Vernon Adams Jr. throws four touchdown passes to lead Lions past Ticats 44-28 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon Adams Jr. throws four touchdown passes to lead Lions past Ticats 44-28

BC Lions wide receiver Justin McInnis (18) is unable to hang onto the ball while being defended by Hamilton Tiger Cats defensive back Destin Talbert (26) during first quarter CFL football game action in Hamilton, Ont. on Sunday, July 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Original Publication Date July 07, 2024 - 7:16 PM

HAMILTON - Vernon Adams Jr. and the B.C. Lions are on a nice roll.

Adams threw four first-half touchdown passes to lead B.C. past the struggling Hamilton Tiger-Cats 44-28 on Sunday night. The Lions (4-1) have won four straight and over that stretch Adams has nine TD tosses and no interceptions.

"He (Adams) is locked in and ready to go," Lions head coach/co-GM Rick Campbell said. "You can see all of the obvious things but even the stuff like when he uses his feet to buy time or run for a first down.

"Those are huge plays in the game. It gets demoralizing for a defence when they think they did everything right and then the quarterback improvises and makes a play."

Adams, who entered the contest as the CFL's leading passer, finished 26-of-36 passing for 383 yards while rushing three times for 15 yards. He threw for 321 yards and the four TDs in staking B.C. to a commanding 34-11 halftime lead.

"Everything I saw on film they showed me out there," Adams said. "I was just going through my reads and giving these guys the opportunity that they would make the play for me and that was it.

"For the most part I was seeing it very well, the receivers were getting depth on their routes making the plays, the O-line gave me time."

B.C.'s offence set the tone early, with Adams capping B.C.'s two opening possessions with TD passes. He found Justin McInnis on a five-yard strike at 6:00 after hitting William Stanback on a 45-yard touchdown pass at 2:08 as the Lions amassed a combined 147 yards on just 10 plays.

"That's what we need to do when you come here and you're playing a good team and in a hostile environment like this," Adams said. "The fans are talking crazy to you and stuff.

"We knew we had to come and score early."

And effectively put Hamilton (0-5) in trouble early.

"It (wasn't) the start we wanted, but at the end of the day we've got to figure ourselves out, still keep fighting," said Ticats cornerback Jamal Peters. "It's still early in the season.

"We've just got to go back to the drawing board and see what we messed up and get ready for the next week."

B.C.'s offensive success wasn't surprising given its unit entered action leading the CFL in net yards (408.3 per game). But the Lions stood fifth in offensive points (24.3).

Hamilton stood second in offensive yards (390.5 per game) but had to play catch-up right from the start. The Ticats have lost five straight to start a season for the first time since 2017 when they dropped to 0-8.

Hamilton starter Bo Levi Mitchell completed 32-of-48 passing attempts for 374 yards and three touchdowns before a Tim Hortons Field gathering of 20,210. He connected with Kiondre Smith on a four-yard TD toss to end the game.

McInnis and Stanback, both with two, and Alexander Hollins had B.C.'s touchdowns. Sean Whyte booted the converts and three field goals, pushing his streak of consecutive kicks made to a career-best 31.

McInnis registered 10 catches for 144 yards while Hollins added six receptions for 116 yards. Stanback rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries, including a three-yard TD run at 13:09 of the fourth.

James Butler and Luther Hakunavanhu scored Hamilton's other touchdowns. Marc Liegghio had three converts and two field goals while Nik Constantinou added a single.

Butler ran for 27 yards on nine carries but had nine catches for 108 yards.

Liegghio booted a 28-yard field goal at 5:05 of the third but Whyte countered with a 35-yard boot at 8:30. Mitchell's four-yard TD pass to Hakunavanhu at 13:51 cut B.C.'s lead to 37-21.

Whyte's 28-yard boot at 14:33 of the second staked B.C. to its 23-point halftime advantage. That didn't sit well with the home crowd, which booed the Ticats off the field.

McInnis was Adams' favourite first-half target with eight catches for 131 yards and the two TDs while Hollins recorded five receptions for 106 yards and the touchdown. B.C's offence rolled up 348 net yards — compared to 139 for Hamilton — and scored on six-of-eight possessions.

Mitchell was 10-of-18 passing for 115 yards and a TD. The Ticats also didn't help themselves with seven penalties for 54 yards.

Liegghio's 22-yard field goal at 11:02 cut B.C.'s lead to 31-11. Mitchell threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Butler at 5:39 but Adams countered with a 69-yard TD toss to Hollins at 6:32 that put B.C. ahead 31-8.

Adams and McInnis combined on a seven-yard passing TD at 1:26 to stretch B.C.'s lead to 21-1. Whyte's 39-yard boot at 4:30 put the Lions ahead 24-1.

Constantinou drew loud cheers from the home crowd after his 60-yard punt went for a single at 14:13 of the first.


Tiger-Cats: They have a bye week before hosting the Toronto Argonauts on July 20.

Lions: Host the Saskatchewan Roughriders (4-0) on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2024.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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