VANCOUVER – The B.C. Lions opened their Canadian Football League season in dramatic fashion Saturday, trouncing the listless Edmonton Elks 59-15.
Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke proved he’s ready for the starter’s spot, connecting on 26 of 29 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. The Victoria, B.C., native added two more rushing TDs. Backup Michael O’Connor came in late for the Lions and added a rushing touchdown of his own.
James Butler was a force for the Lions (1-0) with four TDs, including one on a 21-yard run. Keon Hatcher also hauled in a major for the home side and Sean Whyte added a late 13-yard field goal.
Edmonton QB Nick Arbuckle struggled, connecting on 20 of 29 attempts for 254 yards and three interceptions. The former Toronto Argonaut was sacked three times, all by Lions’ rookie defensive lineman Sione Teuhema.
Tre Ford made an appearance under centre for the Elks (0-1) late in the second quarter and registered eight passing yards and an interception.
Kai Locksley notched Edmonton’s lone touchdown of the night, and kicker Sergio Castillo connected for three field goals, including a 37-yard strike.