saskatchewan with a pair of field goals, including a 45-yard kick.
Next up, the Riders will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday.
The Lions will get a chance to regroup with a by next week before returning to action in Hamilton on Aug. 10.
NOTES: Riders wide receiver Manny Arceneaux caught a six-yard pass, extending his receiving streak to 103 games. … Riders offensive lineman Dan Clark played in his 100th CFL regular-season game. … Former Lions Arceneaux and Solomon Elimmian received hearty cheers from the crowd as they were recognized on the big screen before kickoff.
THE CANADIAN PRESS