Week Nine of the CFL season was the last of the two bye weeks. However, just because there was less action on the field doesn’t mean that the action wasn’t any good. Both games this week were nail-biters that came down to the final minutes.
Calgary 23 @ Toronto 20 – It was a closely fought game the whole way with the combatants trading blows the whole way along. It ended with a come from behind victory that handed Toronto its 10th straight home loss.
The game started slowly as a defensive battle. The teams traded field goals as the only scores of the first half. Sandro DeAngelis kicked a 17 yard field goal while Justin Medlock had a 43 yard tri. The scoring took a break until the third quarter. Cody Pickett found newcomer PK Sam from 12 yards out to score the first major of the game. The Stamps answered right back when Henry Burris found Jeremaine Copeland from 17 yards out to tie the game up. The fourth quarter started with a 21 yard Medlock field goal to give the lead back to the Argos. Two more DeAngelis field goals (from 35 and 42 yards, respectively) gave the Stamps a three-point lead. Surprisingly, the Argos didn’t say die. Pickett hooked up with PK Sam again for a 19 yard major to give them a four-point lead. In the final two minutes, Calgary mounted a charge. With 46 seconds left, Burris and Copeland connected for the second time to put Calgary ahead for good.
While it started as a defensive battle, the game turned into a shootout in the second half. Both quarterbacks had good games on Friday. Henry Burris went 19/29 for 260 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 pick with another 32 yards rushing. On the other sideline, Cody Pickett went 32/45 for 311 yards and 2 majors. Despite Pickett’s big game, it’s back to basics for the Argos. The season isn’t over yet but if they don’t turn things around on Labour Day, they can start thinking about next year.
Hamilton 30 @ Edmonton 31 – This game may have been in another part of the country and a day later but it was just as close as the Friday game in Toronto. This time, it was a late field goal that decided this one.
The visiting Ti-Cats got on the board on their first drive when Kevin Glenn dialled long-distance for Arland Bruce for the 45 yard major. The second major was almost the same but with Glenn and Bruce connecting for a 29 yard TD. The Esks were able to get points on the board in the first when Arkee Whitlock scampered for a 14 yard run to the house. The second was largely dominated by the kickers as Nick Setta kicked two field goals (from 42 and 24 yard) and a single while Noel Prefontaine kicked a 37 yard tri. Edmonton did manage to get a major when Ricky Ray found Whitlock for a 14 yard passing major to make it 21-17 for the Tabbies at the half.
The second half started with an early Noel Prefontaine field goal. Then Hamilton managed to score on a broken play. Kevin Glenn was hit as he pulled the ball back for a pass, caught the ball after it left his belt, then lobbed it 34 yards to Prechae Rodriguez for the major. After a Prefontaine rouge, it was 28-21 for the visiting team with only 15 minutes to go. The fourth quarter started with Edmonton conceding a safety to make it a nine-point Hamilton lead. In the final half of the quarter, Whitlock burst through for a 9 yard run to cut the lead down to two points. In the dying minutes, Edmonton marched the ball 42 yards over 7 plays into field goal range for Noel Prefontaine who lifted the ball 49 yards to clinch the win for the Eskies.
It was a close game that really could have gone either way. For both teams, this was an important tune-up for their next games on Labour Day. The Ti-Cats will take on their arch-nemesis, the Toronto Argonauts, which should make for a nice slump buster for the Tabbies. The Eskimos will take on their provincial rival, the Calgary Stampeders in a game that will have massive playoff implications in the West Division.
Offensive Player of the Week: Cody Pickett (TOR) – 32/45, 311 yds, 2 TD
Defensive Player of the Week: Jamall Johnson (HAM) – 8 tkls, 1 sack
East Division Standings
1. Montreal 7-1
2. Hamilton 4-4
3. Winnipeg 3-5
4. Toronto 2-6
West Division Standings
1. Edmonton 5-3
2. Saskatchewan 4-4
3. Calgary 4-4
4. BC 3-5
Week 10 Schedule
Friday: Montreal Alouettes at BC Lions
Sunday: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Saskatchewan Roughriders
Monday: Toronto Argonauts at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Monday: Edmonton Eskimos at Calgary Stampeders