Jonathon Jennings threw three second-half touchdown passes to rally the B.C. Lions to a 40-27 comeback victory over the host Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.
Jennings, who threw for a career high 429 yards, also rushed for a touchdown as the Lions improved to 3-1. The Riders remained winless at 0-3.
Jennings connected with Shawn Gore on a 59-yard touchdown strike midway through the fourth quarter, a score that snapped a 26-26 tie and put the Lions ahead for good.
Nick Moore and left tackle Jovan Olafioye also caught touchdown passes in the second half for the Lions, and Anthony Allen rushed for a seven-yard touchdown late in the fourth to cap the scoring as they outscored the Riders 30-4 in that final 30 minutes.
The Riders led 23-10 at halftime, but struggled to carry the momentum in the second half and lost for the third consecutive week. The more significant damage, perhaps, could be the health of starting quarterback Darian Durant.
Durant suffered what appeared to be a leg injury early in the second quarter and didn’t return in the second half. Durant was hit low and late by Lions defensive lineman Michael Brooks earlier in the quarter. He was seen on crutches on the sideline late in the third quarter.
It’s the third time in as many years that Durant has suffered an injury that has forced him to leave the game. He suffered a torn ligament in his right elbow in 2014 and ruptured his Achilles tendon in the first game of the 2015 season. Durant did tell reporters after the game x-rays were negative and that this injury is not long-term, but he does not know how long it( a severe left ankle sprain) will sideline him for.
Durant’s last play on Saturday was a 31-yard touchdown pass to Rob Bagg that gave the Riders a 10-7 lead.
Mitchell Gale replaced Durant and engineered scoring drives on his first two possessions under centre — a 47-yard field goal from Tyler Crapigna and a nine-yard touchdown pass to Nic Demski.
Crapigna connected on four-of-five field-goal attempts.
To make matters worse for Saskatchewan, the club lost all-star left guard Brendon LaBatte to an undisclosed injury, as well as receiver Shamawd Chambers, defensive back Justin Cox and running back Matt Walter.
It’s a short week for the football team as they host Ottawa on Friday night in a game that starts at 7 with our pre-game show starting at 4 on 620 CKRM