SPORTS

After a 2014 cut short by injury, Andrew Harris back in form for B.C. Lions

07/15/2015 04:48 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 05:59 EDT
SURREY, B.C. - Andrew Harris could feel his team needed a jolt.

The B.C. Lions were lagging badly midway through the fourth quarter against the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week, so the Canadian running back spoke up and pointed out a few things he saw on the field.

Whatever that was, it worked.

Harris had a combined 58 yards on two catches and two runs on the Lions' first touchdown drive to get things going in what would turn out to be a dramatic 35-32 overtime victory.

"I went over to coach and just told him some different things I had in mind and we went to them," said Harris. "It was just about getting that momentum. I felt like we were flat and I felt like I could bring that to the table.

"You've just got to be ready to make impact plays whenever you can."

Harris finished with 70 yards rushing and 74 yards receiving in B.C.'s first victory of the season after a so-so outing in a loss to the Ottawa Redblacks in the club's opener.

"He did create a spark, there's no doubt about that," said Lions head coach Jeff Tedford. "Andrew played with a lot of passion and it was nice to see. We need that every game from him."

The 28-year-old from Winnipeg is coming off a 2014 season that was cut short by a dislocated ankle that required surgery. Harris didn't feel quite right against Ottawa, but added his vision and the speed of the game were back to normal against Saskatchewan.

"I feel when I do get the ball consistently I'm definitely stimulated and into the game more," he said. "As a running back I think you definitely need to be involved."

Lions quarterback Travis Lulay said Harris' versatility is what makes him so difficult for opposing defences.

"He's going to be a key to whatever we're doing, whether it's run game or pass game," said Lulay. "He's our feature tailback for a reason. It's because he's good with the ball in his hands and he's good in space."

Saskatchewan, the CFL's only winless team at 0-3, will get a second crack at Harris and the Lions in Week 4, but the game is also important to B.C. because another victory would mean taking the season series and creating even more distance between the clubs in the standings.

"We know what kind of effort we're going to get from these guys being in an 0-3 hole, being team that very easily could be 3-0 if a handful of plays had happened differently in each game," said Lulay. "This is a chance for us to get a good early season jump on one of our divisional rivals. We need to recognize that and try to seize that opportunity."

Harris said there has been talk of winning the season series — the teams play once more in October — and that chatter will only get louder as Friday approaches.

"It definitely is on a lot of guys' minds," said Harris. "We could put the nail in the coffin for these guys and really put them behind the 8-ball. That's something we need to do and something that needs to get harped on."

Notes: The Lions added defensive back Eric Fraser this week. The 28-year-old spent last season with Ottawa before getting cut this spring. ... Lions slotback Cam Morrah suffered a suspected MCL and ACL tear on a low hit in the victory over the Roughriders and is likely done for the season. ... Lulay was named the CFL's player of the week after completing 34 of 44 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns against the Roughriders.

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