Canadian Football League

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Canadian Football League players of the week

Saskatchewan quarterback Nealon Greene and Montreal kick returner Ezra Landry were among those selected as this week's top players in the CFL.

Greene earned the offensive award with two touchdown passes in the Roughriders 27-26 loss to Toronto. He completed 31-of-39 passes for 275 yards, while rushing 11 times for 37 yards in the setback. Landry was named special teams player of the week after his sensational performance in a 32-29 win over Edmonton. He scored two touchdowns, including an amazing 125-yard missed field goal that was returned for a touchdown. He finished with 317 total return yards. The defensive player of the week was Landry's teammate, free safety Richard Karikari, who had two interceptions in the dramatic win over the Eskimos. Top lineman honors went to Ottawa's Anthony Collier, who recorded five sacks in the Roughriders 37-29 loss to B.C.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Bombers trade veteran Canadian Football League offensive lineman

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers traded offensive lineman Dave Mudge to the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday for Aaron Fiacconi, a 2006 conditional draft pick and future considerations.
Normally a stalwart on the offensive line, Mudge has struggled so far this season and even started on the bench in Thursday's 21-15 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. The Blue Bombers are now 0-3 on the season.

Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Dave Mudge was named the CFL's most outstanding lineman in 2001. He was traded to the Montreal Alouettes Sunday. (CP File Photo)
"We want to wish Dave Mudge all the best with his new team," Bombers coach Jim Daley said in a statement. "Hopefully he will continue his very successful career with the Alouettes. He has been a quality person and player for this organization."
Fiacconi has played all four of his CFL seasons with Montreal.
"He is physical, strong and tough," Daly said. "The Alouettes were looking for a guard-tackle and the Bombers were looking for a centre-guard so this trade should be on mutual benefit to both teams and both players."
Mudge, a six-foot-seven-inch, 305-pound native of Whitby, Ont., is a two-time CFL all-star and three-time winner of Winnipeg's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award.
He was also named the league's top offensive lineman in 2001.
Mudge began his CFL career with the Toronto Argonauts in 1999. The Argos selected him in the third round of the 1997 Canadian college draft out of Michigan State University.
Mudge joined the Blue Bombers in a trade just before the 2000 CFL season.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Argos steal Canadian Football League win

Damon Allen and the Toronto Argonauts stole a win Saturday night.
Allen threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes - including a three-yard strike to Michael Palmer with 23 seconds remaining - as Toronto rallied from a 12-point deficit to stun the Saskatchewan Roughriders 27-26 before 26,218 spectators at the Rogers Centre.
"You can fairly say we stole one tonight but it's OK to steal some games," Allen said. "We didn't play to our capabilities and had three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception) against a very good football team and still managed to win.
"That's something we can build on."
The biggest Argo blunder came in the third when Eddie Davis returned John Avery's second fumble of the game 25 yards for the touchdown at 9:36. That staked Saskatchewan (2-1) to a seemingly safe 26-14 lead against the defending Grey Cup champions.
But Allen, 42, capped a smart seven-play, 83-yard drive by hitting Arland Bruce III on a 20-yard TD strike on third down with 2:45 to play. Then Allen, the MVP of Toronto's Grey Cup win, brought the Argos faithful to their feet when he found Palmer for the winning touchdown.
"You realize in the CFL you've got to play 60 minutes and I've been on the other end before so it's quite important," said Allen. "I'm sure Saskatchewan has learned its lesson but for us we've learned a lot about ourselves and what we're capable of."
Argos head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said while his club never stopped believing it could rally for the win, he was surprised by the final outcome.
"We talked about early in the week that we need to be able to play a good football team and come from behind at the end of the game and win against that team," Clemons said tongue firmly in cheek. "No, no, not at all, we were very fortunate tonight to get the win.
"But I think it was the kind of game that brought our guys together. Also, it showed the old guy isn't so old. He really wore down the defence with being able to move around in the pocket and move the pocket and then he actually got out and started running a bit and moving the chains that way. When he is playing like that, he is magic."
Saskatchewan deserved a better fate. The Roughriders outgained the Argos (408 yards to 297 yards), held a decided edge in time of possession (35 minutes 30 seconds to 24:30 for the Argos) and running back Corey Holmes rushed for a game-high 95 yards on 12 carries.
But two missed first-half field goals by Paul McCallum combined with untimely penalties in the fourth and Chris Szarka's fumble - which set up Bruce's TD - came back to haunt Saskatchewan.
"What it comes down to is execution and we didn't do that in the final three minutes," said Saskatchewan coach Danny Barrett. "A wasted effort to come out without the two points.
"I'm very disappointed."
A stunned McCallum, who also missed two field goals in Saskatchewan's 23-21 road win over Hamilton last week, sat alone at his cubicle at Roger's Centre after the game and politely declined comment.
"I'm not blaming Paul, his mistakes came early," said Barrett.
"Paul is a veteran and will take responsibility for what he does," added Roughriders quarterback Nealon Greene. "But the rest have to stand up as well."
Greene certainly did his part, completing 31 of 39 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns to Travis Moore and rushing for 37 yards. The contest was Greene's first at the Rogers Centre since suffering a broken leg in Saskatchewan's 21-10 road loss to the Argos to open the 2004 campaign.
"They're the defending champions and found a way to win," Greene said. "We gave it away.
"For a team of veterans like we are, we can't afford to do that."
Bruce III finished with two touchdowns for Toronto. Noel Prefontaine booted two converts, a single and two field goals.
McCallum had three converts, two singles and a field goal.
Notes - A moment of silence was held prior to the game to honour the victims the bombings in London earlier this week. ... Saskatchewan was minus running back Kenton Keith (bruised sternum) and receiver Matt Dominguez (knee), then lost receiver Karsten Bailey (ankle), offensive lineman Jeremy O'Day (knee) and defensive tackle Nate Davis (back) in the first half. Toronto was without receiver Robert Baker, suspended for this game by the club for punching Prefontaine on the sidelines last week in Calgary.