Week 7 is a critical week in the run to the Grey Cup. This is the last week before the Labour Day rivalry week that all eight teams will be in action. That means that teams on the outside looking in can make up a lot of ground before that final sprint to the playoffs.
Calgary 35 @ Edmonton 38 – This game will go down as an instant classic and may even be considered one of the greatest CFL games of all-time. The game wasn’t decided until the final minutes when the Eskies got the game winning major with only 9 seconds to go.
The first half featured the teams trading blows. In the first, Henry Burris found Teyo Johnson with a little dump-pass for the major while Ricky Ray hit Fred Stamps from 49 yards to tie the game. The second quarter started with a pair of running TDs with Jon Cornish (12 yds) and Calvin McCarty (6 yds) scoring for Calgary and Edmonton, respectively. Then, the quarterbacks got back in the action. Henry Burris hit Jeremaine Copeland from 11 yards out while Ricky Ray called his own number for a 27 yard major. The teams were able to split the difference when Sean DeAngelis missed a 42 yard field goal to make it 22-21 at the half.
The second half was decidedly more tame as it started with two DeAngelis field goals as the only tallies in the third quarter. The fourth started with a25 yard field goal by Noel Prefontaine to make it a four point game. The Eskies also had the first major of the second half when Ray hit Manfred Mann from 10 yards out to give Edmonton their first lead of the game. In the final minute, the Stamps mounted the comeback Burris and Copeland hooked up for their second major of the game to return the Calgary lead. However, a 71 yard Tristan Jackson kickoff return setup Ray to find Fred Stamps for the second time from 23 yards out to win it for the Esks.
It was a real offensive explosion in Edmonton. Both teams had over 500 yards of total offensive with the edge going to the visitors by 8 yards (519-511). Despite the loss, Henry Burris was the star of this game. The Calgary pivot went 30/45 for 479 yards and 3 TDs.
BC 36 @ Toronto 28 – Looking for a change of pace to being them back in the playoff picture, the Lions looked to the bench and Jarious Jackson and it just barely paid off.
Justin Medlock led off the game with three straight field goals from 15, 46, and 51 yards. The Lions didn’t score until the second quarter when Rolly Lumbala bowled home for a 1 yard major. The Argos QB experiment paid off shortly thereafter when backup QB Cody Pickett found Reggie McNeal for the five yard major. A fourth Medlock field goal made it 19-7 at the half. The Lions outpointed the Argos in the third, but barely. Medlock made his fifth and sixth field goals of the night from 32 and 52 yards out, respectively. However, Jarious Jackson to Paris Jackson was good for a 35 yard passing major but it was still an 11 point Argo lead with only 15 minutes to go. The final quarter cued the comeback. Jackson to Jackson was good for a 5 yard TD but no convert. After a 7th Medlock field goal, Jackson found Emmanuel Arceneaux from 23 yards but the missed convert made is 28-26 for the Argos. In the final minutes, the Lions mounted a last charge and got close enough for Sean Whyte to kick the go-ahead field goal with 9 seconds left. On the ensuing kick-off, Reggie McNeal lost the ball on a lateral to Ryan Phillips for a 21 yard return to end the game.
There weren’t many noteworthy performances from the game. The most interesting is the line of Argos kicker Justin Medlock. Of Toronto’s 28 points, Medlock put up 22 of them. He made all 7 of the field goals he attempted and made his only extra point attempted. So once again, it’s back to the drawing board for the Argos who are on the outside looking into the playoffs.
Montreal 39 @ Winnipeg 12 – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Riding a strong performance by Anthony Calvillo, the Alouettes won again. The Blue Bombers are still scrambling to salvage their season.
Alex Serna and Damon Duval each had a field goal to open the scoring but Montreal got the first major. Anthony Calvillo found SJ Green from 14 yards out to get a seven point lead. After a Serna field goal cut the lead to four, Calvillo dialled long-distance for Kerry Watkins for the 71 yard major. The Als picked up another major on Calvillo’s third TD pass of the game when he hit Kerry Carter from 25 yards out. The Bombers scored the final five points of the half. Serna made his third field goal of the game while Mickey Renaud conceded a safety to give the Als two more points and a 26-9 lead at the half. Scoring slowed down in the back half of the game. The half started with a fourth Serna field goal, this time from 30 yards out. After that, the Als put it on ice. Calvillo hit Jamel Richardson from 8 yards out for his fourth TD of the night. The Als capped off the game with a pair of Duval field goals to end the game.
It was really a tale of two quarterbacks in this game. Calvillo went 23/37 for 261 yards, 4 TDs, and 2 picks. That would have been a passably good like most nights but it was stellar when compared to Michael Bishop. Bishop went only 13/35 for 155 yards and 2 interceptions.
Hamilton 23 @ Saskatchewan 33 – It was a very streaky game with the teams scoring piles of points unanswered. In the end, it was the Green Riders that just barely held on for the win after coughing up their first half lead.
Saskatchewan opened the scoring early when backup QB Steven Jyles found Keith Shologan from 1 yard out for the major. On their next drive, Luca Congi hit a 38 yard field goal. The second quarter saw the Riders get a gift when the Tabbies conceded a safety. Then Jyles got his second major of the game, this time on a 2 yard run and the Riders got a bonus point when the ensuing kickoff went deep enough for a rouge. As time expired in the first half, Congi hit his second tri of the game to make it 23-0 after the first 30 minutes. The second half started all Ti-Cats as Nick Setta opened their account with a field goal. On their next drive, Kevin Glenn dialled long-distance for Arland Bruce for the 49 yard major. After a pair of Setta field goals, DeAndra’ Cobb got his major on with an 8 yard run early in the fourth quarter to tie the game. In the final few minutes, Weston Dressler ran 13 yards to the house to restore the lead to the Riders and Conti kicked his third field goal of the game to seal the deal.
Despite it being a close game, there is a lot that both teams need to work on. The Green Riders managed to cough up a 23 point lead in a little under 20 minutes. There is no excuse for such poor defence and offense. Then again, Hamilton could be accused of blowing the game by being shut out in the first half. Fortunately for Hamilton, they have a week off to work on that. The Riders are right back at it against Montreal next week in what will almost certainly be a thrashing.
Offensive Player of the Week: Henry Burris (CGY) – 30/45, 479 Yds, 3 TD, 14 Yds rushing
Defensive Player of the Week: M Knowlton (HAM) – 10 Tkls, 1 Sack
East Division Standings
1. Montreal 6-1
2. Hamilton 4-3
3. Winnipeg 2-5
4. Toronto 2-5
West Division Standings
1. Edmonton 4-3
2. Saskatchewan 4-3
3. Calgary 3-4
4. BC 3-4
Week 8 Schedule
Friday: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Montreal Alouettes
Friday: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BC Lions