Thursday, October 01, 2015

CFL Week Fifteen

For the Hamilton Tiger Cats, week fifteen heralds the start of the rest of their season, one that will now proceed without the services of starting Quarterback Zach Collaros.

As most CFL fans are aware, Collaros suffered a season ending knee injury following a controversial hit in week thirteen, leaving the TiCats to ponder their plans for the future during the bye week of week Fourteen.  The Cats return to action on Friday night and for starter Jeff Matthews the job is no doubt daunting, particularly with the always tough Stampeder defence set to make his life a complicated thing.

And while all eyes will be on Hamilton on Friday, Week Fifteen however will kick off tonight as the Ottawa RedBlacks look to continue on with their winning ways as they take on the Montreal Alouettes at TD Place stadium.  Riding the arm of the red hot Henry Burris, the RedBlacks have moved beyond just looking to make the playoffs and continue to keep an eye on a first place finish in the CFL east.

Saturday is doubleheader day for the weekend schedule, starting off with Edmonton at Winnipeg, where the struggling Blue Bombers will attempt to bring down the high flying Eskimos, providing of course the officials have a better grip on the rule book.  For Winnipeg the hopes for a cross over spot are starting to fade, with the Blue needing to string some wins together, while hoping Montreal suffers a late season crash.

The nightcap and final match up of the weekend finds the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Vancouver to take on the BC Lions, two struggling teams that have found 2015 to be a very disappointing experience through the first fourteen weeks. The Lions are desperately hoping to secure the final playoff spot in the West, though at the moment even that prospect seems in peril, with Montreal starting to find its form down the home stretch with the cross over spot in their grasp.

Below, is our archive for week number fourteen.

Check back regularly through the weekend for updated material.

Thursday, October 1

Montreal Alouettes 17 at Ottawa RedBlacks 39


Game Preview

-- RedBlacks focused on taking down Als
-- Alouettes in Ottawa to play their second game within four days

Game Reviews:

CFL. ca Game Wrap
CFL. ca Stats Review Highlights

Friday, October 2 

Calgary 23 at Hamilton 20

-- QB Jeff Mathews begins climb up the team ladder of respect
-- Stampeders would clinch home playoff date with a win in Hamilton

Game Reviews: Game Recap  Stats Review Highlights


Saturday, October 3

Edmonton at Winnipeg
3:00 PM CT, 4 PM ET, 1 PT

Game Reviews: Game Recap Stats Review Highlights


Saturday, October 3

Saskatchewan at British Columbia 
4 PM PT, 5 ST, 7 ET

-- Pressure on Lions' young QB a key to Roughriders' success
-- Buono isn't ready to take a hike

Game Reviews: Game Recap Stats Review Highlights

CFL Players of the Month for September

He may be nearing the final lap of a pretty remarkable career, but the way Henry Burris has performed through the 2015 season suggests that there is still some mileage on the odometer yet for the RedBlacks Field General.  September was another busy month for the CFL statisticians as they tracked the numbers that Burris was putting for the thirty days of the month.  1,107 passing yards,  with a 66 completion rate and 65 yards on the run marked his monthly totals. Heading into October, Burris leads the league in passing yards with 3,611, a performance that secured his first place finish in the Shaw Top Performers for September.

There haven't been many highlights for the BC Lions this season to this point, but one aspect of Lions football that seems just fine is the kick return game. Chris Rainey found himself the subject of the highlight reels a number of times through the month of September, with 729 yards on returns and two spectacular runs for Touchdowns through the month. Not surprisingly, Rainey leads the league in punt return yards and holds the highest return average at 31.1, all of which gained him second spot on the month for Top Performers.

The season in Winnipeg has also been a long and frustrating experience, with any number of problems popping up to sideswipe what the locals had hoped would be a march to the Grey Cup hosted in their very own stadium.  And while there are concerns in River City, one bright spot has been the defensive play of Jamaal Westerman, who gains the third spot in the monthly rankings after he rattled off fourteen tackles and four QB sacks through September. In that latter category, Western is currently the league leader in bringing down the Quarterback with 11 sacks to his credit through the season.

All three players will have their bonus points added to the Top Performers listings through to the end of the season.

The CFL's Shaw Top Performers for September

1st -- Henry Burris  -- QB -- Ottawa RedBlacks -- 200 points

2nd -- Chris Rainey -- RB -- B. C. Lions -- 100 Points

3rd --  Jamaal Westerman  -- DE -- Winnipeg Blue Bombers -- 50 points review of the Players of the Month

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Shaw Top Performers Listings for the 2014 season

Shaw Top Performers, Week Fourteen

Three interceptions, one of them for touchdown propelled Macho Harris to the top of the Shaw Top Performers depth chart for week fourteen of the CFL season. The Saskatchewan DB had a remarkable day against the Montreal Alouettes, accumulating 91 return yards on his three picks, serving notice that QB's may approach his sector of the field at their peril.

Marquay McDaniel snared second place on the week, based on the strength of his 159 receiving yards in Friday night's controversial match up with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The sure handed McDaniel's currently is third overall in receiving yards for 2015 with 815 and counting.

Derek Walker also had a strong game of pass and catch in week fourteen, with 121 receiving yards in the Eskimos victory over the Lions, his 21 yard touchdown catch for the winning TD on the day the exclamation point for the Eskimos comeback victory.

No results from the fan voting for week number seven have been released as of yet.

The CFL's Shaw Top Performers for Week Twelve 

1st -- Macho Harris -- DB  -- Saskatchewan Roughriders -- 100 points

2nd -- Marquay McDaniel -- SB  -- Calgary Stampeders -- 50 Points

3rd --  Derel Walker -- WR -- Edmonton Eskimos  -- 25 points

Fan Vote -- Ballot Results not released yet--10 Points review of the Players of the Week

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Shaw Top Performers Listings for the 2014 season

Friday, September 25, 2015

CFL Week Fourteen

Usually the bye week is a welcome thing for CFL squads, a chance to get a bit of rest and recuperation, or recalibration of some of the offensive and defensive units.

However, for Hamilton, the bye week would probably have been surrendered without complaint, if the Tiger Cats could have their starting quarterback returned to where he was one week ago.

As all CFL fans by now have seen, the Cats QB Zach Collaros was lost for the season, last weekend in the Cats game against the Edmonton Eskimos, a highlight reel season stopped short mid way through, with no episodes to come until next year.

The bye week now, a much more urgent affair, as Kent Austin looks to bring up to speed as quick as possible in his new starter's role.

While Austin and the Cats dig deep to keep their hopes of a Grey Cup berth alive, the battle for placements towards that goal continues for the CFL's eight other squads.

Winnipeg launches what they hope will be a playoff push on Friday night Football, with a pretty daunting task ahead of them, as the Calgary Stampeders arrive in River city, a tough challenge for a struggling Bombers squad who then face Edmonton next week. Giving them back to back games against the two top teams of the West.

Saturday's double header finds the BC Lions in Edmonton, with the Lions seeking to keep within distance of the two Alberta teams which have pulled away from the CFL West pack.

An Ontario showdown makes for the night cap on Saturday as the Ottawa RedBlacks host the Toronto Argonauts, with Ottawa looking to put some distance between themselves and their Southern Ontario cousins.

Sunday has the Montreal Alouettes heading to Saskatchewan, with the Als still motivated to make a push for post season play, perhaps through a cross over into the west, for the Riders, the prospect of playing out the season seems the main focus now, players and maybe even some of the coaches putting forward their resumes for the 2016 season.

Below, is our archive for week number thirteen

Check back regularly through the weekend for updated material.

Friday, September 25

Calgary Stampeders 25 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23


Game Preview

-- Calgary Stampeders hope for return date at Investors Group Field
-- Blue Bombers hope to end the fall of Troy when they take on Stampeders Friday

Game Reviews:

CFL. ca Game Wrap
CFL. ca Stats Review Highlights

Saturday, September 26 

British Columbia Lions 23 at Edmonton Eskimos 29

-- Lions line up still has some holes
-- Eskimos head coach Chris Jones has built a squad that's on track to be the best defence ever in the CFL

Game Reviews: Game Recap  Stats Review Highlights


Saturday, September 26

Toronto Argonauts 35 at Ottawa RedBlacks 26

Game Reviews: Game Recap Stats Review Highlights


Sunday, September 27

Montreal Alouettes 21 at Saskatchewan Roughriders 33

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top Performers Week Thirteen

Henry Burris continues to defy the calendar, as the veteran RedBlacks QB posted a remarkable number of stats from weekend play over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  Burris led the Redblacks as they launched a comeback win over the Riders, mostly on the arm of their quarterback, who passed for 477 yards, grabbing 2 aerial TD's along the way. When he wasn't passing for touchdowns, Burris was running them in himself, scoring a major as part of his seven rushing attempts.

The B. C. Lions have a few problems to sort out this season, but the special teams attack isn't one of them, Chris Rainey made a spectacular against the Calgary Stampeders, scoring two TD's on run backs, one a punt return which went 103 yards, the other a second half kick off return  for another 103 yard major.

Stefan Logan provided a fair amount of the damage to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence on Sunday, as the Als running back scrambled for 138 yards on kick returns and a 78 yard punt return for a touchdown as part of the Als 35-14 victory over the Bombers.

No results from the fan voting for week number seven have been released as of yet.

The CFL's Shaw Top Performers for Week Twelve 

1st -- Henry Burris -- QB  -- Ottawa RedBlacks -- 100 points

2nd -- Chris Rainey -- RB  -- British Columbia Lions -- 50 Points

3rd --  Stefan Logan -- RB -- Montreal Alouettes  -- 25 points

Fan Vote -- Ballot Results not released yet--10 Points review of the Players of the Week

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Shaw Top Performers Listings for the 2014 season

Friday, September 18, 2015

CFL Week Thirteen

The weather is set for a changing as Canada moves from summer into the fall, with the hot summer days (well there were a few for some) set to give way to the sometimes, wet, frequently windy all of which can play havoc with any CFL team's game plans and season.

And while there may still be a few weeks left before the weather forecaster becomes the most important thing on a team's depth chart, you just never know when the fall makes its arrival

With the Labour Day classics and their return engagements now firmly in the past, the Thanksgiving day games of October will be the next items on the Social calendar, leaving three weeks for positioning before the teams and their fans prepare for turkey and giving thanks.

Week Thirteen launches with the British Columbia Lions facing a daunting challenge, looking to find their own way back into the win column, while taking on a Stampeders team that will be quite focused on taking care of the miscues that brought them a loss last week in Edmonton.

Saturday brings a double header of games that offer up some interesting themes, the twin bill opener comes from Hamilton where two of the CFL's hottest teams will collide at Tim Horton's field, as the Edmonton Eskimos take on the always ready Tiger Cats.

With the home side looking to solidify even further its grip on the top spot in the CFL East, while the Eskimos will be focused on the prospect of catching, or at least keeping pace with the Stamps in the West.

Saturday night comes to an end with the ever improving Ottawa RedBlacks heading into Saskatchewan, perhaps even the favourites on the weekend to add two points to the win column for their efforts.  Ottawa has been quite impressive in recent weeks, featuring both a strong offensive unit and a defence that is making it increasingly hard to take points away from the squad from the nation's capital

Week thirteen comes to an end featuring two teams that are a bit of a conundrum this year, both the Bombers and Alouettes have from time to time shown some promise, only to throw all that good karma away but one week later. Barring the prospect of a tie game by day's end, Week thirteen will most likley deliver the same fate to this weekends two participants.

Below, is our archive for week number thirteen

Check back regularly through the weekend for updated material.

Friday, September 18

British Columbia 23 at Calgary 35 


Game Preview

-- Lions' defence resolute before Stampeders clash
-- Cornish gets a rush out of seeing B. C. Lions orange

Game Reviews:

CFL. ca Game Wrap
CFL. ca Stats Review Highlights

Saturday, September 19 

Edmonton 25 at Hamilton 18

-- Eskimos' Mike Reilly, Tiger-Cats Zach Collaros are gunslingers ready for a shoot out
-- Hot Eskimos looking for some payback

Game Reviews: Game Recap  Stats Review Highlights


Saturday, September 19

Ottawa 30 at Saskatchewan 27

Game Reviews: Game Recap Stats Review Highlights


Sunday, September 20

Winnipeg 14 at Montreal 35

Game Preview

CFL Top Performers Week Twelve

It was all offence in week twelve of the CFL season, with the play makers of the last seven days making their mark and putting points on the scoreboard over the course of the weekend.

Edmonton's Mike Reilly grabbed the top spot, the Eskimos bounce back game against the Stamps was successful thanks to the work of the Edmonton Quarterback, who in his second start of the year and first since week one, threw for 352 yards, completing 22 of his tosses, three of them for touchdowns.

The Ottawa Redblacks continue to show the CFL that one year after their entry into the league, taking on the team from the nation's capital is not a reason to hold guaranteed win night. The Redblacks walked into BC Place and took down the Lions, gaining the first victory on the west coast for an Ottawa based team since 1990. High among the reasons for the strong season so far is the work of of Jeremiah Johnson, the Redblacks running back continue to impress, by running for 100 yard in 17 rushes, collecting a pair of touchdowns along the way.

It's back to the Eskimos work on the weekend for the third player of the Top Performers list, with Adarius Bowman leading the way in the reception stats from last week, gaining 104 yards on six receptions, including a pair of catches that provide the Eskimos with two touchdowns.

No results from the fan voting for week number seven have been released as of yet.

The CFL's Shaw Top Performers for Week Twelve 

1st -- Mike Reilly -- QB  -- Edmonton Eskimos -- 100 points

2nd -- Jeremiah Johnson -- RB  -- Ottawa RedBlacks-- 50 Points

3rd --  Adarius Bowman -- SB -- Edmonton Eskimos  -- 25 points

Fan Vote -- Ballot Results not released yet--10 Points review of the Players of the Week

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Shaw Top Performers Listings for the 2014 season

Friday, September 11, 2015

CFL Week Twelve

Bounce back week for three of the CFL's six combatants in week number twelve, as the return engagements in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto mark the second half of the Labour Day home and home series.

The Argos will be looking to regroup after last week's licking in Hamilton as Toronto hosts the Ti Cats at Rogers Centre for the Friday Night Football kickoff to the weekend of football.

Saturday brings a double header of rivalry, with the Roughriders looking to carry on with their momentum from last weeks victory over Winnipeg at Regina, the Bombers who surely are feeling the heat in their hometown as the discontent reaches near rebellion stage in the city will be seeking to make their stand at this year's edition of the Banjo Bowl.

Edmonton hosts the nightcap for the Saturday action, with the Eskimos seeking a little finish from their efforts of last week, where they came close to providing for the Labour Day upset in Calgary. The Stamps who did not have their usual offensive output on Labour Day Monday will no doubt be ramping up their offensive play, as they continue to work on securing the first overall placement in the CFL heading towards Thanksgiving next month.

The week twelve action wraps up on the west coast, where the Lions, now faced with six weeks without Travis Lulay will turn to John Beck to try and keep the momentum of last week alive. They face a well rested RedBlacks squad, which last saw action in week ten when they delivered the final push for Saskatchewan to make the wholesale management changes of the start of this month.

Below our archive for week number eleven.

Check back regularly through the weekend for updated material.

Friday, September 11

Hamilton Tiger Cats 35 at Toronto Argonauts 27


Game Preview

-- Ticats look for season sweep against Argos on Friday
-- Argos' Harris must step up against Ticats

Game Reviews:

CFL. ca Game Wrap
CFL. ca Stats Review Highlights

Saturday, September 12 

Saskatchewan Roughriders 7 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers 22

-- Dyce progressing in role as head coach
-- Matt Nichols is the ninth starting quarterback Bombers have had in last 50 games ... Can he be the right one?

Game Reviews: Game Recap  Stats Review Highlights


Saturday, September 12

Calgary Stampeders 16 at Edmonton Eskimos 27

Game Reviews: Game Recap Stats Review Highlights


Sunday, September 13

Ottawa RedBlacks at British Columbia Lions
1 PM PT, 4 ET

Game Preview

CFL Top Performers Week Eleven

Another  big week for the Tiger Cats, a squad which looked clinical in their dispatch of the Toronto Argonauts on Labour Day, with no shortage of players to be considered for the Shaw Top Performers of the week.

In the end, the judges settled on Zach Collars as the top player of the week, taking note of his 400 yards and completion totals of 26 on 38 attempts.  Four of those 26 finding their way to the end zone adding on to the impressive totals of the day that gave the Cats their 42-12 victory over Toronto.

The Stampeders defensive play gets a shout out in week eleven, with the selection committee saluting the work of Charleston Hughes at Defensive End for the second spot on the week.

The Cats claw their way into the final spot for the week, with wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield at the end of many of those Zach Collaros tosses during Labour Day, Sinkfield's stats on the weekend play gave him 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns on the way to the Hamilton victory.

No results from the fan voting for week number seven have been released as of yet.

The CFL's Shaw Top Performers for Week Nine 

1st -- Zach Collaros -- QB  -- Hamilton Tiger Cats -- 100 points

2nd -- Charleston Hughes -- DE  -- Calgary Stampeders-- 50 Points

3rd --  Terrell Sinkfield -- WR -- Hamilton Tiger Cats  -- 25 points

Fan Vote -- Ballot Results not released yet--10 Points review of the Players of the Week

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Shaw Top Performers Listings for the 2014 season

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Grabbing some of that Toronto media sunshine is proving elusive for the CFL this year

The Toronto market is always one of the most challenging for the CFL, the threat of an NFL incursion always seemingly on the horizon along with a wide range of other sports options that suck the media cycle dry sometimes before the league can even elbow its way into a conversation.

This year in particular, the Argos have been shuffled beyond the front page of the sports pages, lost at times to the tidal wave of coverage on the Blue Jays of late, the Pan Am Games which apparently was Toronto's debut in the world of international sport (at least if Toronto's media offerings of the summer were an indication at that time).

Then there was the Women's World Cup of Soccer which did grab our attention through the start of the CFL season, add on the never ending watch on the Leafs and the Raptors and you get the idea, column space or TV and radio coverage is something that you have to fight for.

Things weren't helped along this year for the Double Blue by their travelogue opening schedule, where the Argos became Fort McMurray's home town team for a few games, before gaining more travel time across Western Canada than most of the early explorers for the HBC.

Finally the Argos managed to find a home date in a home stadium, in their hometown. (well OK that one is a bit of stretch, they're really treated like squatters at Rogers Centre)

So, now they're back in town, ruling the CFL standings in the east and looking pretty damn impressive.

A feat accomplished despite the fact that the team's franchise player, Ricky Ray has not suited up for one regular season game, they really should be the thing of Toronto legend right?

Well, not quite ... true the coverage is starting to pick up, the window though is short, a Blue Jays run down the stretch will roll into the Leafs training camp opening .... space again we imagine will become limited.

Still, one hopes that the Toronto Star at least can slot their stories into the right category.

This week, Bruce Arthur offered up a bit of catch up for Argo fans, putting together some interesting thoughts on the latest from the CFL, a fairly instructive review of the state of the league at the moment.

As well it also provided a glimpse into the work of new Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge and what he has ahead of him as he looks to lead the CFL into the future.

CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge has his eye on the ball: Arthur

The only problem and perhaps it is the largest problem for the CFL, is that when it comes to the impression of the league in the Big City, the league's imprint is shall we say a tad limited, to that point the Star placed Mr. Arthur's story of Saturday in the "Amateur Sports" section .

That's no reflection on Bruce Arthur's report, which was a balanced look at the CFL and one that highlighted some of the issues of the past and the challenges of the future.

However, the line up positioning by the Star's composition desk in itself probably outlines the largest issue for Commissioner Orridge when it comes to the CFL's relationship with the media in Toronto.

At times, when it comes to some of the media players in the nation's largest market, the respect for the one of the country's longest running and celebrated national sports institutions,  is at times pretty hard to find.

Friday, September 04, 2015

CIS Headlines: Archive of University Notes for September 2015

Our archive of notes from August on the CIS training camps heading into the September launch

Canada West

Alberta Golden Bears

September 4 -- Competition for Goden Bears starting quarterback "very, very close"
September 1 -- Golden Bears football looks to take next step into playoffs

Calgary Dinos

September 17 -- Dinos break Canada West record with 80-18 romp over rival Bears
September 17 -- 1983 Vanier-Cup winning Dinos team getting its due
September 16 -- Dinos' kicker Mark needs one point to set new CIS scoring record
September 11 -- Dinos running back runs roughshod in win over Bisons
September 10 -- Dinos aim for redemption against Bisons, who upset them in 2014 Hardy Cup
September 4 -- Dinos ruin Blake Nill's return to McMahon stadium
September 4 -- Dinos ground down T-birds to win season opener
September 4 -- Football Dinos beat former coach, Thunderbirds
September 2 -- Dinos focused on themselves, not the subplots surrounding season opener

Manitoba Bisons

September 1 -- Tackling his battles
September 1 -- Sizing up the competition

Regina Rams 

September 4 -- Gibson era set to begin at University of Regina

Saskatchewan Huskies 

September 4 -- Two Brians have battled for 20 years
September 4 -- Dale a dose of optimism for Huskies

UBC Thunderbirds

September 17 -- Homecoming was an experience to remember
September 16 -- Homecoming, while a close call, was a huge success
September 13 -- Football squeezes by Regina in front of homecoming crowd
September 13 -- UBC's biggest football crowd in a quarter century goes home happy
September 11 -- Football is in for some major changes
September 11 -- UBC has to win Homecoming
September 10 -- Family footsteps a T-Bird Stadium tradition for UBC"s Mitch Barnett
September 5 -- UBC students move into residence for 100th anniversary year
September 4 -- Dinos flex muscle, Calgary simply too physical for UBC to handle in its Canada West grid opener
September 3 -- A financier, a new coach, and a star quarterback: a new hope for UBC football
September 3 -- Football talk with UBC's Nill (audio)
September 3 -- Football to face Nill's former team in tense first game


Carleton Ravens 

September 6 -- Ravens take out Week 1 frustrations on Warriors
September 6 -- Carleton Ravens, Ottawa Gee Gees win at home
September 2 -- TD Place agrees to host Panda Game
September 2 -- Ravens football fall to Golden Gaels

Guelph Gryphons

September 7 -- Gryphons improve to 2-0 with win over Laurier
September 4 -- Gryphon offence starts with veteran centre Nesbitt
September 3 -- Newton's law: Practice the way you play for Gryphons
September 3 -- Scarfone catches on with Gryphon offence

Laurier Hawks

September 5 -- Laurier's Morelli ready for his big chance

McMaster Marauders


Ottawa Gee Gee's

September 6 -- Ottawa Gee-Gee's, Carleton Ravens win at home
September 2 -- Gee-Gees football returns to TD Place for Panda Game revenge
September 2 -- Gee Gees football is seeking hardware on deep playoff run

Queen's Golden Gaels

September 4 -- "Like another playoff game"
September 2 -- Gaels' Wamsley earns national recognition

Toronto Varsity Blues 


Waterloo Warriors

September 6 -- University of Waterloo Warriors lose 57-0 at Carleton
September 5 -- Scorched Warriors aim to resume climb up mountain

Western Mustangs

September 4 -- Western Mustang receiver George Johnson is on the list of top 20 CFL prospects
September 4 -- Western Mustangs banking on running game
September 1 -- Western team starts strong in national rankings
September 1 -- Western Mustangs' Matt Uren persevere through pain

Windsor Lancers

September 4 -- Unrest grows within Lancer football ranks
September 3 -- Lancers find bright spot in offensive line despite 76-7 loss
September 3 -- New CEO Graham Brown looks to grow CIS
September 2 -- Graham Brown to become CIS CEO

York Lions



Laval Rouge et Or

September 5 -- Rouge et Or win season opener, 12-9

Montreal Carabins


Sherbrooke Vert et Or


Concordia Stingers

Bishop's Gaiters


McGill Redmen


Acadia Axemen


Mount Allison Mounties


Saint Mary's Huskies


St. Francis Xavier  X-Men


Simon Fraser University Clan (NCAA Div 2 football)

September 17 -- Paopao comes full circle, veteran grid guru, OC mentors Clan senior Quarterback Stanford
September 3 -- Countdown is on as Simon Fraser prepares to open Kelly Bates era