CFL: Nathan Rourke guides Lions against lowly Elks
The Edmonton Elks will aim to snap a 12-game losing skid to West Division representatives on Saturday when they visit the B.C. Lions in Vancouver.
The Elks (2-5), who last defeated a division foe on Sept. 6, 2021, fell to 0-5 in that regard this season following a 24-10 setback against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on July 22.
Despite those numbers, B.C. coach Rick Campbell is bracing for a stern test against an Edmonton club that had time to lick its wounds following a bye last week.
“Lately they’ve had a couple of wins in the East, played Winnipeg tough, so that’s an upset right there. It was a one-score game late in the fourth quarter, so that’s all you need to know,” Campbell said, per The Province. “No different mindset (for us). We’re gonna have to play really well to beat them.”
The Lions (5-1) have done precisely that in their last two home games versus the Elks dating to last season, outscoring the club 102-25.
Nathan Rourke has tormented Edmonton in those two meetings, throwing for 641 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another five scores — including 282, three and two, respectively, in B.C.’s 59-15 romp on June 11.
Rourke earned his third CFL Top Performer of the Week honors in his last six games after guiding the Lions to their second straight victory overall. He completed 27 of 33 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another score in a 32-17 triumph over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on July 29.
Rourke has thrown for 1,941 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, trailing only Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros (2,204, 17) in that regard.
“There’s no doubt,” Edmonton coach Chris Jones said of Rourke. “I told you guys after we played them that he’s a very good quarterback. He gets the ball out of his hands as quick as anybody in the league. He’s extremely, extremely accurate, he can run, he can move around in the pocket. He’s difficult to prepare for.”
Elks defensive lineman Jake Ceresna is expected to return to action on Saturday after sustaining a shoulder injury in the season opener against the Lions.
–Field Level Media