Canada QB Rourke suffers foot injury as Lions defeat Roughriders for fifth straight game

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Nathan Rourke’s great season hit a bump on Friday night when the BC Lions quarterback was injured in a 28-10 CFL win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The 24-year-old quarterback went down early in the fourth quarter with a right foot injury after being sacked by Saskatchewan defenseman Pete Robertson.

Lions head coach Campbell left no room for speculation, insisting that little was known without further analysis.

“We just won’t know until some more testing is done,” he said. “Doctors say you just don’t know until you examine it, so there’s a lot to choose from [possible] results and we will find out as soon as possible.

“We’ll evaluate it after we see what’s going on, but we’ll be wise with it. Hopefully we can talk about him coming back really soon.”

CLOCK l Burnham’s phenomenal touchdown sees the Lions past the Riders:

Burnham’s phenomenal touchdown sees the Lions past the Roughriders

BC wide receiver Bryan Burnham sets up an incredible one-handed touchdown reception as his team earns its fifth straight win by beating Saskatchewan 28-10.

Although Rourke wore a hiking boot when leaving the field after the game, Campbell said the starter looked better in the locker room that first year.

“He could strain anything, he was walking around in the dressing room,” he said. “He’s obviously in pain – at first he was in pain on the sidelines but now he has a smile on his face.

“He’s happy that the team won. I think he’s just going to wait and be patient and see what we’re dealing with.”

Rourke’s combination of passing and running skills has made him a strong contender for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award this season – and Friday was no exception.

WATCH l Rourke leaves the game with an injury:

BC Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke leaves the game with an injury

BC Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke needs help off the field after being sacked by Saskatchewan Roughriders defenseman Pete Robertson.

Rourke completed 22 of 31 passes for 375 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as the Lions improved to 8-1 and extended their winning streak to five games.

He also rushed for 63 yards on three carries, including a 36-yard run in the third quarter that set up an 11-yard touchdown pass for Bryan Burnham.

Rourke set the tone for the Lions in the first half, making 16 of 22 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown. His two interceptions also came in the first half.

With continuous attacks downfield, the big game came at 1:58 in the first half when Rourke connected with Lucky Whitehead on a 90-yard touchdown to give the Lions a 21-3 lead. Three Saskatchewan defenders focused on a short curl route from BC receiver Bryan Burnham, allowing Whitehead to free run on a deep route.

Whitehead said the touchdown was a direct result of studying feature films.

“We know [Riders defensive back Nick Marshall] likes to sit on stretches. We’ve seen it enough, so we took it when we saw it,” he said.

Saskatchewan QB Cody Fajardo went 8-of-13 passes for 41 yards and two interceptions before Riders head coach Craig Dickenson pulled him in the second quarter.

Fajardo, who is struggling with a knee injury, was replaced by Mason Fine. He propelled the Riders across the field on his first drive and connected with Justin McInnis on a four-yard touchdown pass. Fine completed three of four passes on the drive for 47 yards.

Fine completed 16 of his 26 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown as he saw longer action for the first time this season. He too was caught once.

Though he doesn’t expect to face the Lions in Vancouver next week, Fine feels up for the challenge.

“I’m ready to go. I think as a backup quarterback, your job is to be prepared for any given situation, just like tonight,” Fine said. “It just goes back to what I’ve been doing all year – prepare like you’re the starter and ready at any second for any opportunity. That’s what will drive my mentality.”

Lions backup quarterback Anthony Pipkin scored two touchdowns with quarterback sneaks. Michael O’Connor came in as Rourke’s backup and finished the 5-of-5 passing for 36 yards.

Campbell is comfortable advancing with O’Connor at the helm until Rourke can return.

“Michael was in that league and when he got in there we said he’s going to take it home for us. He’s been doing everything right, managing the clock and doing all those things, so good for him,” he said. “We think he’s a good player and that’s why we signed him.”

The Riders were intercepted by Larry Dean and Derrick Moncrief. Robertson, who returned to the Riders lineup after suffering a foot injury on July 8, collected his eighth sack of the season.

McInnis had six receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Former driver Loucheit Purifoy, Ben Hladik and Marcus Sayles all had interceptions for the Lions. David Menard and Oburn Gwacham each had two sacks for BC while Josh Woods added another.

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