The Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-9) were officially knocked out of the race for a home playoff game by the BC Lions (11-4) after a 33-26 loss.
Friday night’s loss marked the fourth straight for Saskatchewan.
Lions QB Vernon Adams Jr. connected on two touchdown passes to Alex Hollins in the third quarter that proved to be the decisive blow for the Roughriders.
Adams Jr. ended the game with 458 passing yards with three touchdown passes. WR Keon Hatcher had 10 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown.
Riders QB Jake Dolegala was 31/46 with 409 passing yards and two interceptions.
WR Kian Schaffer-Baker had nine catches for 104 yards.
WR Jerreth Sterns hauled seven receptions for 102 yards.
DB C.J. Reavis had two tackles with safety Jayden Dalke chipping in with eight tackles.
BC clinched a home playoff game with the victory, while Saskatchewan dropped their sixth straight game away from Mosaic Stadium.
BC grabbed a 6-1 lead after the opening quarter. The Lions had to settle for field goals after a pair of long drives stalled deep inside of Saskatchewan territory.
DB Amari Henderson came up with a pair of knockdowns inside the end zone, as he spoiled the Lion’s plans of Dominique Rhymes scoring a touchdown in his first quarterback from the injured list.
Punter Adam Korsak provided the lone point for the Roughriders in the first quarter with a rouge from a 67-yard punt.
Lions Sean Whyte added his third field goal to open the scoring in the second quarter.
The Roughriders got the ball inside the Lions end of the half before a pass intended for Tevin Jones bobbled into the receiver’s hands and over his shoulder, into the waiting hands of Lions DB Garry Peters for the interception.
Saskatchewan’s offence bounced back on their next possession, moving the ball 91 yards down the field for a touchdown drive. RB Frankie Hickson had a 20-yard catch, followed up on the next play by a 30-yard reception from WR Shawn Bane Jr. Samuel Emilus provided a 32-yard catch. Antonio Pipkin finished the drive with a quarterback sneak for the touchdown.
The teams traded field goals, including Riders K Brett Lauther connecting on a 40-yard attempt despite battling a shoulder injury.
BC ended the half on a high note with Hatcher hauling in a 34-yard touchdown, giving the Lions an eight-point lead at half-time.
It was an explosive start to the second half for the Lions when Adams Jr. found Alex Hollins behind the Roughriders secondary for a 74-yard touchdown.
The Lion’s scoring surge continued on their next series as Adams Jr. and Hollings connected for a five-yard touchdown.
Saskatchewan was able to add some late points in the fourth quarter beginning with rookie RB Thomas Bertrand-Hudon picking up his first career touchdown.
The Roughriders recovered the ensuing kick, and capitalized on the turnover with another touchdown run from Bertrand-Hudon.
But lightning wouldn’t strike twice, with the Lions recovering the onside kick and sealing the BC victory over the Roughriders.
Following the game, Riders Head Coach Craig Dickenson told 620 CKRM’s Luc Mullinder that Saskatchewan fell to far behind of BC for the green and white to recover.
“You can’t win too consistently when you’re down that far, so we got to figure out a way to play better throughout the game and not have to turn it on late.”
Dickenson noted with the Roughriders trailing, it alters their game plan.
“One of the things we want to do is run the football, we want to be physical, well when you’re three scores down in the fourth, you have to throw it.”
One thing the Roughriders head coach liked from his team was the toughness displayed by the loss.
“A lot of them are playing at 60 percent, 70 percent, and gutting it out.”
Reavis was not happy with the result despite his efforts in the loss.
“It’s always a sour taste in your mouth when you lose.”
The Roughriders LB says the team needs to figure out a way to correct their mistakes.
“I’m tired of losing, I know our whole team is tired of losing.”
Saskatchewan’s next opportunity to get back in the win column will be next Saturday when they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-9) at Mosaic Stadium.
Following that game, the green and white will head on the road for the final time of the regular season, in what could be the biggest of the year in Calgary against the Stampeders.
Heading into Saturday’s action, the Roughriders hold a four-point edge on the Stampeders (4-10) and Edmonton Elks (4-11) for the final playoff spot in the West.
Calgary will meet Hamilton to wrap up Week 17.