Canadian Football League

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Als second in Canadian Football League East

Brothers Robert and Terrence Edwards scored fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Montreal Alouettes tightened the race in the CFL East Division with a 41-18 victory over the Ottawa Renegades on Friday night.
The result — in what Ottawa coach Joe Paopao this week called the most important game in his team's four-year history — left both clubs with 5-5 records, tied for second place behind the 6-3 Toronto Argonauts.
It also evened the season series between the teams at 1-1, with the rubber match set for Oct. 28 in Ottawa.
Before the Alouettes' 60th straight sellout crowd of 20,202, Robert Edwards scored on a 17-yard run early in the fourth quarter and Kerry Watkins caught a 33-yard TD pass from Anthony Calvillo to put Montreal up by 23 points at 33-10.

In their previous meeting July 1 in Ottawa, the Alouettes wasted a 23-point lead in the final quarter and lost in overtime, but this time, the defence held up.
Josh Ranek scored on a nine-yard run for Ottawa with 1:07 remaining and Pat Woodcock made the catch for a two-point convert.
But the ensuing short kickoff backfired as Terrence Edwards ran it back 49 yards for a TD — marking the first time in Alouettes history two brothers scored TDs in the same game. Damon Duval then added a single on an 80-yard kickoff.
Safety Richard Karikari scored on an interception return and Duval kicked four field goals for the Alouettes, who ended a two-game losing streak. Robert Edwards had more than 100 yards rushing for the fourth time this season.
Armstead had a TD catch and Mark Irvin kicked a field goal for the Renegades.
Montreal played without kick returner Ezra Landry, a New Orleans native attending to family matters in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, while the Renegades were missing punter Pat Fleming and placekicker Matt Kellett to injuries.
Rookie Irvin handled both jobs, struggling with punts but hitting a 42-yard field goal.
There was little offence in a first half marked by dropped passes. Duval put Montreal ahead 12-0 on four straight field goals, the last coming 40 seconds before halftime.
But on Ottawa's ensuing drive, Josh Ranek carried to the 54-yard line and Kerry Joseph hit Armstead with a pass over the middle. Curry and Karikari both missed tackles as Armstead breezed into the end zone with 16 seconds to play.
A Terry Vaughn catch gave Montreal a chance for a field goal with less than one second remaining, but Duval missed wide and Armstead ran it out of the end zone.
In the second quarter, Joseph and Calvillo were a combined 9-for-26 in pass attempts.
Karikari atoned 9:26 into the third quarter when he picked off a Joseph pass and ran it back 81 yards for a touchdown.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Former Canadian Football League QB, now college coach

The offensive coordinator was irate. Sitting in the coaches’ booth high above the football field, Jeff Tedford bellowed into his headset, demanding answers from his receivers coach.
With his team backed up against its own goal line in the 1992 season opener against Utah, Fresno State head coach Jim Sweeney had changed Tedford’s play.
“What did he call?” Tedford shouted to Steve Mooshagian through his headset.
“I’m not going to tell you, because I don’t want you to go crazy,” Mooshagian retorted.
Tedford: “You gotta tell me, what’s the God damn play?”
“Then he sees us line up,” Mooshagian recalls, “and he goes, ‘He didn’t call double pass, did he?’ I said, ‘Yep.’ And as soon as he said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ (the play) goes 95 yards for a touchdown.
“We used to throw the ball out of our end zone all the time,” said Mooshagian, entering his third year as Sacramento State’s head coach. “Coach Sweeney taught us both that when you’re near, you’re far, and when you’re far, you’re near.”
Ten years later in Berkeley, Tedford found himself very far.
Far from respectability, inheriting a UC Berkeley team that went 1-10 in 2001. Far from expectations, toting an underachieving quarterback named Kyle Boller whose arm was wilder than his new head coach’s expectations of him. And, against Baylor in his head coaching debut, far from the goal line, with the Golden Bears sitting on their own 29-yard line after the opening kickoff. So Tedford reached into his old boss’s playbook and called double pass.
Seventy-one yards later, Berkeley had embarked on a three-year transformation that has the program ranked No. 19 by the Associated Press heading into its season opener at 2 p.m. Saturday against the Hornets.
At Berkeley, Tedford has added Boller and Aaron Rodgers to his long list of quarterback prodigies. He’s been courted for coaching positions in the NFL and other top collegiate programs, but has stayed in Berkeley to further the growth.

Third-year Hornet coach Steve Mooshagian talks with his son, freshman receiver Bobby, during a fall practice.Andrew Nixon/State Hornet
If there’s one man who truly understands the method to Tedford’s offensive genius, he’ll be standing on the opposing sideline Saturday, working his own brain to stump a friend and shock a college football nation.
Mooshagian knows Berkeley’s head man well beyond X’s and O’s.
He knows that Tedford slept in the office of his brother’s warehouse while attending Cerritos Junior College in Southern California. He knows that Tedford currently sleeps in his office at Cal, but these days it’s more out of paranoia than necessity.
He knows that Tedford came to football practice at Cerritos in a beat up truck. He knows that Tedford showered in the community college’s bathroom.
Before starring together as teammates at Cerritos – Tedford at quarterback and Mooshagian at receiver – the two competed against each other at rival high schools in Downey, Calif., where Mooshagian, a 1977 graduate from Downey High, drove a 1968 Mustang to campus.
“He was a cocky rich kid from the other side of town,” said Tedford, who graduated in 1979 from Warren High. “He always had nice things, and I didn’t have anything, really. But he was always very generous.”
The two pals and teammates went on to play together at Fresno State, where Tedford earned honorable mention All-American honors at quarterback before playing in the Canadian Football League. Mooshagian played shortly for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL after college, before returning to Fresno State as a receivers coach.
Tedford would soon join Mooshagian on the Fresno State coaching staff, first as a quarterbacks coach and then as offensive coordinator. The two studied the game together, exchanged offensive philosophies and eventually left Sweeney’s program to become offensive coordinators elsewhere – Tedford at Oregon and Mooshagian at Nevada and then Pittsburgh.
“They’ll do everything they have to do (to win),” said Tim Skipper, who played under Tedford at Fresno State and currently serves as Mooshagian’s defensive coordinator. “Stay up late at night, come in early. And they both work hard to get the best out of their guys.”
In 2002, Tedford would get his first crack at collegiate head coaching shot in Berkeley. A year later, Mooshagian got his at Sac State.
Knowing what he knows now, Mooshagian said he wouldn’t have accepted the Sac State position.
“If I would have been offered this job under the same terms again,” he said. “You know, if this were two years ago, I wouldn’t take it. Not being able to hire your own coaching staff, not being able to hire your own trainer, equipment manager, strength coach. Not being able to have your own recruiting class. You just kind of inherited everything for a year. And we have a lot of coaches who were coaching for nothing for sixth months. They weren’t getting paid.
“But I’m here. I’m loving it. I’m living my dream.”
A dream that now involves coaching his own son, Bobby, a freshman wide receiver.
Mooshagian says coaching salaries and facilities have improved at Sac State over his three years, with the help of athletic director Terry Wanless and President Alexander Gonzalez. However, he dreams of a day when he doesn’t have to deal with the tedious tasks of mid-major college coaching, such as finding cleats for a transfer quarterback or swatting at flies in his office. But while it’s Tedford who currently lives the coaching high life, Mooshagian is quick to remind his old friend of days when the tables were turned.
“Donna, his wife, used to pack him his lunch every day,” Mooshagian said, referring to the two coaches’ days in Fresno. “And she would give him just one piece of cheese with two pieces of bread, so it was just a cheese sandwich.
“When he went to Oregon, I called him and asked him, ‘Now that you’re making more money, is Donna giving you bologna?’ And then I’ll ask him next time, ‘Are you getting two pieces of cheese on your sandwich?’ ”
When the two meet at midfield on Saturday, Tedford expects to hear more tales derived from 30 years of friendship.
“See the things that he remembers?” Tedford said. “He knows what kind of sandwiches I was eating. He’s a jokester, he remembers a lot of little things.
“He’s full of it.”
Who to watch SaturdayOn CaliforniaMarshawn Lynch, RB: He averaged 8.8 yards per carry last year as a freshman, backing up J.J. Arrington. The Pac 10’s most explosive player, behind Reggie Bush of USC. Joe Ayoob and Nate Longshore, QB: Ayoob, a junior college transfer, is the more athletic of the two. He was referred to in junior college as the “white Michael Vick.” Longshore, a redshirt freshman, is expected to start and has a better arm.
On Sac State Ryan Mole, RB: Despite playing in just nine games, he gained 858 yards rushing and averaged 5.9 yards per carry as a freshman. Ryan Coogler, WR: The junior will be looked at to fill the void left by Fred Amey. He scored two touchdowns last season and had 254 receiving yards. Matt Logue, LB: The senior has started each of his first three seasons. While the team tries to figure out its quarterback situation, the defense will be relied on heavily.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Canadian Football League players of the week

Quarterback Danny McManus, who led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to their first win of the season, was named the CFL's offensive player of the week Tuesday.
McManus, making his first start in four games, completed 20-of-29 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns as Hamilton (1-9) defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 41-39.
Quarterback Rick Ray and receiver Jason Tucker, both of the Edmonton Eskimos, were finalists for the award.
Defensive back Thomas Stancil captured top defensive player honours. Stancil had seven tackles, an interception and sack in Saskatchewan's 19-15 loss to the unbeaten B.C. Lions.
Montreal's Duane Butler and Edmonton's Malcolm Frank were also considered.
B.C.'s Tyrone Williams was named the lineman of the week. Williams registered three tackles and a sack against Saskatchewan as the Lions (9-0) remained the CFL's only unbeaten club.
Saskatchewan's Fred Perry and Edmonton's Steve Charbonneau were finalists.
Toronto's Bashir Levingston captured special-teams player honours. Levingston returned a punt 109 yards for a touchdown and took a missed field goal 111 yards for another TD as the Argos defeated Calgary 25-16. Levingston finished the contest with 345 total return yards (151 yards on five punt returns, 142 yards on two missed field goals and two kickoffs for 52 yards).
Edmonton's A.J. Gass and Montreal's Jeff Piercy also garnered consideration.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Former Canadian Football League player traded to Bears

The Bears acquired Miami Dolphins linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo for tight end John Owens and a conditional draft pick Monday.Both players must pass a physical for the trade to be final.
Ayanbadejo, a Pro Bowl alternate on special teams last year, has led Miami in special teams tackles in each of the last two seasons. He signed with Miami as a free agent in 2003 after originally entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 1999 with the Atlanta Falcons. The UCLA product was waived by the Falcons in 1999 and played for three teams in the Canadian Football League from 2000-02.Owens joined the Bears in October 2004 after being claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions. He appeared in two games last season.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Canadian Football League game moved to TSN

TSN together with its broadcast partner, the Canadian Football League, announced today that TSN will now broadcast the Labour Day Classic between the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The game will air Monday, Sept. 5, 2005 at 6 p.m. ET on TSN.
The CFL confirmed the Calgary-Edmonton game will remain with CBC.
TSN President Phil King said: "The Labour Day Classic is a must watch event for every CFL fan. TSN is committed to the growth of Canadian Football and we are very pleased to be able to bring this game to the fans."
"Our partnership with TSN has always been strong. We're pleased they will carry the game," said CFL Commissioner Tom Wright.
Veteran broadcaster Chris Cuthbert along with analyst Glen Suitor will front the TSN telecast from Ivor Wynne Stadium. They will be joined, as always, by the TSN panel - Dave Randorf, Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan and Jock Climie. The panel will provide commentary and analysis throughout the game.
For TSN, the CFL broadcast will be its third in four days. TSN will broadcast the Ottawa @ Montreal match-up Friday, Sept. 2, Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan on Sunday, Sept. 4 and now the Toronto @ Hamilton classic on Monday, Sept. 5.
TSN is in the midst of a five-year broadcast deal with the CFL. With the addition of the Labour Day Classic, this year's broadcast schedule now features 55 games, the most ever for TSN.
TSN is Canada's Sports Leader. Setting the Canadian sports broadcasting standard, TSN's flagship news program, SportsCentre, was voted the number-one source for sports news by sports fans from across the country.* TSN's comprehensive broadcast schedule also includes the NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs and international hockey, the Olympic Games, CFL, NFL, PGA TOUR and all four golf Majors, NASCAR, Formula One, Champ Car and IRL auto racing, Blue Jays baseball, NBA, tennis, soccer, figure skating and amateur sports action. TSN is available in eight million households. TSN's programming and news content is also available on-line at

Sunday, August 28, 2005

B.C. perfect through first half of Canadian Football League season

The B.C. Lions scored a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes to keep their unblemished record intact. Third-string Lions quarterback Buck Pierce engineered two touchdown drives to bring the Lions back from a 15-5 deficit and beat the Roughriders 19-15 in CFL play Saturday night.
Saskatchewan Roughriders' Davin Bush and T.J. Stancil tackle BC Lions' Paris Jackson during first quarter CFL action on Saturday. B.C. extended its winning streaks to nine games from the start of this season and 12 extending back to the 2004 campaign. Both are club records, with the 12-game run tied for the third-longest in CFL history.
The Lions remain comfortably in first place in the West Division, while the Roughriders (3-6) have lost five in a row and are tied with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for fourth place.
Pierce was inserted in the third quarter after Lions starter Casey Printers apparently aggravated a sore shoulder. Printers was starting in place of first-stringer Dave Dickenson, whose own shoulder injury forced him to watch the game from the sidelines in civilian clothes.
"A sore shoulder is hard to overcome," Pierce said of Printers' situation. "And the coaches had that confidence in me to say, 'If Casey's shoulder starts to go bad, Buck, you get ready to go in."
Pierce said he made a few mistakes early, but ended up 9-for-12 with 191 yards.
"I'm not really surprised by my performance because I expect a lot out of myself," said Pierce. "But I'll probably be kicking myself tomorrow for some passes I missed and some of the calls I screwed up on."
Pierce began the Lions' rally midway through the fourth quarter with a seven-play, 66-yard drive. A third-down gamble near midfield failed, but a Roughrider offside penalty kept the Lions going and led to Pierce's six-yard touchdown run at 11:23.
Given the ball again at the Lions 18 with 1:41 to go, Pierce used only five plays to cover 92 yards. A 52-yard bomb to Geroy Simon put the ball on the Roughrider 1, from where Antonio Warren ran in for the winning score.
"We matched Saskatchewan's defensive intensity, which is all you can ask for," Buono said. "We came alive in the last four minutes and it paid off for us."
Slotback Jason Clermont caught seven passes for 107 yards to lead B.C.'s receivers while Simon had four receptions for 103 yards.
As for the Roughriders, they were heartbroken and in shock after suffering their fifth straight loss. They were particularly upset at a couple of fourth-quarter penalties. The first one was the call on defensive end Daved Benefield that kept the Lions' first touchdown drive alive when he appeared to have been drawn offside. The other one was for an illegal procedure on centre Jeremy O'Day, who was ruled to have moved the ball before the snap on a second-one at the Lions' 51 with two minutes remaining.
"I can't believe that," said Benefield. "Some things happened out there that were just, wow, I mean, I can't say anything about it, I just can't."
Quarterback Nealon Greene executed the Roughriders' only successful drive of the game in the last five minutes of the third quarter, taking his team 105 yards in eight plays.
Kenton Keith had a 41-yard run and Greene connected with Elijah Thurmon on a 32-yard pass before Greene himself ran nine yards for the major.
Neither team managed a touchdown in the first half. Saskatchewan Paul McCallum was bedeviled by early misadventures. Holder Rocky Butler fumbled the snap on a 26-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first quarter and McCallum's 44-yard attempt early in the second hit the right upright.
McCallum finally connected on 30-and 17-yard efforts before halftime.
Duncan O'Mahony of the Lions booted a 59-yard single in the second quarter.
Each team conceded a safety touch from punt formation deep in its own territory to round out the first-half scoring.
O'Mahony converted both Lions touchdowns while McCallum converted Saskatchewan's major.
Saskatchewan conceded another safety that narrowed its lead to 8-5 early in the third quarter.
The Roughriders remain at home for their next game Sunday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. B.C. has a week off before meeting the Renegades in Ottawa on Sept. 8.