Tuesday Morning QB (Conference Finals)

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The CFL is one week away from the big game with four different teams entering the weekend with a chance to play in the 99th Grey Cup. There were also another four teams that were on the outside looking in as the CFL brought themselves near the end of the 2011 season. The Toronto Argonauts finished last in the Eastern Conference with a terrible season that saw them win 5 games. Their offseason will be a test of how well they can recover as Jim Barker may have to give up one of his roles and Stephen Jyles will need to prove that he is a true #1 QB or the Boatmen could see Henry Burris putting on the Double Blue. The Saskatchewan Roughriders were in the same boat as the Argos wining only 5 games and finishing last in the Western Conference. They will move into the offseason without a coach and looking to find out a way to return to the playoffs next year. Last week two more teams were eliminated as the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders cleaned out their lockers this week. The Als will go into the offseason not knowing if Anthony Calvillo will come back next year or if he will retire. If he does retire the Als could be in the running for Henry Burris as they look to continue their winning ways. The Stamps will begin a small rebuilding period with their new QB Drew Tate who will likely send former MOP, Henry Burris, packing to a new team. With four teams gone there were four more looking to make the Grey Cup as the Hamilton Ti-Cats took on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the East and the Edmonton Eskimos took on the B.C. Lions.

 

Bombers Defence Steps Up Again

WPG 19 – 3 HAM

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were the worst team in the league last year as they struggled throughout the year and did make the playoffs. This year was the exact opposite as they finally dethroned the Montreal Alouettes as the best team in the East. This great performance earned them the top spot in the East and a bye through the first weekend in the playoffs. Meanwhile the Hamilton Tiger Cats limped into the playoffs with a losing record and had to travel to Montreal to play the defending champion Montreal Alouettes. The Ti-Cats had not beat the Alouettes in the playoffs in a decade but got past them to move on to the Eastern Finals. Both of these teams were one game away from playing in a Grey Cup and finish off their unlikely seasons. The game started out well for the Ti-Cats as they were able to march down the field and open the scoring with a Field Goal by Justin Medlock (1/1 FG, 0/0 XP, 3 pts). Then Buck Pierce (16/28, 175 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT) and the Winnipeg offence took over the game as they marched down the field and scored a TD. With the score 7-3 in the second quarter the defence that started Swaggerville began to take hold of the game. They began to shut down the Ti-Cats offence that saw Kevin Glenn (13/18, 113 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT) fail to get anything going and eventually saw him leave the game with an injury. Quinton Porter (3/11, 40 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT) could not do much more against the Bomber defence as they took advantage of the bitter cold in Winnipeg. The Bomber defence took care on their end as the offence struggled in the cold but still was able to put up enough points. Behind the arm of Pierce and the legs of Chris Garrett (29 rsh, 190 yds, 1 TD, 1 F) the Bombers continued to march down the field but they could not finish drives. They kicked three field goals in the second half to earn their 19 points and depended on their defence to keep the Ti-Cats in check. With a great performance by the Bomber defence the Ti-Cats could only get 3 points all game giving the offence a great cushion for the win. The Ti-Cats again failed to make it to the Grey Cup with the loss and will go into the offseason with some uncertainty on how to change their fortunes. The Blue Bombers will look to complete their worst to first season by winning the Grey Cup. They will take their great defence to B.C. as they will get to play inside BC Place in hopes that their offence can begin to roll.

 

Lions Love Home Cooking

BC 40 – 23 EDM

The B.C. Lions were in a unique position this season coming off a playoff season and entering a season where they would host the Grey Cup. The hopes of playing at home in the Grey Cup seemed to be gone at the beginning of the season as they lost their first 5 games of 2011. Then after the bye week the Lions began to roll as they finished the season winning 10 of their last 11 games earning them the top spot and a first round bye. The Eskimos were a similar story to the Bombers this year as they went from the worst team in the West to the best in the early season. A rash of injuries in the middle of the season the Eskimos fell in the standings but a late season comeback put them in the second spot as they hosted the Western Semi-Finals. A win against the Calgary Stampeders sent the Eskimos to B.C. Place for a chance to take away a home game for the Lions. After both offences struggled out of the gate the Lions led the Eskimos 6-3 after the first quarter. Travis Lulay (20/27, 293 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT) then got the Lions going with a big pass to Geroy Simon (6 rec, 106 yds, 1 TD) for their first TD. The Lions added another TD to end the first half as they went into the locker rooms with a 20-3 lead. The Eskimos looked to mount a comeback after an interception by Lulay. With the ball inside the 20 Ricky Ray (21/40, 297 yds, 2 TD, 3 INT) attempted to get the Eskies back into the game but was sacked and fumbled the ball giving it back to the Lions. With the new life Lulay marched the Lions down the field and put the ball into the hands of Andrew Harris (7 rsh, 41 yds, 1 TD, 0 F) for another TD. With 5 minutes left in the third quarter Ray tried to get the Eskimos into the game but after leading the team down the field Kerry Joseph took over and failed to score a TD. Ray finally did score a TD as he brought the Eskimos within striking distance of a comeback. With the Eskimos marching in the end of the fourth quarter Ray threw an interception slimming their hopes for a comeback. Lulay took over and on the first play of the drive he broke a long TD run to ice the game. Edmonton added another TD but it was too little too late for them as the Lions too the win with a score of 40-23. The Eskimos will go back to Edmonton and look to build on a great season to improve next year. The Lions will stay where they are as they will play at home in the Grey Cup and will be the only team to play at home since the 2008 Grey cup when Montreal played in Olympic Stadium. With a strong defence and a powerful offence the Lions will take on the strong defence of the Blue Bombers for a chance at the 99th Grey Cup.

 

POW Awards:

Chris Garrett, RB (Offensive POW)

29 rsh

190 yds

1 TD

1 F

 

Korey Banks, DB (Defensive POW)

6 tkl

0 sck

1 INT

0 FF

 

Paul McCallum, K (Special Teams POW)

4/4 FG

44 lng

4/4 XP

16 pts

 

Andrew Harris, RB (Canadian POW)

7 rsh/3 rec

70 yds

2 TD

0 F

 

99th Grey Cup:

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. B.C. Lions

(Sunday November 27th; 6:30 pm)

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