Lions win a big boost for new QB’s confidence 0
BC Lions' quarterback Thomas DeMarco during CFL pre-season game at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday June 21, 2013, (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Thomas DeMarco's numbers weren't as high as his counterpart this past Sunday, but for a quarterback making his first CFL start, it was the win that mattered most.
After all, the B.C. Lions were without their No. 1 man in Travis Lulay and still managed to make up ground in the West Division. How's that for a sigh of relief?
The team's thrilling last-second 24-22 win during the Week 13 matchup against the Saskatchewan Roughriders has them tied for second in the West and two points back of top spot. And for DeMarco, his confidence is soaring with a commendable road performance in one of the toughest places to play in the league.
"The more I get out there … the more comfortable I'll get," DeMarco said Tuesday at practice. "Having success early was awesome. It's just going to take time for me to get used to the offence and doing it every day."
The 24-year-old native of Palm Desert, Calif. completed 18 of 33 passes for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 31-yard drive with less than 38 seconds remaining set up McCallum's winning field goal and the team's eighth win of the season.
"It's just exciting to be out there," he said. "I haven't been in there very often and I got to go in there and execute the offence, and came away with the victory and that was huge."
Coach Mike Benevides said the team will prepare both pivots to play this week — with veteran Buck Pierce completing two of three passes for 16 yards against the Riders — but adds his confidence in DeMarco continues to rise.
"He certainly performed last week," Benevides said. "When you go through what he went through … at the end, he did everything that was asked of him. That's going to build confidence in the locker room."
The Lions are back on the road this Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers — a team that has allowed the most points so far this season. The bottom-feeding Bombers have also given up the second-most yards per game, which could bode well for a Lions offence still without their regular leader.
As for the other side of the ball, they can always pick the brain of Buck Pierce, who, of course, knows the Winnipeg offence rather well.
"It's going to be a fun atmosphere," said the quarterback, who played with the Bombers for three and a half seasons before a trade to B.C. two weeks ago. "I probably got more of an insight just of personnel and how each defender might play a certain coverage and how they might line up against one of our guys."
The Lions will be without special teams player Stu Foord after he dislocated his knee against Saskatchewan. The six-year CFL veteran was dealt a heavy block by Riders’ Graig Newman during a B.C. punt and is expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time.