Canadian QB Nathan Rourke sets multiple records while eviscerating Elks in B.C. Lions’ Week 9 win

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/BC Lions

Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke set multiple records and tied one other while carving up the Elks in Week 9, according to the CFL’s head statistician Steve Daniel.

He completed 34-of-37 passes for 477 yards with five touchdowns and added five carries for 25 yards plus one touchdown along the ground. The 24-year-old led his B.C. Lions to a decisive 46-14 win over supposed Edmonton defensive guru Chris Jones.

“It’s good things to build on. Football’s fun when things are going right, so I’m happy for that,” Rourke said post-game.

“He’s got the right mindset and demeanour, he’s not a roller coaster guy, just comes to work every day,” head coach Rick Campbell said. “He’s been the same guy since he showed up, hanging out at our facility when he was allowed to during the pandemic.”

Rourke set the all-time single game CFL record for completion percentage at 91.9 by any QB with a minimum of 30 attempts. Veteran Trevor Harris held the previous mark at 90.3 (28-of-31) from a game in 2016. Only four times in league history has a quarterback registered a 90-plus percent completion rate in a game when attempting 30 or more passes.

After breaking Russ Jackson’s mark for passing yards in a single game by a Canadian player earlier this season, Rourke bettered his own number from 436 to 477. He has passed for over 300 yards in four of his seven starts this season, including two games over 400. The six-foot-two, 209-pound passer leads the CFL with 2,418 passing yards, an average of 345.4 per game.

No. 12 had five touchdown passes against the Elks, which tied Gerry Dattilio for the most in a single game by a Canadian QB. Through seven games, Rourke leads the league with 21 touchdown passes while taking care of the football for the most part. That impressive TD-INT ratio is the main reason for his impressive efficiency.

He has a 133.2 passer rating after seven outings following a perfect 158.3 versus Edmonton. Surefire Canadian Football Hall of Fame QB Ricky Ray set the season-long rating record at 126.4 in 2013 when he threw for 21 touchdowns while being intercepted twice in 11 games.

For what it’s worth, Rourke is on pace to throw for over 6,200 yards and 54 touchdowns over a full 18-game regular season. Only four quarterbacks in CFL history have ever recorded 6,000 or more passing yards in a single season and Doug Flutie holds the single-season passing TD record with 48 in 1994.

The second-year quarterback has become must-see TV by executing at a level rarely seen in the CFL while leading the Lions to scoring over 36 points per game.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.