Saturday, November 14, 2015

Semi-Final Sunday, November 15, 2015

The road to Winnipeg at the end of the month begins Sunday as the Divisional semi-finals kick off the CFL's playoff season on two fronts

The Toronto Argonauts look to keep their strong season long performance on the road (as if they had a choice on that path) in place as they head to the Hammer and another instalment of one of the league's most hard hitting rivalries.

Toronto takes on the Tiger Cats in the early game of Semi-Final Sunday, a battle of teams that have struggled over the final few weeks, with both watching the Ottawa RedBlacks sprint by them in the October push towards the playoffs.

Both squads have had to deal with a number of key injuries at the starting QB position, the Argos finally getting Ricky Ray back into the lineup as the season was closing, how he adjusts to the sudden shift from idle to full throttle will probably tell the story as to whether the Argos move forward. Should Ray not find his rhythm, or the Cats begin to pull away, the key to the game could be if head coach Scott Milanovich sticks with his long time starter or turns to Trevor Harris, the more than able back up in  who carried the Argos for the bulk of the season.

The Cats will be tossing the ball to Jeremiah Masoli, with head coach Kent Austin only making that decision on Friday afternoon, giving one of the Cats depth players his first start of the year and only his second bit of game action.

The always snarling Ti Cat defence will also have a pivotal role in the semi final, ready to pounce on any opportunity to make the Argos pay the price for any incursion on the Cats side of the 55 yard line, looking to shut down the Toronto offence, aided by the what should be the usual cast of characters that make Tim Horton's Field one of the toughest stops on the CFL tour.

In the West, the Stamps and Lions will renew what has been a fairly interesting tango over the last few years, Calgary hols favourite status for the second half of the Semi-final Sunday doubleheader, a strong offensive squad that can put points on the board quickly and without mercy.

Defensively, the Stamps have found home field to be a helpful aspect of their game, leading the league in points allowed per game while defending the turf of McMahon Stadium.

The Lions have been an enigma for much of the season, occasional indications that they were finally hitting a groove, would suddenly give way to bouts of giving games away, mental mistakes and undisciplined play at times undermining much of what they had hoped to achieve through the season.

The Leos head into Sunday turning to rookie QB Jonathan Jennings and that's a start that's well deserved, for it was mostly through Jennings that British Columbia even remained in the playoff conversation this year.

He's had an accelerated curve through the season, whether he can take things to one more level given that short amount of time as the go to guy will provide us with an idea if the Lions ambitions beyond this weekend will come to pass.

If they are looking for omens, BC can take some incentive from another British Columbia based football team, on Saturday the UBC Thunderbirds went into McMahon Stadium and wrenched a playoff victory from the U of C Dinos, an impressive performance that left the top ranks Dinos somewhat shocked by games end.

One day later, the Lions will be hoping to deliver the same kind of feeling to Calgary's professional team as well.

Below, is our archive for Semi Final Sunday.

Sunday, November 15

Toronto Argonauts 22 at Hamilton Tiger Cats 25
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Game Preview

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