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Adams Jr., Rhymes in sync in B.C. Lions’ 25-15 win over Calgary Stampeders

Vernon Adams Jr. and Dominique Rhymes clicked early for the B.C. Lions in a 25-15 win over the Calgary Stampeders to open the CFL season Thursday.

Rhymes caught two landing passes and totalled 100 receiving yards within the recreation.

He picked up the place he left off in 2022 when his 1,401 yards ranked second amongst CFL receivers behind Winnipeg’s Dalton Schoen and earned Rhymes a league all-star designation.

B.C.’s quarterback was environment friendly early Thursday.

Adams threw for 176 yards in a pair of landing drives — one on B.C.’s first possession of the sport and the opposite within the first minute of the second quarter.

He capped these drives with throws to Rhymes in the long run zone.

“It’s the work we’ve been doing as a complete offence collectively,” Rhymes stated. “Once they give me alternatives to make performs, I’ve obtained to make performs for him.

“He’s our quarterback and he’s our chief and I wish to be the most effective individual I will be for him, so I could make our offence profitable.”

Adams was efficient together with his ft in addition to his arm.

The quarterback rushed for 35 yards on 10 carries and in addition ran for a landing within the fourth quarter.

B.C. kicker Sean Whyte’s 44-yard area aim with 25 seconds remaining put the sport out of attain for the Stampeders.

“Beginning quick was massive,” Lions head coach Rick Campbell stated. “It’s a 60-minute recreation, however taking part in Calgary right here is hard.

“In the event that they get momentum early, it’s actually onerous. You battle an uphill battle. It was good to get forward on the scoreboard and Vernon and our offence was an enormous a part of that.”

Tre Odoms-Dukes caught a fourth-quarter landing cross from Jake Maier for Calgary’s lone landing in entrance of an introduced crowd of 17,942 at McMahon Stadium.

Calgary’s Rene Paredes kicked three area targets on 5 makes an attempt.

He missed his first two from 39 and 45 yards, however was profitable from 22, 39 and 52 yards.

Adams accomplished 27 of 35 passes for 270 yards and two landing throws within the recreation. He was intercepted by Mike Rose.

The Lions acquired Adams, a 2019 CFL all-star, from the Montreal Alouettes halfway by way of final season when Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke was injured.

With Rourke now property of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, the Lions appeared to the 30-year-old Adams to guide their offence.

“I’m feeling much more snug than I used to be final yr getting thrown within the fireplace,” Adams stated.

Maier struggled in Thursday’s first half in finishing simply seven of 15 passes for 56 yards.

The 26-year-old was below stress a number of instances and sacked late within the second quarter by Mathieu Betts.

Maier completed 20-for-36 in cross makes an attempt for 154 yards and a landing cross. He was intercepted as soon as.

“There’s no excuses,” Maier stated. “I’m by no means going to be an excuse man.

“We didn’t play that nicely, particularly on offence within the first half and we’re on to Week 2.”

Calgary’s Ka’Deem Carey, the CFL’s main rusher final season, ran for 42 yards on seven carries.

B.C.’s defence held prime Stampeder receivers Reggie Begelton and Malik Henry to a mixed 58 yards.

The Lions generated extra first downs than the Stampeders over the primary three quarters.

“We’ve obtained to remain forward of the sticks, that means we are able to’t be a second-and-long staff,” Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson stated.

“We weren’t in a position to essentially give Jake the additional time to make that further learn, make that further play.

“It’s early. I’m not going to beat them up. I perceive what it’s. Look within the mirror. We’ve obtained to be higher. Coaches as nicely.”

Paredes’ area aim from 52 yards late within the fourth quarter pulled the hosts inside 4 factors of B.C., however Whyte’s 44-yarder sealed B.C.’s victory.

The Lions and Stampeders each posted 12-6 information in 2022.

B.C. downed Calgary 30-16 in final yr’s West Division semifinal earlier than falling 28-20 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers within the division last.

“Final yr, we went to the sport earlier than the ultimate, so we all know what kind of staff now we have,” Lions defensive again Garry Peters stated. “We got here into the camp so much additional forward.

“We now have loads of veteran guys, in order that’s only a testomony of what kind of staff now we have and that’s what we placed on the sphere right this moment.”

The Stampeders subsequent face the host Ottawa Redblacks in a second straight Thursday night time recreation to open their season.

The Lions are at dwelling towards the Edmonton Elks on June 17 with a pre-game live performance by LL Cool J scheduled for B.C. Place

Campbell hopes bringing a win dwelling from Calgary provides to the home-opener buzz.

“We’re making an attempt to do our half on the sphere,” Campbell stated. “Hopefully we get an enormous crowd subsequent week.”

Notes: The Stampeders had 9 rookies of their game-day lineup, together with three receivers, in comparison with seven for the Lions … Because the CFL returned to a nine-team league in 2014, Calgary is 4-4-1 and the Lions are 4-5 in season openers.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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