The Lions are aiming for their first season series sweep against Saskatchewan since their 3–0 victory in 2016.
Even after 22 glorious seasons with Nathan Rourke, he’ll still be on the CFL record books.
The 24-year-old Victorian picked up a leg injury last week in the BC Lions’ 28-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Rourke is scheduled to undergo surgery and, while optimistic about his late-season return, the 2022 campaign remains very much in jeopardy.
With Rourke out, Ottawa native Michael O’Connor will start Friday night as BC (8-1) host the Riders (5-5) to complete the Home and Home series. The Lions are aiming for his sweep in the first season series against Saskatchewan since his 3–0 victory in 2016.
However, according to the CFL, his 79.2% completion mark would remain a league record for a single season if Rourke failed to return because he attempted at least 300 passes. That would break the current 77.23% set by Ricky Ray of the Toronto Argonauts in 2013.
Rourke’s efficiency rating of 125.1 makes it the second best in CFL history, behind Ray’s mark of 126.37, also set in 2013.
Ray will headline the 2022 class, which will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on September 16.
In his second season in the CFL, Rourke became the first starting quarterback in the BC to complete 248 of 313 passes for 3,281 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He leads the league in passing yards, TDs, and completion percentage.
He also holds the CFL record for yards passed by a Canadian in a regular season game, throwing for 488 yards on Rally BC on August 13 in a 41–40 win over the Calgary Stampeders.
Rourke is also the league’s top rushing quarterback, running for 304 yards on 39 carries (7.8 yards average) for seven touchdowns.
More importantly, BC (8-1) are second in the West Division standings, their only loss to front-line Winnipeg (9-1). But the Lions are on their fifth straight win since he beat the Blue Bombers by decision 43-22 at home on July 9.
O’Connor is poised to become the third Canadian quarterback this season, after Rourke and Edmonton rookie Tre Ford. His three quarterbacks in Canada have not started a game in the same season since his 1968, when Ottawa’s Russ Jackson, Edmonton’s Frank Cosentino and BC’s Peter Ohler were all under center. Hmm.
Lions: Nathan Rourke’s 2022 CFL Season 1 Sets League Record
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