Cody Fajardo threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns and the Saskatchewan Roughriders scored the game’s first 31 points before holding on for a wild 33-29 victory over the BC Lions in the season opener for both teams.
Fajardo connected with Brayden Lenius for a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and hooked up with Kyran Moore from seven yards to extend the Roughriders’ lead to 21-0 in the second quarter. Saskatchewan increased the advantage to 31-0 on Nick Marshall’s 27-yard interception return and Brett Lauther’s 39-yard field goal.
Michael Reilly started the second half in place of rookie Nathan Rourke and found James Butler for a four-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to draw the Lions within 32-22. BC went back to Rourke and he threw a 16-yard scoring strike to Bryan Burnham with 1:33 to play.
But Jordan Williams-Lambert recovered the Lions’ onside kick attempt and A.C. Leonard intercepted Rourke to put the game away.
Fajardo finished 28 of 35 for 230 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Reilly was 17 of 24 for 203 yards with a TD. Rourke went 10 of 18 for 194 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in his CFL debut.