Week Eight of the 19 week CFL season brings us to the first of two bye-weeks. Each team will get one bye this season. The four teams (Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton) with byes this week will face each other during Week 10’s rivalry week on Labour Day. The other four teams were in action this week looking to get some momentum heading into their bye-week and the stretch run.
Montreal 34 @ Saskatchewan 25 – It was closer than they would have liked but it was another week and another win for the Montreal Alouettes. The solid all-around performance gave them the season sweep of the Roughriders.
The first quarter scoring was all Als. The Als’ first drive ended with a Damon Duval rouge on a 51 yard punt. The special teams got the first major of the game as Larry Taylor hit warp speed on a 68 yard punt return for the score. Duval got his next points on the night for the Riders when he conceded a safety. After another Duval single in the second, Darian Durant hit Rob Bagg from 26 yards out for the major. After a Riders single and Als field goal, Durant hit Gerran Walker for a 43 yard major. As time died in the first half, Anthony Calvillo found Ben Cahoon for the nine-yard major and a 19-17 lead at the intermission. Scoring slowed down in the second half. The Als scored when third-stringer Chris Leak lobbed a two-yard toss to Kerry Watkins for the major. The Als got the first score in the fourth when Calvillo dumped it off to Avon Cobourne for the major. Durant hooked up with Chris Getzlaf late for a major but it was too little, too late.
Of note is that Leak’s touchdown pass was his first play from scrimmage in his CFL career. The Green Riders out-gained the Als 400-265 on offense in this game and became the first team to put up more than 300 yards against Montreal this season. However, the Riders lost this on turnovers. They gave up the ball five times while the Als didn’t even have one.
Winnipeg 37 @ BC 10 – It was a battle of the worst team from each division on Friday night. Any loss would have been a bitter blow to the team falling to defeat. However, it wasn’t just a bitter loss for the BC Lions but an absolute embarrassment.
It started well for the Lions. Jarious Jackson hit Eric Arsenault from 38 yards out for the major. The Bombers answered on the next drive as Fred Reid with a one-yard plunge for the major. Alex Serna gave Winnipeg their first lead of the game on a 39-yard field goal to end the first. The second quarter started with a Sean Whyte field goal and that would end the game for the Leos. The Bombers would go on to score their next 27 points unanswered. Michael Bishop went deep for Terrence Edwards for a major while Serna hit a 44 yard field goal at the gun to make it 20-10 at the half. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Bombers resumed bombardment. After a 35 yard Serna field goal, Fred Reid pulled his best Usain Bolt impersonation when he busted out for a 52 yard run for a major. The scoring ended fittingly on an intercepted Jarious Jackson pass by Jovon Johnson for a 73 yard return and the major.
If it wasn’t bad enough that they gave up almost 400 yards on the ground and over 500 total yards, numbers that seem freakishly Tecmo Bowl-esque, but BC lost quarterback Jarious Jackson to an apparent concussion in the fourth quarter. Reid had a day that the virtual Bo Jackson would be proud of with 260 yards and 2 TDs. For the Lions, it was general embarrassment and they will have to go back to the drawing board during their off-week to have any hope of making the playoffs.
Offensive Player of the Week: Fred Reid (WPG) – 260 yds rush, 2 TD, 6 yds rec
Defensive Player of the Week: Stevie Baggs (SSK) – 10 tkls, 2 sacks, 1 int
East Division Standings
1. Montreal 7-1
2. Hamilton 4-3
3. Winnipeg 3-5
4. Toronto 2-5
West Division Standings
1. Edmonton 4-3
2. Saskatchewan 4-4
3. Calgary 3-4
4. BC 3-5
Week 9 Schedule
Friday: Calgary Stampeders at Toronto Argonauts
Saturday: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Edmonton Eskimos