Lions top ’Riders
REGINA—Thomas DeMarco’s encore performance yesterday went considerably better than his first.
Making his first CFL start, the B.C. Lions’ quarterback threw two second-half touchdowns, and helped set up Paul McCallum’s game-winning field goal with no time on the clock, as the Lions took over second place in the West Division with a 24-22 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The win was the second-straight for B.C. (8-4) while Saskatchewan (8-4) lost its third in a row.
“I have a lot of great people on the sidelines right now,” noted DeMarco, who started in place of the injured Travis Lulay.
“Travis was very calm. Buck was very calm,” he said. “Joey [Elliott] helped me out, as well.
“The biggest thing is just to keep you calm and help you with seeing the field,” DeMarco added.
“They really helped me out today and allowed me to talk through things, and we got the victory at the end.”
Pierce replaced DeMarco briefly after DeMarco’s first 13 pass attempts yielded just 52 yards and five-straight two-and-outs.
DeMarco had started the game with five-straight completions.
But he made up for a shaky first half with the Lions trailing 12-6 early in the third quarter when he hit Nick Moore with a 43-yard touchdown strike.
The Lions got the ball right back when Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant fumbled for a second time.
DeMarco then threw a 20-yard TD to Shawn Gore to make it 20-12 before McCallum booted an 84-yard kick-off single to extend the lead to nine.
“He’s just a very well-composed individual,” McCallum said of DeMarco.
“Playing his first start, going in there, getting pulled, going back in and making things happen, that shows a lot about his character.”
Durant threw an eight-yard touchdown to Weston Dressler with 38 seconds left to make it 22-21 as the Roughriders appeared poised to overcome two costly fumbles and snap their losing streak.
But Marco Iannuzzi returned the kick-off 28 yards and DeMarco passed for a pair of key first downs to set up McCallum’s winning kick from 42 yards out.
DeMarco finished 18-of-33 passes for 208 yards while Pierce went 2-for-3 for 16 yards.
Durant replied with 35-for-52 passing for 326 yards.
The Roughriders appeared to have the game won after Dressler’s touchdown but, for the third-straight game, ultimately paid the price for their turnovers and undisciplined ways.