Building momentum toward playoffs, Lions face fading Redblacks

Jun 17, 2023; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; BC Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (3) makes a pass against the Edmonton Elks in the second half at BC Place. BC won 22-0. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

It was a revenge game for Vernon Adams at the right time for the B.C. Lions.

Playing in Montreal for the first time since the Alouettes let him go two years ago, Adams threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns on Sept. 2 in a 34-25 win that ended B.C.’s two-game losing streak.

After a week off, the Lions return to action Saturday in Vancouver against an Ottawa Redblacks team that’s fading in the playoff race.

B.C. (8-4) is 1 1/2 games behind first-place Winnipeg in the West and two games ahead of third-place Saskatchewan, which means it’s in a comfortable spot to play a first-round home game in the playoffs but unlikely to catch the Blue Bombers.

However, the Lions can continue their momentum in the right direction with a solid performance along the lines of what they delivered in Montreal.

“We came out here with great energy,” Adams said. “That was the big focus all during the week. And we did it. Our defense made stops when they needed to, offense drove the ball when they needed to, special teams … it was a total team win.”

Meanwhile, Ottawa (3-9) suffered a 27-24 loss Friday night to visiting Hamilton that put it in a tough spot. The Redblacks are two games behind the Tiger-Cats for the third playoff spot in the East and have already lost the season series, which in essence makes it a three-game deficit.

The Redblacks’ six remaining games are against teams with at least .500 records. The odds are stacked high but coach Bob Dyce is trying to keep the team’s mindset simple.

“Win a football game and get things turned around,” he said. “It’s our job. We put ourselves in this situation and it’s on us to turn it around.”

Ottawa has lost six straight but hasn’t been blown out, unlike last year when it routinely put up little fight. Its average margin of defeat in the current stretch is just 4.5 points, reflecting a team that gets in position to win but can’t finish.

This is the teams’ only meeting of the season.

–Field Level Media

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