Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 11)

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The Grey Cup is the biggest weekend of the CFL season as every November the CFL world comes to one city to celebrate the game.

There is nothing bigger than that weekend in the CFL but there is one weekend that comes somewhat close.

Labour Day Weekend is the unofficial start of the second half of the season and the beginning of the true playoff race.

Labour Day Weekend has been around for years and involves the biggest rivalries in the league.

The Battle of Ontario, The Battle of Alberta, and the Saskatchewan-Winnipeg rivalry have been featured for years on the weekend.

It is a weekend that can be considered some team’s Grey Cup as they need to beat their rivals if they don’t win any other game all year.

This year’s Labour Day weekend was a bit different from ones in the past as all three of the rivalry games had a massive meaning to them.

On Sunday the Roughriders and Bombers renewed their regional rivalry with both fan bases knowing how important the game was.

The Bombers and the riders were not necessarily fighting for the division but they were fighting to stay out of the basement.

The Bombers were a team that had struggled to put consistent performances together especially with Drew Willy out of the lineup.

The Bombers were set to start Brian Brohm at quarterback in the hopes that they could grab their fourth win of the season.

The only team that has had a worse season is their long-time rivals in the Roughriders. They entered Labour Day Weekend losing their first nine games of the season and for that they underwent some major changes.

General Manager Brendan Tamman and head coach Corey Chamblin were fired as the Riders brought in Jeremy O’Day and Bob Dyce to try to turn the season around before they were officially eliminated from contention.

The process started on Labour Day where the new regime took over and tried to get the first win of the season.

It was a slow start for the Riders as it looked like they were off to the same start as usual. A punt return by rookie Nic Demski changed everything as he scored the first touchdown for the Riders and they never looked back.

The new regime worked and for the Riders Labour Day was a great weekend that gave them renewed hope and their first win of the season in front of their home crowd.football-sidebar

It was a big game for both teams but the Labour Day Monday games were much bigger in the world of the CFL.

The Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats were fighting it out for the East Division lead while the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos were playing for the West title.

It was a very important Labour Day for both divisions as the two biggest rivals on each side of the country determined who was going to sit on top of their divisions.

In the East the Tiger-Cats, who were coming off of their first home loss at Tim Hortons Field, were playing with a chip on their shoulder.

That chip came through on the field as for the second time this year the Argos had no answer for the Ticats defence and the offence led by Zach Collaros.

The young QB loves playing his former team and this time was no different as they got ahead with an early lead and never gave in playing until the end.

They put up 42 points against the Argos while a late rally got the Argos up to 12 points but that is as close as they got losing the chance to take first place.

In the west the tensions were high from the coin toss and a defensive battle ensued. The Eskimos could not find the offence until Mike Reilly entered the game unexpectedly but it was not enough as the Stampeders took the win and first place.

Some teams dropped the ball in their chance to get a big win on one of the biggest weekends while other took full advantage.

Although no games finished as closely as many would like it was another big weekend with a lot on the line.

Labour Day is now over as the rivals have faced off in big games but luckily for all of them they get to exact some revenge next week in the rematches of the Labour Day games.

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 11 in the CFL)

Winnipeg’s New Pivot
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have struggled all season after starting QB Drew Willy went down for the season but they hope to have found the solution after they traded with the Edmonton Eskimos for Matt Nichols, a better option than they have right now under centre

Legend Continues Climb
The Alouettes continued to make changes this week when they fired their Offensive Coordinator Turk Schonert while promoting Ryan Dinwiddie and former star QB Anthony Calvillo, just promoted to QB coach, to co-offensive coordinators

The Argos’ Question
Ricky Ray has officially been activated from the 6-game injured list as he dressed for the Argos against Hamilton but now the Argos have a choice between the young QB that has been successful in Trevor Harris or their old stalwart in Ray


Labour Day Scores:
BC Lions 25 – 16 Montreal Alouettes
– It kicked off the Labour Day weekend despite not necessarily being a big rival and a week after the Alouettes got back to winning they felt the taste of defeat again this time at the hands of the Loons who continue to make a case for the playoffs

Saskatchewan Roughriders 37 – 19 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– After a busy week in Ridernation the pressure was never greater as the fans were looking for the first win of the season, something that the Riders gave them after timely turnovers and a big punt return TD

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 42 – 12 Toronto Argonauts
– The Ticats have had the Argos’ number this year as they opened their home season against the Argos earlier in the year with a big win while repeating it on the one year anniversary of Tim Hortons Field

Calgary Stampeders 16 – 7 Edmonton Eskimos
– There was plenty to love about James Franklin’s first start last week but this time around the results were not the same as Franklin struggled against the Stampeder defence enough so that the Eskimos brought in Mike Reilly earlier than expected but it wasn’t enough to get the win

Week 12 Matchups:
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Toronto Argonauts (Friday September 11th; 7:30 pm ET)
– Will Ricky Ray Start? And will it make a difference? Those are the two big questions in the Labour Day rematch as the Argos try to avoid the season sweep after losing badly in Hamilton twice as they host the Ticats for the first time this year

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday September 12th; 6:30 pm ET)
– The Labour Day game is a big matchup but in this rivalry the Banjo Bowl rules as both teams travel to Winnipeg with the Riders trying to get their second win of the season and the Bombers likely starting Nichols looking to get some revenge

Calgary Stampeders vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday September 12th; 9:30 pm ET)
– With Mike Reilly likely to return to the starting role after making a fourth quarter appearance the Eskimos are hoping for a better offensive showing against their provincial rivals in the Labour Day rematch

Ottawa REDBLACKS vs. BC Lions (Sunday September 13th; 4:00 pm ET)
– The REDBLACKs are fresh from their week off as they travel to BC looking to take advantage of the two top teams battling to make some ground on the race for the East division while the Lions try to separate themselves from the bottom of the west

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