Canadian Football League

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Riders fall bellow .500 for fist time in Canadian Football League season

Kerry Watkins, Terry Vaughn and Ben Cahoon caught touchdown passes from Anthony Calvillo in the Montreal Alouettes' 42-13 CFL victory over the struggling Saskatchewan Roughriders last night.
Linebacker Duane Butler scored on a fumble recovery to start the lopsided win and Mike Vilimek also scored as the Alouettes (3-3) ended a two-game losing streak before a sellout crowd of 20,202 on a hot and muggy night.
The injury-struck Roughriders (3-4) managed only a late touchdown by receiver Corey Grant and a pair of Paul McCallum field goals as they lost their third in a row.
The Alouettes shook up their team and bolstered a shaky defence this week by trading receiver Kwame Cavil to Edmonton for defensive tackle Clinton Wayne.
A 42-yard reception by Corey Holmes set up McCallum's 25-yard field goal at 5:47, but Montreal's Damon Duval got that back with a 38-yard boot 5:38 into the second quarter.
A Kelly Malveaux interception led to Vilimek's one-yard TD run at 12:26.
Marcus Crandell replaced starter Nealon Greene for the final drive of the first half and took Saskatchewan to the Montreal five, but then turned the ball over on downs.
In the half, Greene was picked off twice, including once in the end zone by Almondo Curry, and fumbled once.
Calvillo hit Watkins in the end zone with a 19-yard TD pass 2:17 into the third quarter, then found Vaughn with a 12-yard toss at 8:29.
McCallum responded with a 24-yard field goal at 11:47, but James Whitley picked off a Crandell pass to set up Calvillo's 10-yard TD toss to Cahoon at 14:38.
Crandell found Grant for a four-yard TD pass with 7:13 left to play.
Duval answered with a 40-yard field goal and a late Saskatchewan drive ended with Malveaux's second pick of the game.
Calvillo made the six pass attempts he needed to pass Kent Austin's 4,700 to move into seventh place in CFL history.
Ted White replaced Calvillo in the final two minutes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Former Canadian Football League Player killed

Chris Wright, a wide receiver and kick-return specialist who helped the Baltimore Stallions win the Grey Cup in 1995, was killed in Atlanta on the weekend, Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said yesterday. Details on the crime were sketchy. A native of Valdosta, Ga., Wright, 32, established a Canadian Football League rookie record of 1,236 punt-return yards in 1995. He also had 41 kickoffs for 897 yards and was chosen the South Division's most outstanding rookie

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Argos secure first place in Canadian Football League East

Age failed to catch up with Damon Allen in Montreal last week, and it was lagging badly again yesterday until the 42-year-old quarterback was tackled and twisted by a Winnipeg defensive lineman.
Everything seemed to catch up after that: the ice packs, the television cameras and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, almost. After the Bombers' Tom Canada knocked Allen out of the game late in the third quarter, rolling over the quarterback's ankle, Winnipeg closed to within four points of Toronto.
But by the time an in-stadium-camera followed Allen's limping exit to the locker room in the fourth quarter, Allen could take consolation from the scoreboard. Toronto would beat the Bombers 34-27, securing a place atop the East Division standings just four days after another important win against the Montreal Alouettes.
Environment Canada listed the temperature as 32C at kickoff yesterday, but that was at Toronto's Pearson Airport, not inside the concrete valley that is Rogers Centre. The air down on the field was heavier than an offensive lineman's lunch, and the condition should have ground Toronto's weary linemen down by halftime.
Winnipeg was expected to take care of the rest. The Bombers arrived in Toronto with the benefit of nine days' rest after edging Montreal 51-46 on July 22. Quarterback Kevin Glenn was back under centre, running back Charles Roberts was back in form and the Blue Bombers seemed back in business after an 0-4 start to the season.
But the Argos struck first after Keith Stokes fumbled inside Winnipeg's 45-yard line early in the opening quarter. Allen dropped back in the pocket, waited until he could smell the breath of a charging defensive lineman and fired over the middle to receiver Andre Talbot.
The pass, which went through four defenders, would have been intercepted had it been thrown by a hard-luck pivot like Hamilton's Danny McManus. But it was Allen's pass, and Allen could do nothing wrong. The 20-yard score gave Toronto a 7-0 lead, not to mention a needed boost of adrenaline.
Winnipeg fought back, but not successfully. A 61-yard completion to Kamau Peterson was wasted when the offence broke down inside the red zone. Kicker Troy Westwood hit a pair of field goals in the first half.
Allen hit twice, too. He hit receivers Robert Baker and Talbot for 81 yards combined on a drive that was capped with a three-yard touchdown plunge by running back John Avery.
Winnipeg struck back on the next series -- a drive aided by a phantom catch and 45 yards in Toronto penalties -- to cut Toronto's lead to 14-13.
But the focus was all on Allen at the break. He completed 16 of 18 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown after two quarters, following a remarkable trend set against the Alouettes last Thursday.
He finished 23-of-34 for 320 yards and four touchdown passes in Montreal, helping Toronto to a share of first place in the East Division. And it was all on the eve of his 42nd birthday.
"Just really talk about my play," Allen told a group of reporters huddled around his stall after that game. "When I look at all the other great players like Gretzky, you guys don't say their age. You just say Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux. For me, I don't know why I'm always reminded. I know I'm 42 and I know I have a grandson, but it really just takes away from my play."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Als acquire veteran Canadian Football League D-lineman

The Montreal Alouettes acquired Canadian defensive lineman Clinton Wayne from the Edmonton Eskimos today in a trade for veteran receiver Kwame Cavil.Wayne is a five-year CFL veteran who started his career in 2001 with the Calgary Stampeders. He also played for the Ottawa Renegades for two-and-a-half seasons before he was traded to the Edmonton Eskimos halfway through the 2004 season. In 66 career games, Wayne made 85 defensive tackles and seven quarterback sacks. The Scarborough, ON, native is 28.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Gades move into share of first place in Canadian Football League East

Korey Banks says the Ottawa Renegades' defence can give up a thousand yards and win.
They almost gave it a try in a 21-16 CFL victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders Friday night.
Saskatchewan held the ball for 20 minutes 44 seconds of the first 30 minutes and riddled the Renegades for 273 yards but went to the locker room with only a 9-2 halftime lead, thanks in great part to Banks' end zone interception five seconds before intermission.
"We can give up a thousand yards a game but if they don't score a touchdown, we've got a chance to win," said Banks, who added another interception in the second half.
"It felt great to be down only seven points at halftime. We knew our offence was going to pick it up. We just had to keep it going: start fast, go hard and don't stop."
When the Renegades were given a gift safety touch early in the third quarter on a snap that flew over Roughrider punter Paul McCallum's head, quarterback Kerry Joseph finally got the Ottawa offence going. To that point, it had registered only two first downs, but after McCallum put the subsequent kickoff out of bounds, Ottawa drove 65 yards and registered five first downs en route to Joseph's 20-yard touchdown run that put the Renegades ahead 11-9.
"We knew we had to get it in gear," Joseph said. "We weren't moving the football and I hadn't played all that well. We didn't do anything different. We just had to make plays when we had the chance and put the first downs together."
Ottawa (3-3) is tied for top spot in the East with the Toronto Argonauts (3-2) while Saskatchewan (3-3) is third in the West. It was the Renegades' first victory in four games at Taylor Field since entering the CFL in 2002.
Ottawa expanded its lead to 18-9 late in the third quarter when Greene flipped a shovel pass directly into the hands of Ottawa defensive end Anthony Collier at the Ottawa 45. Collier lateralled at the Saskatchewan 22 to Kyries Hebert, who lugged the ball into the end zone.
Placekicker Mark Irvin, pressed into service because of Matt Kellett's groin injury, converted both Ottawa touchdowns and made a 36-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Marcus Crandell, who replaced Greene early in the fourth quarter, threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Thurmon with 24 seconds remaining in the game. Saskatchewan recovered the onside kick at its 52-yard line but Crandell threw incomplete passes on the next three plays.
Joseph completed 14 of 27 passes for 130 yards with two interceptions. Greene was 17-for-32 for 139 yards and three interceptions while Crandell was 10-for-17 for 108 yards. Kenton Keith of Saskatchewan and Josh Ranek of Ottawa were their teams' leading rushers with 73 and 66 yards respectively.
McCallum figured in all the first-half scoring, booting field goals of 40, 35 and 25 yards, and conceding a safety touch out of punt formation. The Roughriders' squandered opportunities included a botched 27-yard field goal attempt where holder Rocky Butler fumbled the snap.
Hampered by injuries throughout the season, the Roughriders were able to play their first-string defence for the first time since opening day as defensive tackle Nate Davis (back), defensive end Daved Benefield (flu) and linebacker Jackie Mitchell (groin) returned to action. However, starting slotback Jason French was sidelined by a rib injury sustained Tuesday in practice.