Week Five brings us past the one-quarter mark of the CFL season. Now we’re starting to see some separation between the contenders and the pretenders. Hamilton looks like they could make the playoffs while the BC Lions hope they are chumps as they look to march toward the playoffs. The Green Riders, the Eskies, and the Stamps are all tied a top the West Division and are trying to get a leg up. Meanwhile, Winnipeg is trying to get something going this season with a new quarterback.
Edmonton 33 @ Montreal 19 –The undefeated are perfect no more. After getting embarrassed 50-16 by Montreal in Week 2, the Eskimos showed that turn about is fair play by taking down the Als on their home turf.
The game started as a war between the kickers. Damon Duval got on the board first with a pair of first quarter field goals (37 & 33 yards) while Noel Prefontaine had one of his own (33 yards). Duval even got in on the scoring for the Eskies when he conceded a safety to make it a one point game. It wouldn’t stay that way for long because on the next drive Ricky Ray ended the 55-yard march with a five-yard toss to Calvin McCarty for the major. In the final minute, Duval would nail a 21-yard chipshot to make it a 3-point game going into the half at 12-9.
The second half started slowly with only one score in the third quarter. Ricky Ray hit Fred Stamps for a 28-yard major to make it 19-9 heading into the final 15. The Esks kicked off the scoring less than two minutes in when Ray capped off an eight play drive with a 1-yard run. Montreal tried getting back into the game when Avon Cobourne ran for his own 1-yard TD. A Damon Duval field goal later and it was a one score game. But the Eskies put a seal on the deal with big Ricky Ray touchdown pass to Fred Stamps for the 48-yard major.
Despite a 14 point spread in the score, both quarterbacks had good games. Ricky Ray starred in this game by going 23/27 for 363 yds, 3 TD, and only 1 Int. Anthony Calvillo didn’t have either a TD or interception as he went 28/34 for 236 yds. Calvillo did manage enough yards to pass the 60,000 career passing yards milestone.
BC 18 @ Hamilton 30 – It was a back and forth battle for most of the game with both teams scoring in spurts. In the end, it was surprising Ti-Cats that picked up the victory and moved above .500 on the season.
It was the home side that got on the board first. Quinton Porter found Prechae Rodriguez from 12 yards out to open the scoring. The Lions opened their scoring with a single on a 45 yard missed field goal by Sean Whyte. They did manage a major in the first when Ryan Grice-Mullen scampered two yards for a major to make it 8-7 after the first 15 minutes. The teams would match each other blow for blow in the second. Nick Setta opened the scoring with a 50 yard field goal and DeAndra’ Cobb ran for a 14-yard major. On the other side of the ball, in the final two minutes of the half, Buck Pierce found Paris Jackson from 6 yards out and Whyte kicked a 29 yard field goal to make it a one point game at the half.
In the second half, the Ti-Cats turned up the heat. After forcing a fumble on their own goal line, the Ti-Cats made the long march up field for a 29 yard Setta field goal. On the ensuing kick-off, they forced another fumble. This time, Cobb found the house to open up a nine point lead. However, the Lions didn’t have an answer on this night. Early in the fourth, Setta made a 28-yard field goal to put the game on ice.
Despite the loss, the Leos actually managed to outgain the Tabbies by 15 yards. However, they committed 5 more turnovers than the Ti-Cats which sealed their fate. The big man in this game was Ti-Cats rookie tailback DeAndra’ Cobb. Brought in just before training camp to push the returning veterans, his 167 yds and 2 TDs will guarantee him a starting spot for the rest of the season.
Winnipeg 13 @ Toronto 12 –The return of former Argo Michael Bishop to Toronto was just what the doctor ordered for the lowly Blue Bombers. Some early points and Argo mistakes powered Winnipeg out of the CFL basement.
It was the Bombers that accounted for all the first quarter scoring. Michael Bishop led Winnipeg on an 85 yard drive which he capped off with a 22 yard pass to Terrence Edwards for the major. On the ensuing kickoff, Romby Bryant forced a fumble which led to a 41 yard Alex Serna field goal to make it 10-0 after the first quarter. The Argos did get on the board in the first half. Kerry Joseph led a long drive of his own, 102 yards, in fact, ending with 25 yard toss to Chad Lucas to make it a 3-point game at the half. In the second half, scoring was scarce. The only scoring in the third quarter was when the Bombers conceded a safety to make it a 1-point game heading into the final stanza. Less than four minutes in, the Argos took the lead when Justin Medlock booted a 35 yard field goal. With four minutes to go, Alex Serna retook the lead for the visitors with a 48 yard field goal. The Argos wouldn’t go quietly into the night. They mounted a last minute drive and got into field goal range. Justin Medlock hit a 47 yard field goal but the ball was snapped too late which meant that they would have to try again from ten yards further back. Medlock’s 57 yard attempt hit the crossbar which gave the win to the Blue Bombers.
Nobody really stood out in the game. However, two stats did leap out. The Argos gave up 7 turnovers to the Bombers 1. The Bombers weren’t able to capitalize, though. They were only able to get three points off turnovers during the game.
Saskatchewan 24 @ Calgary 23 –It was a closely fought battle between the two West Division rivals. In the end, it was the high-flying Roughriders that pulled off the win in unfriendly confines.
The Green Riders were the first to put points on the board. Three minutes in, Darian Durant found Chris Getzlaf from 9 yards out for the major. The Stamps answered back before the quarter was out, though. Henry Burris connected with Jon Cornish on the ten yard major pass. The second quarter featured a display of kicking. Sean DeAngelis had a pair of three-pointers (from 12 and 35 yards) for Calgary while Luca Congi made only one (18 yards) as time expired to make it a 13-10 lead for the Stamps. The Big Green would capture the lead in the third quarter. Durant found Weston Dressler from mid-range for a 19-yard TD strike to give them a 17-13 lead heading into the fourth. The Stamps weren’t done though. Henry Burris called his own number for an 18 yard TD run. A 26 yard DeAngelis field goal made it 20-17 with five minutes to go. With less than two minutes to go, the Riders worked some magic. Durant dialled long distance for Chris Getzlaf to complete the comeback with a 68 yard touchdown pass.
The Riders biggest performer wasn’t QB Henry Burris but a pair of receivers. Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf each had over 100 yards and at least one touchdown. And as many times as I say that winning the turnover battle wins the game, the Riders proved me wrong… Slightly. Saskatchewan had 1 turnover while the Stamps didn’t have any turnovers. I guess that wasn’t enough turnovers to dictate the course of the game.
Offensive Player of the Week:Ricky Ray (EDM) – 23/27, 363 yds, 3 TD, 1 Int, 3 rush yds, 1 rush TD
Defensive Player of the Week:Jamall Johnson (HAM) – 10 tkls, 1 sack, 1 FF
East Division Standings
1. Montreal 4-1
2. Hamilton 3-2
3. Winnipeg 2-3
4. Toronto 2-3
West Division Standings
1. Saskatchewan 3-2
2. Edmonton 3-2
3. Calgary 2-3
4. BC 1-4
Week 6 Schedule
Friday: Toronto Argonauts at Montreal Alouettes
Friday: Saskatchewan Roughriders at BC Lions
Saturday: Edmonton Eskimos at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Saturday: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary Stampeders