Nathan Rourke BC Lions beat Calgary Stampeders Western Semi-Final
VANCOUVER — Even after putting up monster numbers in his first ever CFL playoff game, B.C. Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke saw room for improvement.
“We came out of it with a win. That was the most satisfying part to me,” the 24-year-old Canadian said Sunday after the Lions topped the Calgary Stampeders 30-16 in the West Division semifinal.
“I mean, it wasn’t pretty, but we got it done. And that’s what playoffs are all about.”
Rourke threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, connecting on 22-of-30 attempts. It was his first full game since Aug. 19, when he suffered a foot injury that required surgery and forced the first-year star to the sidelines for eight games.
The performance didn’t surprise Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell.
“I’ve been the No. 1 Nathan Rourke fan for the last three years and he’s gonna approach it — playoff, pre pre-season, regular season — he’s going to have that same mentality (every game),” he said.
B.C. got solid performances across the lineup.
Antonio Pipkin added 45 passing yards and a TD for the Lions, while Sean Whyte connected for three field goals and the defensive unit limited Calgary — who boosted the CFL’s best run game in the regular season — to 83 rushing yards.
Stopping the league’s top running back was a focus for the defensive group all week, said defensive lineman Mathieu Betts.
“Obviously they have a really good guy with Ka’Deem (Carey) there,” he said. “Credit goes to our coaches for getting us ready, guys bought in and with our offence taking the lead … somewhere in the first half, they became one dimensional, so that helped.”
Calgary quarterback Jake Maier also started in his first playoff game Sunday and connected on 12-of-22 passing attempts for 138 yards before being replaced by veteran Bo Levi Mitchell in the fourth quarter.
Maier said he and his teammates simply didn’t execute.
“It hurts really bad, but I can assure you this — I’ll be back and we’ll be back from this,” he said.
Mitchell threw for 147 yards in what was likely his last appearance in a Stampeders’ uniform.
“It’s been an amazing ride, an amazing career for that chapter. And I just appreciate it and everybody that’s given me the opportunity,” he said. “I look forward to the next part.”
Renee Parades made all three of his field goal attempts, including a 32-yard kick.
The two sides came in with identical 12-6 regular-season records but the Stampeders were plagued by penalties on Sunday, taking eight for 83 yards.
“It’s disappointing, a 12-win season we didn’t make any noise in the playoffs,” said Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson. “I think we had a team that could win it. That’s the problem I have with not playing our best game, but (B.C.) has a good team, too. They played well.”
The Lions will head to Winnipeg to face the Blue Bombers in the West Division final on Nov. 13. The East Division final will see the Montreal Alouettes take on the Argonauts in Toronto the same day.
The Grey Cup will be played in Regina on Nov. 20.
A crowd of 30,114 fans took in Sunday’s game inside a chilly B.C. Place. Their cheers and energy helped propel the Lions to the win, Campbell said.
“Obviously the players deserve all the credit but I think it’s really cool the atmosphere, that’s a real deal atmosphere. The fans were fantastic,” he said. “It’s pretty fun and special to be a part of.”
Both sides were limited to field goals through much of the first two quarters, including a 41-yard kick by Whyte early in the second.
B.C. took a 13-6 lead into halftime after a series of solid passes put the Lions deep in Stampeders’ territory.
Rourke connected with Burnham on a 19-yard toss, then sent a 25-yard bomb to Keon Hatcher before capping the drive with a 13-yard rocket to Alexander Hollins deep in the end zone. The QB was hit hard as he let the ball fly but walked off the field on his own and was back for B.C.’s next possession.
The Lions’ offensive line had difficulty at times on Sunday and midway through the third, Rourke was sacked for the fourth time. He recovered quickly and followed up by threading a 16-yard pass to Bryan Burnham through a pair of Stamps defenders.
The Lions capped the drive when short-yardage specialist Pipkin came in on third down. While being hauled to the turf, Pipkin put up a 20-yard toss to an unmarked Hatcher, who sprinted 25 yards for B.C.’s second touchdown of the game.
The team had been working on the play all season, Hatcher said.
“When we heard in the huddle, me, (Dominique) Rhymes and Alex (Hollins) looked at each other like ‘Oh my god, they called it, they called it,'” he said. “I was super excited but you’ve got to execute. So that’s what happened. We executed and got a touchdown out of it.”
With less than 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Calgary opted to replace Maier with Mitchell in a bid to spark the offence.
“Jake played hard and I don’t think it was really on him,” Dickenson said. “I just don’t think there were enough guys open. We didn’t have the ball long enough. We weren’t protecting him well enough. Calls weren’t fitting well enough. It was a group effort.”
Mitchell, a two-time Grey Cup champion, drove his side to B.C.’s eight-yard line on his first possession before getting sacked. Parades finished the scoring drive with a 24-yard field goal, cutting the Lions’ lead to 20-9.
The Lions boosted their advantage to 27-9 with just over three minutes left on the clock.
Rourke dished a seven-yard pass to Hollins, who rushed for an additional 22 yards and put B.C. in scoring position.
The Canadian QB then waited patiently in the pocket for the right target and picked out Burnham in the end zone. Rourke sailed a 10-yard bomb to the veteran receiver for B.C.’s third TD of the day.
Calgary made a late push, with Carey appearing to punch in the Stamps’ lone touchdown with a one-yard run with a minute and 49 seconds to go. The play was overturned on review, with officials determining he had not, in fact, crossed the goal line.
The down was replayed, this time with Tommy Stevens as he muscled the ball into the end zone with a one-yard QB sneak that cut B.C.’s lead to 27-16.
Whyte capped the final drive of the day with a 15-yard field goal to seal the score at 30-16.
NOTES: Calgary took six penalties for 68 yards in the first half. B.C. had one for five yards. … Sunday marked the Lions’ first home playoff game since 2016 and the team’s first post-season appearance since 2018. The Stampeders made the playoffs for a club-record 17th straight season this year. … The last time two starting QBs made their playoff debut in the same game was Nov. 23, 2014 when Bo Levi Mitchell (Calgary) took on Michael Reilly (Edmonton) in the West final.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2022.
2023 Canadian Open: Live stream, watch online, TV schedule, channel, tee times, radio, golf coverage – CBS Sports
One last tune up for the U.S. Open takes place this week at the 2023 Canadian Open at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Ontario. The third-oldest running tournament on the PGA Tour schedule behind just the U.S. Open and The Open, the Canadian Open will feature a stout field as players look to find their footing ahead of the third major championship of the season.
The field is headlined by world No. 3 Rory McIlroy, who looks to pull off a rare three-peat. A seven-stroke winner at the 2019 Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, the Northern Irishman successfully defended his title three years later (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) at St. George’s Golf & Country Club. If he is to win this week, McIlroy will have claimed three Canadian Open titles on three different golf courses spanning five years.
Looking to get in McIlroy’s way is reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. Set to defend his title next week at Los Angeles Country Club, the Englishman has his sights on claiming his second victory of the season — as does his fellow countryman Justin Rose. The English contingent is rounded out by Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood, both of whom appear keen on breaking a winless drought on the PGA Tour.
Cameron Young hopes to find some form following a pair of missed cuts, as does Sam Burns. Shane Lowry and Sahith Theegala are eager at the prospect of raising the trophy, while Canadians Corey Conners, Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin and many more look to put together a memorable performance in front of their very own.
All times Eastern; streaming start times approximated
Round 3 – Saturday
Round starts: 9:15 a.m.
PGA Tour Live: 9:15 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Early TV coverage: 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. on Golf Channel
Live TV coverage: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on CBS
Live simulcast: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App
Radio: 2 – 7:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio
Round 4 – Sunday
Round starts: 8:15 a.m.
PGA Tour Live: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Early TV coverage: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. on Golf Channel
Live TV coverage: 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. on CBS
Live simulcast: 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App
Radio: 1 – 6:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio
Bobrovsky bounces back, Panthers win Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final – NHL.com
SUNRISE, Fla. — Before Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe were the late-game heroes for the Florida Panthers, Sergei Bobrovsky was back to doing what he did best.
The Panthers goalie rebounded from being pulled in his previous start to make 25 saves in in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at FLA Live Arena on Thursday.
Florida still trails 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, with Game 4 here Saturday (8 p.m. ET; TNT, TBS, truTV, CBC, SN, TVAS), but has life now after rallying from 2-1 deficit with Tkachuk scoring the tying goal with 2:13 left in the third period and Verhaeghe scoring the winner 4:27 into overtime. But the Panthers wouldn’t have been in position to pull out the first Stanley Cup Final victory in their history without Bobrovsky.
He was at his best in the second period, stopping 12 of the 13 shots he faced to prevent Vegas from building more than a one-goal lead.
“I can’t even count how many huge saves he made tonight,” Verhaeghe said. “Probably at least 10.”
[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]
Panthers coach Paul Maurice scoffed Wednesday at the suggestion that Bobrovsky might not start Game 3 after he was pulled in the second period of a 7-2 loss in Game 2 on Monday after allowing four goals on 13 shots. So, Maurice couldn’t resist asking the media postgame Thursday, “You want to ask who’s starting next game?”
Bobrovsky didn’t seem bothered that he was pulled in Game 2, saying, “It is what it is.”
“I only can control the things that I can control,” Bobrovsky said. “You try to give your best and sometimes it’s happening, so it’s OK. As long as you stay mentally [focused] and the series goes on, and tonight is a big win for us.”
Video: VGK@FLA, Gm3: Bobrovsky stops Theodore and Howden
Still, Bobrovsky wasn’t the same goalie in the first two games against Vegas as he had been in the second and third rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes, when he was 8-1 with a 1.51 goals-against average, .954 save percentage and one shutout.
Vegas utilized screens in front and took advantage of Florida’s defensive breakdowns on rush chances to score eight times on 46 shots on Bobrovsky in the first two games. It helped that Florida played with better defensive structure in front of Bobrovsky on Thursday, but he also elevated his play to make big saves at key moments.
Among them was a glove save on defenseman Nicolas Hague‘s open shot from the left circle at 4:05 of the second period and a right pad stop on Jonathan Marchessault‘s shot from the left circle at 5:49 of the second to keep the score tied 1-1.
“He’s been doing it for us all year and especially the last couple weeks,” Panthers forward Sam Reinhart said. “When we’re in lanes, we’re kind of back defensively collapsing, it makes it a little bit easier on him and he’s been making the spectacular saves at the right time, and that’s what you need at this time of year.”
“Every game he’s giving us a chance to win the game,” Panthers center Aleksander Barkov said. “And today, no different. He was incredible for us. Made some unreal saves in literally every period. He gave us the chance to win, and we used that chance.”
Video: Panthers earn comeback OT victory in Game 3 of SCF
Bobrovsky said he didn’t feel that different than he did in Game 2.
“I felt pretty comfortable last game too, but I feel good tonight as well,” he said.
Instead, he credited his teammates for the way they played in front of him.
“This game, the coaches gave us a pretty clear plan, and I thought the guys were executing it unbelievably tonight,” Bobrovsky said. “We defended very well. We didn’t give much space or room for them, or time, so that’s a big win for us.”
Blue Jays cut ties with pitcher Anthony Bass amid backlash over anti-LGBTQ social media post
Reliever Anthony Bass has been designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays.
It’s the latest development in a controversy that began last week when Bass shared a social media post that supported anti-LGBTQ boycotts.
Bass, who made a public apology last week for the post, had been scheduled to catch the ceremonial first pitch by LGBTQ advocate leZlie Lee Kam when the Jays hosted Minnesota on Friday night to kick off their Pride Weekend.
The Blue Jays said pitcher Kevin Gausman would catch the first pitch instead.
The decision to include Bass was met with criticism by some on social media.
Bass has a 0-0 record and 4.95 earned-run average over 22 appearances this season.
Toronto called up right-hander Mitch White in a corresponding roster move.
Bass had shared a since-deleted video post urging others to spurn Target and Bud Light over the support they showed for the LGBTQ community.
He said in a scrum that he initially did not think the video post — which described the selling of Pride-themed merchandise as “evil” and “demonic” — was hateful.
“That’s why I posted it originally,” he said. “When I look back at it, I can see how people can view it that way and that’s why I was apologetic.”
Before Friday’s game, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said the decision to cut Bass was primarily motivated by performance and not by the pitcher’s off-the-field circumstances.
“There’s a myriad of variables,” Atkins said. “Performance is usually the driving one and performance was a large aspect of this decision. Distraction was a small part of it and something we had to factor in.”
Atkins refused to say whether Bass would still be on the team if his performance had been better.
“We’re trying to build the best possible team we can build,” Atkins said. “This was a baseball decision to make our team better.”
Atkins also said it was not “a realistic option” for Bass to land in Toronto’s minor league system.
“We won’t stand in his way to be with another organization,” Atkins said.
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