Canadian Football League

Saturday, July 09, 2005

B.C. wins Canadian Football League home opener

Aaron Lockett returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to help lift the British Columbia Lions over the Ottawa Renegades, 37-29.

Ottawa (1-2) got on the board with a 23-yard field goal by Matt Kellett in the first quarter, but British Columbia (2-0) tied it later in the period with a 42-yarder off the foot of Duncan O'Mahony.
The Renegades put up another three points in the second quarter when Kellett drilled a 47 yarder, but the Lions responded with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Dave Dickenson to Geroy Simon to make it 10-6.
Ottawa scored a touchdown in the period when Kerry Joseph hit Yo Murphy for a 33-yard score, but the Renegades missed the point-after. They went up 15-10 on another field goal, but British Columbia Mahony hit a field goal before the half ended to make it 15-13.
The Lions went up 20-15 in the third quarter when Aaron Lockett returned a punt 75 yards for a score. They extended their lead later in the period on a 1-yard touchdown run by Antonio Warren, and they tacked on a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth.
Ottawa narrowed the gap with a touchdown late in the fourth when Mike Sutherland recovered a BC fumble in the end zone.
British Columbia widened the gap when Paris Jackson scored on a three-yard pass inside two minutes.
Ottawa crossed the goal line with 34 seconds left on a 21-yard scramble by Joseph.NOTES:Jackson's touchdown was the first of his CFL career...Ottawa's Anthony Collier had five sacks to tie a CFL record.

Montreal moves into first place in Canadian Football League East

Damon Duval's 48-yard field goal as time expired lifted Montreal over Edmonton, 32-29, at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Calvillo finished 24-of-39 for 232 yards for the Alouettes (2-1), who are coming off a 39-36 loss to Ottawa. Ezra Landry finished with 240 return yards and two touchdowns, including a 125-yard missed field goal return in the second quarter.
Ricky Ray completed 25-of-43 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns for the Eskimos (2-1), who faced Montreal for the first time since the 2003 Grey Cup in Regina.
Edmonton jumped out to an early 14-0 advantage, but saw that lead evaporate to just seven on Landry's return in the second quarter.
The Alouettes trailed by the same margin early in the second quarter before a single by Duval trimmed the deficit to six. Mike Villimek tied the game moments later on his one-yard plunge before Duval put Montreal ahead 15-14 with the extra-point.
Landry put the Alouettes up by eight midway through the third on his 75-yard punt return, but Ray found Derrell Mitchell for a two-yard strike to make it a one point game just before the fourth quarter.
The game continued to see-saw back and forth throughout the final quarter until Duval's kick sealed the win for Montreal.NOTES:Landry's 125-yard missed field goal return is the longest in Montreal team history and the fourth longest in CFL history...Calvillo surpassed 40,000 yards passing for his career in the third quarter.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Winnipeg last winless team in Canadian Football League West

Nikolas Lewis returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and Sandro DeAngelis kicked four field goals to lead the Calgary Stampeders to a 21-15 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Calgary broke through for 12 first-quarter points and rebounded from a season- opening loss to Toronto last Friday.
Former Temple quarterback Henry Burris connected on 17-of-34 passes for 209 yards and rushed for 50 more for the Stampeders.
Troy Westwood kicked four field goals for Winnipeg, which lost its third straight to start the season.
Charles Roberts rushed for 108 yards on 21 carries for Winnipeg, while Tee Martin completed 12-of-23 passes for 130 yards.
Lewis returned a blocked punt 10 yards for a score in the opening minutes of the contest. Following a safety, DeAngelis booted a 21-yard field goal to make it 12-0.
A single by Westwood and a 47-yard field goal by the Winnipeg kicker brought the Bombers within 12-4.
DeAngelis, who played collegiately at Nebraska, split the uprights from 39 yards out with 1 1/2 minutes left in the opening half. Westwood was good from 44 yards out as time expired in the opening half, leaving Winnipeg behind, 15-7.
Westwood kicked a 37-yard field goal in the third, but DeAngelis responded with a 41-yarder later in the period, as the Stampeders were in front 18-12 going into the fourth.
DeAngelis' 27-yard field goal extended Calgary's lead early in the fourth before Westwood made a 23-yarder with 4:39 left. However, Winnipeg couldn't mount a serious challenge in the final minutes.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Canadian Football League players of the week

Quarterback Kerry Joseph was recognized Tuesday for his part in the Ottawa Renegades' upset victory last week over the Montreal Alouettes.

Kerry Joseph was named the CFL's offensive player of the week on Tuesday.
Joseph was named the CFL's offensive player of the week after completing 23-of-36 passes for 302 yards in Ottawa's amazing 39-36 overtime victory over the Alouettes.

Joseph threw a touchdown and rushed 15 times for 62 yards and two more majors, as Ottawa erased a 23-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun Montreal.

Joseph's teammate, kicker Matt Kellett, was named the special-teams player of the week. Playing against his former club, Keller connected on all four field goal attempts, including a 32-yarder on the last play of regulation to force overtime.

He then booted a pair of field goals in the extra frame to lift the Renegades to victory.

Toronto Argonauts linebacker Michael Fletcher won the defensive player honour. Fletcher had five tackles, forced a fumble, recovered another and had an interception to lead the Argos past Calgary 22-16.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Toronto suspends Canadian Football League receiver

Toronto Argonauts receiver Robert Baker apologized and was suspended for one game yesterday after a sideline skirmish with teammate Noel Prefontaine during a Canadian Football League game in Calgary last week.
With the Argos up 7-0 in the second quarter of Friday's game, Baker and Prefontaine got into a heated argument as the receiver made his way off the field, with both players clutching each other. As teammates and head coach Mike Clemons tried to get between the two, Baker threw a punch that knocked Prefontaine back several steps, leaving the kicker with a bloody mouth.
"It's something I never did before, a situation I've never been in before, and I didn't handle it too good," Baker said yesterday .
Prefontaine appeared to try to get back at Baker, but teammates separated the two. "It was a pretty tense situation I think for both of us and we reacted to it the way we saw fit," Prefontaine said.

In a statement issued yesterday by the team, Baker apologized for his behaviour.
"The actions that I took were unacceptable -- they weren't good for myself, my teammates or the game," Baker said. "My irrational actions do not reflect my love and my passion for the game.
"I plan to have a long career in the CFL and situations like this will never arise again. I apologize to the fans because this is not football. People come out to watch a football game, not a boxing match.
"I want to put on a show for the fans, but not in that manner, on the field and in the game."
Both players refused to talk to the media after the game, which ended in a 22-16 Toronto victory.
In addition to serving his one-game suspension Saturday when the Argos play host to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Clemons said Baker will make an apology by phone to Calgary Stampeders president Ted Hellard, volunteer with minor football in Toronto and speak to his teammates about the incident.
Baker wouldn't say what sparked the confrontation, but Clemons told a Toronto radio station that the incident stemmed from Baker believing he was spit on by the Stampeders lineman Rahim Abdullah.
"I feel that Robert felt something happened," Clemons said. "Whether it was Abdullah or someone else, I believe he felt he was spit on. Whether it took place or not, I don't think there was any doubt whether he felt he was spit on."
Abdullah says he did not spit on Baker, and Clemons said the matter wouldn't be pursued.
"We need to manage our own house," Clemons said. "You get distracted trying to worry about everybody else. We need to manage ourselves, and we need to manage ourselves better."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Riders share first place in Canadian Football League West

Danny Barrett isn't about to complain about coming into Hamilton, spoiling the Tiger-Cats' home opener and leaving town with another victory.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Hugh Smith (right) tries to break a tackel from Saskatchewan Roughriders' Darnell Edwards during first quarter CFL action on Saturday. Then again the Saskatchewan Roughriders coach isn't happy that his team nearly let a 23-21 win slip away Saturday night and it's something he'd like to see them improve on.
"I don't want to take a win for granted because this is a tough place to play but we left a lot of points on the field," Barrett said. "I told the guys we will stay aggressive on offence, we just have to learn on finishing drives.
"If we finish drives then the crowd might have been walking out of here early."
Chris Szarka's one-yard touchdown plunge at 5:53 of the third quarter highlighted a 13-point, third-quarter outburst that gave the Roughriders a commanding 22-7 lead before 29,032 at Ivor Wynne Stadium. Paul McCallum bounced back from a pair of second-quarter misses to kick field goals of 34 and 19 yards in the period.
But after Jamie Boreham and McCallum then traded singles in the fourth, Ticats quarterback Danny McManus - pulled earlier in the contest for poor play - returned to the game and caused some palms to get sweaty on the Saskatchewan sideline.
First he connected with Craig Yeast from 13 yards with 3:04 left, cutting Saskatchewan's lead to 23-14 and after Szarka blew a chance to bury Hamilton by fumbling the ball on the one, McManus led the Ticats down the field and handed off to Julian Radlein for a one-yard TD.
The Ticats then tried an onside kick that failed, allowing Saskatchewan to run out the clock on a brutally physical contest. Matt Dominguez, who left the game with a sprained right knee and will be re-evaluated Sunday, caught a touchdown and McCallum added a pair of singles as the Roughriders, who dismantled Winnipeg 42-15 last week, improved to 2-0.
"Our goal in the third quarter was to re-establish momentum and we did that, we got in the end zone and we wanted to finish strong," Barrett said. "That was the only part of the game we didn't do well, finish the game the way we should have.
"All other phases we did a great job."
That they did, controlling the ball for 36 minutes 49 seconds, wearing down Hamilton's defence and punishing the Ticats physically at every opportunity.
"It was a fierce game," said Saskatchewan defensive back Scott Gordon, who set the tone with a wicked hit on Ticats receiver D.J. Flick on the first play from scrimmage.
Flick had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and suffered bruised ribs. He'll be re-evaluated Sunday.
"Our defence had our way for the most part, we played confident for 3 1/2 quarters," said Gordon. "They had their last breath in the last four minutes but that's just the CFL."
The loss was another punch in the stomach for the Ticats (0-2), who hit a low point in the third quarter when Mat Petz was ejected for punching fellow linebacker Walter Spencer in the groin.
They had plenty of reason to be frustrated, as the offence once again did little to get things going. For most of the game, it looked like linebacker Donnavan Carter's 47-yard TD return in the first quarter would be their only offence.
"We wanted to play better and I think that's the one thing that probably concerns me more than going 0-2," said Ticats coach Greg Marshall. "We need to play better football, certainly offensively we didn't get it done tonight. We left our defence on the field too long."
McManus took plenty of heat for his play in the season-opening 31-21 loss and didn't do much in this one to change the critics' minds. His passes were all over the place and his receivers didn't help by dropping a couple of easy balls.
Szarka's touchdown made it 16-7 Saskatchewan and prompted Marshall to send in backup Marcus Brady, to a loud ovation from the crowd.
But Brady didn't fare much better, fumbling the ball on his second play and again late in the fourth quarter, leading to McCallum field goals both times. McManus was sent back in late in the final period.
"We thought maybe it could give us a spark and he could get out there and create something," said Marshall. "It let Danny sit back and have a look at it again. We didn't have any success when Marcus was in there. Danny did some good things in the final quarter, but we ran out of time."
The Roughriders took a 9-7 lead into the second half after an opening 30 minutes highlighted by several crushing hits and lots of pushing and shoving.
No hit was harder than the one absorbed by Flick, who failed to corral a pass from McManus, was spun around and was prone when defensive back Scott Gordon crunched him.
Flick lay on the field for about 10 minutes as he was tended to by medical staff, with his teammates and Roughriders - including Gordon - coming over to tap him on the leg.
He was then immobilized and carted off the field.
Notes: Corey Holmes took over Saskatchewan's tailback duties for the injured Kenton Keith, who is nursing bruised ribs. . . . A flag 85 yards long was unfurled on the field during the singing of O Canada before the game by a group of Air Cadets. . . . The Ticats drew 25,712 to last year's home opener. Seating at Ivor Wynne was expanded to a capacity of 29,650 for this season