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B.C. Lions look for spark after first loss of season to Toronto Argonauts

Adams: ‘We watched it, flushed it, I learned from my mistakes and continue to grow’
BC Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (3) throws under pressure from Toronto Argonauts defensive lineman Dewayne Hendrix (99) during first half CFL action in Toronto on Monday, July 3, 2023. Adams admits he made mistakes against the Argonauts, as the Lions lost for the first time this season, but he’s moving forward as the Lions prepate to host Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Vernon Adams Jr. admits he made mistakes against the Toronto Argonauts earlier this week as the B.C. Lions lost for the first time this season.

The veteran quarterback, who threw six interceptions in the 45-24 loss to Toronto on Monday, said he’s looking past the disappointing performance and aiming to rebound when the Lions host the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday.

“We watched it, flushed it, I learned from my mistakes and continue to grow as a quarterback and a person,” he said about reviewing the game tape.

He also questioned the turnaround in praise for the Lions (3-1).

“Nothing outside of our locker room matters. None of the media stuff, none of the naysayers … they were praising everybody weeks ago,” Adams said. “My brothers, my teammates, out here with the kids, that’s what matters.”

Adams had never thrown for more than two interceptions in a game before Monday’s performance.

Despite the interceptions, Adams threw for 388 yards and three touchdowns, his third 300-yard passing performance of the season.

“His whole body of work since he’s been here has been really good. I know there’s a bunch of things that our football team did wish we could do better in that game but that’s life and you’ve got to move on and move forward,” said head coach Rick Campbell.

Campbell defended his quarterback and said he believed B.C. had a chance to get back in to the game right up until the final whistle was blown.

“I think the game got away from us at the end. I think it skewed things at the end. There were some throws and some things we did as a football team that we didn’t want to do earlier in the game,” he said.

Adams performance was an “anomaly,” Campbell added.

The loss marked a surprise setback for a dominant B.C. Lions defence as well.

Up until the game B.C.’s defence led the league in fewest points allowed, net offensive yards and average yards per play.

Campbell said his team had given up too many penalties and turnovers in the loss and wanted to cut that out against the Alouettes.

“We want to play good, hard, smart football,” he said.

Wide receiver Lucky Whitehead is expected to return to the lineup against the Alouettes after missing the last two games.

The Alouettes (2-1) come to B.C. after a 17-3 loss against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.

Cody Fajardo has been sacked 15 times so far this season and head coach Jason Maas acknowledged his team needs to protect their quarterback but said it’s not an issue he wants his players worrying about.

“It’s professional football. They have to stand in there and take hits, that’s the bottom line. Do we need to do a better job protecting? Yes,” said Maas. “Ultimately you can sit back there and worry about the guy. You have to protect them the best you can.”

Fajardo went 17 for 27 for 270 yards but threw a red-zone interception. Montreal also fumbled the ball in Winnipeg’s half on another occasion and missed a field goal amid poor weather.

Maas attributed the loss to mental mistakes and says coaches and players have worked to correct those leading in to Sunday’s game.

“Communication, communication, communication. We need to be better at communicating … and understanding what we’re doing out there,” he said.

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