Lions rallied after scuffle
Darrell Davis Leader-Post
Sunday, September 23, 2007
B.C. Lions guard Sherko Haji-Rasouli had been asked several times to recount his role in a fracas during Saturday's CFL game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Did he expect to hear from the league, too?
"Yeah, I hope they send me a bonus for good entertainment,'' said Haji-Rasouli, stifling a chuckle while sitting inside B.C.'s dressing room following a 37-34 victory over the Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium.
Haji-Rasouli was one of the main participants in the set-to. It started late in the second quarter when Lions quarterback Jarious Jackson was at the bottom of a pileup and his teammates became incensed as the Roughriders defenders tried to take away the football. Saskatchewan was winning 24-15, but the incident seemed to be a galvanizing moment for the Lions, who rallied for a victory with a late-game touchdown pass from Jackson to Geroy Simon.
"There was a fumble, I went for the pileup and I saw Number 96 (Scott Schultz) and Number 97 (John Chick) under there,'' said Lions tackle Rob Murphy. "The whistle had blown and 97 was still twisting on our quarterback. It's not going to fly.
"I threw him off the pile and held him down because he was trying to get back into the mix.''
Murphy evidently was holding Chick's facemask at the time. Meanwhile, as elbows and knees were being exchanged, Haji-Rasouli was ripping off Schultz's helmet.
"I don't know what I did,'' said Haji-Rasouli. "I don't know whose helmet it was. I just grabbed onto whatever I could and pulled, basically. In the heat of the situation, we had to let the other team know we're protecting our quarterback.''
Enraged, Schultz tried to get at Haji-Rasouli.
"He did take my helmet,'' said Schultz. "I was just fighting for a football on the bottom of a pile. Real classy guys over there.
"Whatever they say. Losing sucks. They played better than us. It was a typical pile. We'll leave it to the certain right people to get things sorted out in the proper way. I didn't punch at him. I shoved or pushed at somebody. That's just emotions. After you're getting kicked in the head a little, I don't know what guy wouldn't. But you've got to have better composure than that. I'm some kind of leader, so I've got to hold it together for the team.''
Schultz and Murphy were each penalized 15 years for unnecessary roughness. Haji-Rasouli wasn't penalized. Lions receiver Corey Rodgers was ejected and assessed a 25-yard penalty for rough play. CFL officials will likely review the incident; they can assess further penalties.
"I saw one of the Saskatchewan guys jump on (Jackson), so I ran in to protect him,'' said Rodgers. "I was pulling guys off to make sure he was OK. The officials told me to go to the sidelines. That's what I did. Five minutes later they made their decisions and I found out I was ejected. I asked what I did, but they never gave me a response.
"For them to throw me out of the game was a little unfair. I felt like I let my team down, but we won and I'm happy about that.''