B.C. Lions feel a rush of confidence 0
BC Lions' Chris Willson (right) blocks a pass as teammate Keron Williams (centre) tackles Edmonton Eskimos' quarterback Mike Reilly (left) during the second half of CFL game at BC Place in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday October 25, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
It may have only been against the Edmonton Eskimos — a team with just three wins this season — but the B.C. Lions' 43-29 victory last Friday was much needed.
Maybe even more so for the running game.
An area that has struggled for most of the latter half of this season, the team's two tailbacks combined for 197 yards, led by Stefan Logan's 121 and one touchdown. Andrew Harris did his part as well, finding the end zone twice with a pair of catches and picking up 36 receiving yards.
Is the confidence back?
"If you look at the rush game … it's not just my confidence, but it's in the offensive line," said Harris, whose 76 rushing yards was his highest total since Week 5. "Stefan did a great job, and the (offensive co-ordinator) has more confidence now in calling runs now and mixing it up.
"We had more rushing yards than we did passing so that's unheard of usually in the CFL and especially with our team."
If you throw in the additional 23 rushing yards from quarterbacks Buck Pierce and Thomas DeMarco, along with receiver Shawn Gore, the team did in fact outrun their passing game. And with the playoffs less than two weeks away, there's no better timing than now to see the tides turning.
"Even before Stefan got here, the coaches and players have been working extremely hard on (the run game) over the last month or plus," head coach Mike Benevides said. "They work really well together, and Andrew has been the ultimate teammate, really trying to help Stefan get a grasp of the offence.
"When you take a look at those two guys, they gave us plays all over the place. As they continue to work that way and improve on explosive plays, that will be better for us."
Having the two tailbacks competing for reps too is "healthy competition," according to Harris.
"For now, the biggest thing is building off each other," he said. "It's fun to have that and … it just makes us both better.
The team will look to replicate their offensive success this Friday in the regular season finale against the Calgary Stampeders — an obviously much tougher opponent than Edmonton and a foe they'll eventually have to face in order to get to the Grey Cup.
"It's definitely crucial to show we can do it … and be the big dog in this last game regardless of what the standings hold," Harris said. "It's a big momentum booster to get a win here."