LIVESTREAM PPV: BC Lions @ Calgary Stampeders, August 12, 03:30 CET (3:30 am, 9:30 pm ET)

CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders will play host to the BC Lions in the opening matchup for Week 2 of CFL action. Both the Lions and the Stamps are in search of their first win of the season as the teams get set to kick off at McMahon.

Thursday’s matchup features an added element of excitement as Canadian rookie quarterback, Nathan Rourke is set to make his second career start after being listed ahead of Michael Reilly on the team’s depth chart.

The young signal caller finds himself in a tough situation, not only in facing the Stamps this week, but in learning to lead the Lions offence as a rookie. However, Rourke was quick to acknowledge the impact Reilly has had on his development.

“He’s seen every look, he’s run every kind of offence you can in the CFL, he knows what the concepts are and how they work,” Rourke said of Reilly. “In hindsight I don’t know if there’s a better situation for me to come in and learn from.”

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While the Orange and Black are winless in the league standings, the performance by their rookie quarterback in Week 1 can be considered a major win for the team. Rourke showed flashes of the athletic and intangible attributes that compelled the Lions to select him in the second round of the 2020 CFL Draft.

In his first career start Rourke completed 10 of his 18 passing attempts while throwing for 194 yards and two touchdowns against a stout Saskatchewan Roughriders defence.

Reilly, who has been one of the best passers in the league for nearly 11 seasons, was thrilled with what he saw from his understudy.

“It was a challenging situation for him to play in, in his first start,” said Reilly of Rourke’s performance. “I thought he did a tremendous job.”

Rourke’s introduction to the CFL was not without its hiccups as he added two interceptions on the evening, one of which Riders defensive back Nick Marshall returned for a touchdown. Despite the interceptions, Lions head coach Rick Campbell was happy with the young pivot’s first career start.

“When you’re in that environment and you’re down as much as we were down, that’s a pretty tough place to be in when it’s your first go around,” said Campbell. “I was quite proud of him, and I think it’s a good sign of things to come.”

While most of the league has been fixated on the Canadian making his second career start, Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson remains focused on the Orange and Black offence in its entirety.

“Whoever plays will give them a chance to win,” said Dickenson. “But the focus is on them as a team, not the quarterback position. We have to stop them as a team and get them off the field.”

Dickenson’s caution of the BC offence is certainly warranted, the Lions stood atop the league in terms of passing yardage to open the season. With the Lions three headed monster of Lucky WhiteheadBryan Burnham and Dominique Rhymes, combining for 304 of BC’s 397 passing yards.

In addition to game planning for the Lions aerial attack, Calgary will have to prepare for the disadvantage of time. The Stamps will be playing on a shortened week entering Week 2 of league action.

Teams playing on a shortened week have traditionally struggled. In the 2019 season teams with a short week held a win-loss record of two and eight. The Red and White will certainly have their work cut out for them ahead of Thursday’s game.

However, the Stamps do have an electric group of playmakers and the offensive creativity needed to claim their first win of the season. Not to mention the added advantage of playing at home.

Calgary’s offensive unit is impressive, they move the ball downfield with precision and conviction, making them one of the hardest teams to take off the field. The Stampeders offensive unit totalled the most first downs and surrendered the fewest two and outs in their season opener.

Additionally, the Red and White were among the league’s offensive leaders following Week 1, totalling 353 yards of net offence. Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 252 yards, while the Calgary rushing attack, headlined by Ka’Deem Carey, accounted for 101 yards on the ground.

With the departure of key playmakers, Eric Rogers and Reggie Begleton, the young group of Stampeders receivers would be expected to fill the void, and they did not disappoint.

Kamar Jorden and Josh Huff were the focal point of the Calgary passing offence, accounting for 13 targets on Mitchell’s 35 attempted passes. Additionally, the pair combined for 138 yards, with Jorden on the receiving end of Calgary’s lone passing touchdown.

Special teams are the third and arguably most important phase of the game. A good special teams’ unit is integral to the success of any team, but special team’s unit that can create turnovers is scary.

That’s exactly what the Stampeders have found in their special teams as former Calgary Dino, Charlie Moore was responsible for a crucial blocked punt which he was able to recover to give Calgary the ball back on the Toronto 19 yard-line.

Thursday’s matchup in the Stampede City between the Lions and Stampeders is set. The collection of offensive talent on both teams is undeniable and the ball is guaranteed to be soaring.

In a game that is often decided by big plays, this one has the makings to be high intensity and high scoring until the final whistle.

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2021 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here. BC Lions @ Calgary Stampeders, August, 12, 03:30 CET (3:30 am, 9:30 pm ET)

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