Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 18)

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The CFL is very close to the finish line with only one week to go in the regular season and the Grey Cup just around the corner. As is usual with the CFL there has been little decided with plenty of opportunity to change the look of the playoffs. So far all of the playoff teams have clinched with the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders out of the playoffs. Both teams are out of the playoffs this year but that did not stop them from making the most noise this week. First during the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers game the two teams had a controversial meeting. During the game Argos QB Stephen Jyles broke the pocket and ran the ball in the fourth quarter and at the end of the run Jyles slid. While Jyles gave himself up Bombers linebacker Johnny Sears launched himself at the QB head first and hit Jyles helmet to helmet knocking Jyles unconscious. The hit was just as bad as a hit earlier in the year on Buck pierce but no action was taken. That was until the scrum after the hit that saw Sears get ejected from the game. Today, Tuesday, Sears will talk to the Commissioner and find out his punishment that will most likely be a suspension that could reach into the playoffs. While the Argos were a part of the controversial call the Roughriders were involved in another coaching change. Interim head coach and VP of Football Operations Ken Miller will retire at the end of the season. Miller retired last year as well but as a head coach as he moved to the front office. He came back this year after Greg Marshall led the Riders to a terrible start and was fired. Miller’s retirement will be the end of an era for the Riders who went to three Grey Cups with Miller in the coaching staff, twice with him as a head coach. With the Argos and Riders out of the playoffs there still seems to be a lot of focus on the two teams that will not be playing in the middle of November. Of course there is still a lot of stories to talk about with both conferences still up for grabs and the fight going down to the last week.

 

Boatmen Taking no Prisoners

TOR 27 – 22 WPG

The Toronto Argonauts have been eliminated from the playoffs for many weeks now but they seem to be finally coming into their own. With nothing to lose the Argos are beginning to play the spoiler role in the CFL bringing teams that have made the playoffs to the brink. With a win against Calgary in week 16 the Argos put Calgary on the hot spot for the Western Conference title. They then brought Edmonton within a TD of also falling in the Western Conference race in week 17. This week they had the chance again to play spoilers as they took on the Blue Bombers. Winnipeg has been locked in a battle for the last part of the season with Montreal Alouettes for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Bombers currently have the tiebreaker against Montreal and they would need a win and a Montreal loss to clinch this week or would need to simply keep up with the Als. This week was a big chance for the Bombers to give them a better chance to earn the first round bye in the playoffs. The game started off slow with Winnipeg earning the first points off of a field goal but the Argos responded early in the 2nd quarter with a Stephen Jyles (9/13, 110 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT) TD pass to Chad Rempel (1 rec, 43 yds, 1 TD). The Argos then began piling it on with a field goal and an interception thrown by Buck Pierce (5/11, 50 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT) to Byron Parker (3 tkl, 0 tkl, 1 INT, 0 FF) for a TD. With the interception Parker broke the CFL record for interception returns for a TD with 9 in his career. This play also had ramifications for the Bombers with Buck Pierce suffering an injury on the play and forcing a change at QB. Alex Brink (16/27, 219 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT) took over for Pierce and struggled to get into a rhythm in the first half only getting the offence into field goal position. Another TD pass by Jyles put the Argos up 24-9 at the end of the first half and the Bombers struggling to keep up. In the second half the Bombers finally found this rhythm with Brink throwing a long third quarter TD to Greg Carr (7 rec, 122 yds, 1 TD). The fourth quarter started with the Argos ahead 24-19 but the Bombers were beginning to mount a comeback. The Bombers reduced the lead even more after a field goal that brought them within two points. The Argos staved off the comeback however thanks to great running by Corey Boyd (14 rsh, 91 yds, 0 TD) who ran out the clock and brought the Argos back into field goal range that put the Argos ahead 27-22. The Argonauts defence stepped up at the end of the fourth quarter to prevent the Bombers from a long drive and won the game putting the bombers in a tough spot for the playoffs. The Bombers will now try to clinch the conference, with Montreal losing this week as well, against the Calgary Stampeders who will need the win to have a shot at winning the Western Conference. The Argos will not be playing spoilers next week against the Hamilton Tiger Cats who have no shot at winning the Eastern Conference.

 

Leos Still Fighting

BC 29 – 20 EDM

The B.C. Lions were the hottest team in the CFL as they went on an 8 game win streak after the Labour Day weekend. This winning streak put the Lions from possibly missing the playoffs to battling for first place in the Western Conference. Last week the Lions hit a road bump losing to the Hamilton Tiger Cats and snapping their winning streak. Luckily for the Leos the loss did not eliminate them from contention in the Western Conference. Meanwhile the Edmonton Eskimos have recovered from a midseason slump to remain at the top of the standings in the Western Conference. At the start of the season Edmonton had been one of the best teams in the CFL but midseason they were saddled with some major injuries that forced them into the bottom of the league. Recently the Eskies have come back into the picture and are in the thick of a three-way battle for the Western Conference title. Both teams had their chance to make a case for the top spot in the West as they played each other in week 18 to gain an advantage in the event of a tie. The game began with a long Lions drive that ended with a Jamal Robertson (6 rec, 70 yds, 1 TD) TD from a pass from Travis Lulay (21/31, 322 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT). Lulay continued to burn the Eskies defence throwing another TD pass to Paris Jackson () in the first quarter. With the Lions ahead 14-0 the Eskies finally got going behind the arm of Ricky Ray (26/38, 310 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT). Ray threw a TD pass at the end of the first quarter to Jason Barnes (7 rec, 87 yds, 1 TD) as they got back into the game. At the half the Eskies were still down 16-7 but they were working much better with the offence finding a groove. Both defences then stepped up in the second half with both teams only adding field goals making the score 22-13 in the fourth quarter. Edmonton then added a TD late in the fourth quarter on a pass to Tyler Scott (2 rec, 30 yds, 1 TD) to reduce the lead to 22-20. The Lions responded however with a TD pass to Arland Bruce III (6 rec, 70 yds, 1 TD) putting the Lions ahead with 4.5 minutes left. The Lions defence was able to stand up against a good attack by the Eskimos. The Lions took the win and took the lead in the Western Conference race leading into the last week. Everyone still has a chance at the Western Conference as all three playoff teams are now tied and next week will be the definitive answer of who will take the title. The Lions will try to give themselves the title by winning next week against the Montreal Alouettes who will also be looking for a win to try to win the East. The Eskimos will take on the struggling Saskatchewan Roughriders for their shot at the Western Conference title.

 

Other Scores

SSK 19 – 3 HAM

CGY 32 – 27 MTL

 

POW Awards:

Travis Lulay, QB (Offensive POW)

21/31

322 yards

3 TD

1 INT

 

Khalif Mitchell, DT (Defensive POW)

4 tkl

2 sck

0 INT

0 FF

 

Chris Milo, K (Special Teams POW)

3/3 FG

40 lng

1/1 XP

13 pts

108 yd Punt (CFL Record)

 

Johnny Forzani, WR (Canadian POW)

6 rec

108 yds

33 lng

2 TD

 

Standings:

Western Conference:

1. x-B.C. Lions (10-7)

2. x-Edmonton Eskimos (10-7)

3. x-Calgary Stampeders (10-7)

4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-12)

 

Eastern Conference:

1. x-Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-7)

2. x-Montreal Alouettes (10-7)

3. x-Hamilton Tiger Cats (8-9)

4. Toronto Argonauts (5-12)

 

Next Week:

Hamilton Tiger Cats vs. Toronto Argonauts (Thurs. Nov. 3rd; 7:30 pm)

 

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Fri. Nov. 4th; 9:00 pm)

 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Calgary Stampeders (Sat. Nov. 5th; 4:00 pm)

 

Montreal Alouettes vs. B.C. Lions (Sat. Nov. 5th; 10:00 pm)

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