B.C. Lions lose heartbreaker after lacking late convert towards Eskimos

Gerry Moddejonge

VANCOUVER – He might not all the time bear in mind the end result, he might not all the time bear in mind the rating.

However chances are high Adam Konar’s feeling of creating his first begin within the Canadian Soccer League might be a lifelong reminiscence.

“It’s totally different than simply going right into a recreation solely taking part in particular (groups),” mentioned the 23-year-old Edmonton Eskimos linebacker, kicking off his third season with a go to again to his hometown to face the B.C. Lions. “Week 1, we get the prospect to get to return to my hometown, so it couldn’t be a greater one for myself.”

Or a greater consequence for the Eskimos, who received 30-27 to start out the season 1-Zero and provides newcomer Brock Sunderland his first win as a Canadian Soccer League normal supervisor.

In fact, within the course of they could have additionally misplaced linebacker J.C. Sherritt, who was carted to the locker-room halfway via Saturday’s second quarter with a towel over his head and a suspected Achilles damage.

However for Konar, recollections got here flooding again Saturday as he took to the sphere in entrance of 19,175 at BC Place Stadium, the place he was beforehand named MVP of the 2010 Subway Bowl throughout his highschool days.

Earlier than that, he even bought to run round at halftime throughout Lions video games along with his minor soccer group.

“We went on the market at halftime a pair occasions and performed a bit of scrimmage once they had the AstroTurf, so it was tough. You needed to put on lengthy sleeves on the sphere however that was thrilling to go on the market and try this after we have been youthful,” he mentioned. “I’m excited every time I get to return house and play.”

Two days into the 2017 coaching camp, Konar, out of the blue discovered himself observing a beginning position after veteran WIL linebacker Cory Greenwood’s first season in Edmonton ended earlier than it even started on account of a torn ACL.

“When Corey went down that Day 2, he was the primary individual I went as much as and mentioned, ‘It’s your alternative to shine, man. You’ve bought to do it,’ ” mentioned Eskimos head coach Jason Maas. “I really feel like we’ve bought the depth again there, however Adam is the primary man with the chance,” Maas mentioned. “He’s bought all of the instruments on this planet, so I’m hoping after 24 begins he’s rather a lot just like the participant I noticed in Cory.”

One down. Although it didn’t essentially go simple.

The primary quarter ended with the Eskimos forward 6-2 on a pair of area objectives by Sean Whyte

With 61 seconds left earlier than halftime, the Eskimos got here up with their first landing of 2017 when rookie Duke Williams got here up with a 50-50 ball in the long run zone for a 21-yard reception and a 13-5 lead.

Reilly hit Vidal Hazelton with a 13-yard strike into the top zone to guide 20-11 heading into the ultimate body.

B.C. pounced on a fumbled punt return by Garry Peters, organising a 13-yard landing run by Jeremiah Johnson to path 20-17 after the point-after try was blocked by Almondo Sewell.

A 41-yard reception by Williams, who completed with 4 catches for 110 yards and the landing in his debut, arrange a two-yard landing run by John White, who carried 17 occasions for 104 yards.

However following a Lions’ punt single, it was Nick Moore arising with a 62-yard catch behind Eskimos cornerback Johnny Adams that arrange the go-ahead landing on a two-yard sneak by Travis Lulay within the remaining minute. A minimum of, it could have if Ty Lengthy, who rang a 43-yard try off the put up earlier, didn’t miss the convert kick.

Brendan Zylstra got here up with a 76-yard catch and run, resulting in the profitable area aim from 9 yards out by Sean Whyte.

Konar’s bought an extended solution to go if he hopes to meet up with his father and former star linebacker for the Lions within the 1980s, Kevin Konar.

“He performed 10 years, so I couldn’t rely what number of video games that’s,” Konar chuckled, estimating he had a upwards of 20 family and friends within the stands Saturday. “However he performed 10 years all with the Lions and I feel he was beginning in his first yr. Not everyone can go in and begin their first yr, for certain.

“In order that was spectacular and to play 10 years is spectacular too. That’s why it’s sort of all the time been my aim to purpose for 10 years taking part in in a professional profession. However I’ve bought to take it one step at a time.”

And this has been the largest step thus far.

“It’s an excellent alternative,” Konar mentioned. “I’ve simply bought to remain wholesome and keep able to go, actually.”

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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